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Home > Cats > American Shorthair Cat: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American Shorthair Cat: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American shorthair cat

Breed Overview


12-14 inches


13-16 pounds


15-20 years


White, black, cream, gold, red, brown, silver

Suitable for

Single people, families, people living in apartments and houses


Friendly, intelligent, affectionate, independent, gets along with other cats and dogs

The American Shorthair is best known for her gorgeous classic silver tabby coat: her shiny silver fur, interwoven with contrasting black stripes, makes her look like a mini version of a silver tiger! But beyond her stunning features, the American Shorthair makes an endearing feline companion, balancing her independent side by showing just the right amount of affection to her owner and family. Indeed, she doesn’t need you by her side all day long, but she will be more than happy to snuggle up on your lap when you sit down to devour the last episode of The Tiger King.

Still not sure if the Shorthair would make a great addition to your family? Read on to learn more about her care, personality, and health, so you can determine whether this calm and charming cat would thrive in your home!


American Shorthair Kittens

American shorthair kitten
Image Credit: Top Photo Engineer, Shutterstock


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Temperament & Intelligence of the American Shorthair Cat

The American Shorthair is not one of those cats who like to be carried around in your arms, but she does have her affectionate side. She likes to jump on her owner’s lap to be cuddled from time to time, but she remains quite independent. She is a curious, agile, and smart kitty, and particularly good at hunting, due to her origins. She adapts very well to living in an apartment but will be delighted if she can have access to the outdoors to explore her surroundings.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The American Shorthair adapts easily and appreciates children and other pets. She is an ideal cat for family life, whether in an apartment, in the city, or the countryside. Of course, each cat is unique and there are as many variables as there are individuals. Therefore, it is important to socialize your kitten well, so that she has no difficulty in adapting to her environment.

Cat American shorthair
Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The American Shorthair is easy-going and has no problem sharing your attention with other cats, or even a friendly dog. On the other hand, her hunting instinct can take over with rodents, pet birds, and other small animals, which is why you will have to be careful if they end up in the same room.

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Things to Know When Owning an American Shorthair Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements

Since the American Shorthair has no particular health problem, her diet is not too complicated: quality and well-balanced kibble or wet food will suffice for her needs. However, this breed tends to put on weight if she doesn’t get enough exercise. Thus, you may need to turn to a weight management formula if your cat gets too chubby. Talk to your veterinarian about your options if you’re not sure which brand to go for.

American shorthair cat eating
Image Credit: Apicha Bas, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐈

The American Shorthair needs daily exercise to avoid becoming lazy and chunky. Put on your agenda a daily session of interactive play with your cat for at least twenty minutes. No need to rack your brain to find game ideas either: a simple roll of toilet paper or a laser pen are enough to entertain your four-legged friend!

Training 🧶

Training a cat is easier said than done, but the Shorthair does enjoy learning tricks and challenging her intelligence with puzzles and interactive toys. You could even teach her to fetch a ball or a toy, although it takes a bit more patience and time! If you want to teach her tricks, keep a supply of cat treats handy so you can reward her every time she does the right thing. However, don’t overdo the treats, at the risk of making your kitty fat.

Grooming ✂️

Maintaining the American Shorthair won’t cost you expensive trips to the groomer! Her luxurious, thick, and short fur only needs a good brushing once or twice a week and you’re done. These grooming sessions are necessary to remove dead hair and eliminate small knots while strengthening your bond with your kitty. You can take the opportunity to cut her claws and examine her teeth, which shouldn’t be too hard if your kitten has been used to it from a young age.

American shorthair cat
Image Credit: Thanakorn Kosalakorn, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

The American Shorthair is considered one of the healthiest and hardiest cat breeds. This iron health comes from her origins as a farm-working cat and the fact that caring breeders have strengthened her gene pool over the past few decades. However, that does not give her a pass to avoid going to the vet! She must still receive all the basic vaccines and be dewormed regularly, especially if you let her out of the house. In this case, she will happily hunt small rodents that have the misfortune to frequent your garden, which makes it an additional reason to ensure that your kitty receives regular dewormers.

Moreover, the American Shorthair can be affected by feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a syndrome characterized by the increase in the volume of the myocardium.

Serious Conditions
Minor Conditions
  • Bacterial and viral infections (all preventable through vaccination)

Male vs Female

There is no noticeable difference in temperament or behavior between the sexes, especially after your American Shorthair has been neutered. The male tends to be slightly bulkier than the female, but this is the case in most cat breeds.

divider-paw 3 Little-Known Facts About American Shorthair Cats

1. The American Shorthair Is a Very Hardy Kitty

The ancestors of the American Shorthair were bred to produce cats resistant to cold and disease, which made them outstanding mouse hunters in barns and farms. This trait has been passed down from generation to generation and, added to the good genetic diversity of the species, explains the robust health of this breed.

2. The Breed Was Formalized Relatively Recently

The American Shorthair received this name only in 1966, in order to distinguish this breed from other domestic shorthair cats.

3. The American Shorthair Is Not Very Talkative

Unlike many cats, the American Shorthair does not meow for attention and is neither overly demonstrative nor overly reserved. He prefers to sit by your side and quietly observe you while you go about your business.


Final Thoughts

The beauty, endearing personality, and great adaptability of the American Shorthair make it a four-legged companion of choice for single people or families. However, as is the case with purebred cats, you should expect to shell out a fairly high price from a reputable breeder. But, if you take care of her needs, you will have a strong, healthy feline companion that will live by your side for many years to come. Plus, you can always opt for adoption and save money by bringing a cat into your home that is in desperate need of a forever family.

Featured Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock

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