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Home > Cats > How Long Do American Shorthair Cats Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care Guide

How Long Do American Shorthair Cats Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care Guide

American Shorthair cat

American Shorthair Cats are a gorgeous cat breed that comes in many unique colors and patterns, with soft, fluffy fur. These lovely creatures are extremely lovable, and their favorite daily activity is snuggling next to their owner. American Shorthair cats have a relatively long lifespan, ranging between 15 and 20 years, meaning they will be your faithful sidekick for many healthy and happy years to come.

However, there are always ways you can prolong your pet’s lifespan, and it mostly comes from proper maintenance and care. Ensuring your cat has the best possible diet, ample activity levels, and adequate health care will go a long way in ensuring your cat’s well-being. To learn more about the overall lifespan of American Shorthair Cats, read the article below.


American Shorthair Cat Average Lifespan

Since the American Shorthair Cat is a generally healthy breed, their life span is fairly long. This cat breed is considered to have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years, which is impressive considering they are prone to a few medical conditions. The most famous American Shorthair cat to reach a remarkable age was India, the first cat of the White House. India was the cat of the 43rd President George W. Bush, who lived to be 18 years old.

With that said, we still need to take into account the several health conditions that might fall upon the American Shorthair, and to prolong their life span, proper health care is a must.

an american shorthair cat being cozy at home
Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock


How to Care for Your American Shorthair Cat for a Long Lifespan?

Feeding & Diet

When it comes to feeding your American Shorthair Cat, you don’t need to look for any specialized diets for this breed particularly. To ensure the best possible health of your cat, we advise you to follow the nutritional recommendations made by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The AAFCO includes dietary requirements for cats based on only two life stages—the growth and reproduction stage and the adult stage.

It is essential to adjust the food to your cat’s life stage. During the growth or reproduction stage of a cat’s life, offering 30% animal-based protein and 9% fat is advisable, followed by various vitamins and minerals that cats need for proper bone and joint development. It is best to offer several smaller meals throughout the day to stabilize their energy levels.

Once the cat reaches its adult life stage, its protein intake must be around 26%, with 9% fat, vitamins, and minerals. Adult cats will need a balance of nutrients to maintain their ideal weight and energy.

Cute American shorthair cats eating dry food
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock


Fortunately, the American Shorthair Cat is a very versatile cat breed. They are considered highly adaptable, so they are suited both for large homes and small apartments. They are ready to live almost anywhere and are excellent for any owner as long as they get the love they deserve.

They suit active families, first-time cat owners, singles, and even seniors. They are a very social breed, so they need a lot of attention throughout the day.


The American Shorthair Cat has a variety of possible coat colorings and patterns, while silver with black markings is the most common. These cats, fortunately, don’t require any special coat care and don’t shed much. It is best to give them a weekly brush to prevent their fur from matting and to collect all the loose hairs.

While American Shorthairs are not prone to ear and eye infections, you will want to check and clean their ears and eyes regularly. Look out for any abnormal eye discharge and any dark discharge from the ears accompanied by foul smells.

gray american shorthair cat with grooming brush
Image Credit: KAMONRAT, Shutterstock


American Shorthairs are very active cats, and they enjoy physical and mental stimulation. They enjoy plenty of various activities throughout the day, while the rest of the time, they enjoy being curled up in their favorite spot or basking in the sunlight. It is best to provide your cat with plenty of toys, so they’re entertained throughout the day. They need moderate exercise to stay healthy and can even be trained.


As we’ve already mentioned, American Shorthairs are a generally healthy breed, with a few health conditions that might develop. The most common health condition the American Shorthair is prone to is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is generally the most common heart disease in cats, although the American Shorthair is at higher risk of developing this disease.

It is crucial to do genetic testing and have regular heart exams to make sure your cat doesn’t suffer from this condition. It is also recommended to get your American Shorthair from a reputable breeder who will screen their cats for HCM.


The Life Stages of an American Shorthair Cat

There are four stages in the life of an American Shorthair. Each life stage requires different types of care, including diet, healthcare, and activity.

1. Kitten

The kitten stage lasts from the moment of birth until they reach a year old. This is the period where the cat gets used to people, surroundings, and other animals. Socialization during this time is crucial, as there is a lot of playtime and daily activity. They also require a proper diet to ensure proper bone, joint, and brain development.

American shorthair kitten
Image Credit: Top Photo Engineer, Shutterstock

2. Young Adult

A cat becomes an adult once it reaches around a year old. This is when a cat becomes sexually mature as well, so new behaviors might emerge. This is when inter-cat aggression may occur, especially with two males living in one home.  A cat will stay a young adult until it becomes around 6 years old.

3. Mature Adult

Once a cat is 6 years old, it means they’ve become a mature adult, which will last until the age of 10. During this life stage, cats slowly lose their interest in playtime, which is when they might start gaining weight. It is crucial to adjust their dietary needs to match their lifestyle, so your cat can maintain a healthy body weight. Regular check-ups are important for mature cats to monitor their health and prevent illnesses.

american shorthair cat lying
Image Credit: Freer, Shutterstock

4. Senior

Any cat that is over 10 years old is considered a senior. This is when regular check-ups every 6 months or so, can significantly prolong your cat’s lifespan. Their diets must be specialized, and some cats may even need prescription diets. You’ll need to monitor your cat closely for any subtle behavior changes, as they can indicate a developing illness.


How to Tell Your American Shorthair Cat’s Age

If your American Shorthair is an adopted cat or a rescue cat, you might not know its exact year of birth. Or you may have stumbled upon a stray cat and want to know how old it is. While there is no way for you to learn the exact year of the cat’s birth, there are ways to tell in which life stage they are. The fastest way to tell apart a younger cat from a more mature one is to look at its eyes and teeth. A young cat’s eyes will be bright and clear, while older cats will most likely develop cataracts, which make the eye appear hazy or cloudy.

You can also examine the cat’s teeth because younger cats will have white teeth without any visible discoloration. Older cats will mostly have yellowed teeth or may even show signs of wear and tear, such as chipping.



Learning details about your American Shorthair Cat’s health can help you keep them healthy and long-lived. Considering the long lifespan of 15 to 20 years for American Shorthairs, you can expect them to have a long and happy life. So, if you are a parent to an adorable American Shorthair, make sure to follow some key notes from this article to make sure your cat stays healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock

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