The American Shorthair is a purebred variant of the widely known and popular Domestic Shorthair. This multifunctional and adaptable cat exists in lots of colours and patterns, including traditional silver tabby. It still remains an effective exterminator of household rodents although currently it primarily enjoys the life of a family companion.
Photo: © cattery Cacao (cacaocattery.com)
The American Shorthair is a direct descendant of felines that arrived to America with passengers and crew of the Mayflower in 1620. These first American colonizers treasured their pets for their ratting talents, and there is a good chance, that cats were brought to the New World much earlier. For example, they may have accompanied Spanish explorers on their way to Florida or Vikings on their way to Newfoundland. Some of these seafaring felines were used for the development of the today’s American Shorthair.
Cats were reckoned to be invaluable helpers of shopkeepers, farmers and house owners who entrusted them to protect their supplies of provision and goods from rats, mice and other small vermin. The early American Shorthair stood out for sturdy physique, unpretentiousness, outstanding hunting drive and could easily put up with severe conditions of this unconquered and dangerous continent.
At the dawn of the XX century the shorthair cats that were then referred as Domestic Shorthairs entered the show ring. At that point other shorthair breeds were brought to the U.S. so loyal breeder of the domestics decided to selectively breed a feline with specific characteristics. On the whole the American Shorthair was predominantly shaped through natural selection but the efforts of breeders led to stabilization of its conformation and temperament. It was recognized under its current name in the early 60s of the XX century and quickly became a highly successful participant of Cat Shows.
The sociable and joyful personality of the American Shorthair makes it an almost ideal companion animal for any type of household. It’s usually equally interested in exploring every miner corner of its home and sprawling peacefully beside its master on the sofa. Lots of the breeds’ specimens grow into classic lap cats while others prefer to just stay close-by. Although the American Shorthair absolutely loves being in the centre of your attention it has unobtrusive nature and can entertain itself with some puzzle toy for several hours. It’s always eager to frisk with familiar kids but it can’t stand being carried around too much.
The American Shorthair is a good-natured and brave cat that will cordially greet any newcomer and invite him or her to play with it. This breed also gets along with other animals in the house (including dogs) as long as they don’t bother it. However it still retains powerful hunting drive and should never be left alone with such pets as hamsters or household rats.
Be mindful that the busy mind of the American Shorthair requires regular stimulation so make sure to buy your pet various interactive toys and one or several tall cat trees. This calm and gentle cat adapts well to any living situation as long as it’s surrounded by love and care of its masters.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The American Shorthair can be groomed with minimal efforts. Brush or comb your pet two-three times a week to get rid of loose hair and give its coat an attractive gloss. The density of its hair and the level of shedding depend on climatic conditions and season.
Weekly or daily dental hygiene bears an outmost importance in maintenance of good health in this area. Ears and eyes of the cat should be regularly cleaned with a soft moistened tissue to remove earwax and other allocations. Trim its nails every two to four weeks. This breed is notable for exceptional cleanliness so keep its litter box perfectly clean at all times.