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American Short Hair Cat – Cat Breed Guide


The American Shorthair cat breed or also commonly called ASH is a domestic cat breed that descends from the European cats that were brought by the early settlers during North America’s colonial period. This is a working cat breed that was used onboard ships to protect the cargo against rats. Today, it is ranked 7th in USA’s popular cat breeds.

Official Name

American Short Hair


The American Short Hair cat breed is not actually a native of the USA. Its foundation stock comes from various European countries. The formal and serious breed development of the American Shorthair cat breed happened in North America, specifically in the United

Quick FAQs

Size: American Short Hair cats are sized from Medium to Large

Coat Type: The American Short Hair breed has a short and thick coat that is even and has a hard texture.

Body Type: The American Short Hair cat has a semi-cobby body built

Grooming Requirement: American SH cats will be low maintenance pets. It only requires to be groomed every few weeks.

Vocal Tendency: This American developed cat breed is considered to be very quiet

Energy Levels: The American Short Hair has fairly low energy levels

Time Alone: This particular American cat breed requires a full 8 hours of personal time every day

Care: The American Short Hair needs a fair amount of attention and will be moderately docile.

Recognized By

The International Cat Association
Cat Fanciers’ Association
Canadian Cat Association
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts
American Cat Fanciers Association
Cat Aficionado Association
The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.


The American Short Hair is aptly named as this cat breed history is tied with the United States history as a nation. They are not native to North America; the foundation stock of this cat breed comes mostly from various European countries. These European cat breeds where brought to the New World during America’s colonial period where immigrants from the Old World started settling and colonizing the Americas.

The ancestors of the American Short Hair cats have used onboard ships that are bound to North America. These cats were hunters of ship rats that pose threat to the valuable cargo. Majority of the American Short Hair cats’ ancestors landed in the colony of New York. These cats interbred with one another and developed the traits and physical built that is adaptive to the climate and general conditions of the Northern American continent.

A serious selective breeding program started in the early years of the 20th century. The aim was to establish consistency and a purebred for the centuries old and locally called as the generic domestic cats that are seen all over the American East coast. During the breeding development, this breed was called the Domestic Short Hair. By 1966, American breeders and fanciers decide to rename the breed as the American Short Hair. Various reasons where put to account for the name change. The first and primary reason was, this cat was produced from an all-immigrant stock and was developed and had successfully adapt to the American life, representing the All-American trait of being a nation built by immigrants that persevered, adapted and worked for the American dream. Another reason was to separate it from the non-purebred domestic short haired cats seen all over the country.


The American Short Hair is a natural working breed, with a history as rat hunters aboard ships and rodent catcher for rural America’s farmers. These are large and powerful cats that are very athletic. The American Short Hair cats are easy-going and will display its affection and sociability towards family as well as strangers.


The American Short-hair cat is an All-American breed that is hairy and healthy. This is a true American working cat that is physically strong as well as pleasing towards people in general.

The American Shorthair is a cat breed that is famous in the US as one strong and very well balanced cat. The general conformation of this cat breed proudly shows its inherent power, impressive endurance and unmatched agility among other breeds their size.

The American Shorthair is feline perfection when it comes to body built. It is a medium to large sized cat that is solidly build with a body that is naturally powerful and very muscular. The cat'[s shoulders, chest and hindquarters are well-chiseled. This cat’s board and straightly leveled back are also well-developed and toned with muscular cuts.

Head, Ears and Eyes
The American Shorthair has a large and full-cheeked head that has a face often with a sweet and welcoming expression. This cat breed’s jaws are strong. The American Shorthair’s ears are medium in size and the tips are slightly rounded. These cats have large and wide upper eyelids that are almond shaped. Their lower eyelids are fully rounded with a curve. The color of their eyes will depend on their coat color.

Coat and Tail
The American Shorthair’s tail is medium in length but heavy at the base and tapered to the blunt end. This cat’s coat is short, thick and even with a hard texture. The coat is dense, protecting the cat from the elements especially from moister and cold.

The American Shorthair is divided into four color divisions. Solid colored American Short Hair cats have black, white, red, cream and blue coats. Parti-colored American Shorthairs are the cats with two or more color combinations on their coats. These cats may come with calico, blue-cream, bi-color and tortoiseshell. Then there is the shaded and smoke colored American Short Hair. The last color division is classified as Tabby American Shorthair cats, with classic, mackerel and patched colors available in brown, cameo, cream, red and blue.


The American Shorthair is generally healthy and will live up to 15 years or more. Some lines of the American Shorthair cat breed are known to be affected by hereditary heart disease common to felines and known as HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a progressive heart problem that will be fatal. PKD or polycystic kidney disease is also known to affect some lines of this cat breed. This is a very serious disease that will cause renal failure. Mild cases of hip dysplasia are a genetic problem to this cat breed.



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