American Shorthair adult in black and white

American Shorthair

American Shorthairs are relaxed, laid-back cats, although do still exhibit burst of playful energy, even in their older years.

About the American Shorthair

Playful, with a sweet, open expression and short, lustrous coat, the American Shorthair cat reflects the feline look of their hunting ancestors. American Shorthairs are a good-natured, easy-going cat. They’re very popular with families because of their playful nature and tolerance of children.

In general, they are intelligent and quite interested in everything around them. They enjoy the company of people, but retain their independence. This breed is known for its longevity, robust health, friendly personality and patience with dogs and other pets.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from World Cat Congress (WCC)

Breed specifics

United States
Short coat
Size category
Avg life expectancy
15–20 years

Calm / Sociable / Quiet / Intelligent / Independent / Playful

Key facts

  • Requires lots of space
  • Suited to indoor and outdoor life
  • Needs little grooming

Origins of the breed

The American Shorthair is believed to be descended from European cats brought to North America by early settlers, including those on the “Mayflower”, to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats. With the interest in showing cats in the 1800’s, it was decided to develop a shorthair cat representative of the American working cat.

It is recorded that, at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden in 1896, a brown tabby American Shorthair was offered for sale for $2,500. Official recognition as the “Domestic Shorthair” was given by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1906. The breed was re-named the “American Shorthair” in the early 1960’s.