(Above: Example of American Shorthair Cat from www.americanshorthair.net - Russeller's Cattery)
The American Shorthair is unique in the different cat breeds because it is North America's own breed, whose ancestors were cats that came here with the early European explorers. Records show that several cats arrived on the Mayflower.
These working cats flourished alongside their pioneer owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthair because they developed special coping characteristic to help them adapt to their new climate and new challenges.
The CFA recognized the American Shorthair among the first five pedigreed cat breeds for registration. Originally known as the domestic Shorthair, in 1966, the name American Shorthair was chosen to better represent this "all American cat".
Selective breeding and the recording and registration of many generations are what enables today's breeders to be certain that each litter of kittens will have specific qualities.
The American Shorthair is a sturdy, working variety cat with a broad and powerful jaw, a massive chest, a body with excellent muscle tone and a short "hard" close lying coat. Nothing about an American shorthair calls your attention to one feature over another.
They are very athletic, low maintenance cats that are generally easy-going. Males are typically 11-15 pounds when full grown and females around 8-12 pounds. They achieve full growth around 3-4 years of age. They often live 15 year or longer if they have a good diet and are well cared for.
The American comes in more than 80 different colors and patterns ranging from brown tabby to the solid colors to the calico. The American is sweet and gentle, and inquisitive without being pushy. But let a squirrel or a bird alight on the deck of your home, and it will be ready to pounce. It is one of the different cat breeds that is a hunter at heart.
Many of the domestic shorthair cats that we live with such as my cat Coty bear a strong resemblance to the pedigreed American Shorthair cat but the difference is the real breed produces kittens with the same look and don't revert to another strain that is in the domestic cat mix.