The American Shorthair comes in many colours, best
known are the Silver Tabbies:
- black, blue, red, cream, tortie and blue
- All those colours exist also with silver as
Smoke, Shaded and Chinchillas.
- All those colours can have tabby markings,
classic tabby, mackerel and spotted, also the silver tabby is well
- All those colours and patterns exist also with
white, as Van and Bicolours. F.e. smoke bicolour, blue tabby Van,
chinchilla bicolour, etc.
The American Shorthair is a medium to large cat. It is a strongly built, well balanced,
symmetrical cat with conformation indicating power, endurance, and agility.
Females may be less massive in all respects than males.
The head is large, with full cheeks, and gives the
impression of just being slightly longer than wide. Sweet, open expression.
Viewed from the front, the head can be divided in two equal parts, from the base of
the ears to the middle of eyes and from the middle of the eyes to the chin. The
forehead is moderately convex, when viewed in profile, and runs smoothly over the
top of the head into the neck. Viewed
from the front, the forehead is not too high between the ears.
The ears are medium large with slightly rounded tips and not too open at the base.
The distance between the ears is twice the width between the eyes.
The eyes are large, bright and clear, where the upper lid is forming a straighter line and the lower lid forms a full curve.
The nose is medium long and shows a concave curve, when viewed in profile.
The muzzle is square with strong jaws. The neck is strong.
The body is solid, powerful and muscular with well developed shoulders, chest and
hindquarters, the back is broad. The legs are medium long, straight and heavily muscled, and have firm rounded paws.
The tail is medium long, broad at the base, tapering to an abrupt blunt end.
The coat is very characteristic for the American Shorthair, it is short, thick, quite dense, even and hard in texture.
The American Shorthair is North America's native breed, whose ancestors came to North
America with early settlers from Europe. Records indicate that the "Mayflower",
coming 1620 from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, carried several cats to hunt the rats on New England ships. For centuries,
those working cats traveled with their pioneer owners and established themselves
as the native North American shorthaired cat. During the great California gold
rush 1848-1849, cats were highly valued as mousers and were selling at $50-$100
each. One brown tabby American
Shorthair was even offered for sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at
Madison Square Garden in 1896.
The first registered American Shorthair came from Great Britain in 1901,
imported by Jane Cathcart, and was a red tabby male, named Belle of
Bradford, he would be considered today as a British Shorthair.
The first pedigreed shorthair kitten born in the U.S. 1904 was a
smoke male, named Buster Brown, which also belonged to Miss Cathcart.
1964 the first "domestic" shorthair, as the breed was called, named
Shawnee Sixth Son, bred by Nikki Horner, became CFA Kitten of the
Year. One year later Shawnee Trademark, also owned by Nikki Horner,
became CFA Cat of the Year.
1972 Joelwyn Colombyan, a silver tabby male owned by JoAnne Landers,
became All-American Cat of the Year, and Apache Chief Mateo, also a
silver tabby male owned by Alayne Poeld-Tyldsley, started his career
as national kitten winner in CFA, and continued as 3rd Best Cat
1973, 6th Best Cat 1974 and 2nd Best Cat 1975, and two years later
Mateo was named Best of the Best at Madison Square Garden's show.
The most recent great success came in 1996, when the brown tabby
male Sol-Mer Sharif became CFA Cat of the Year.
Early in the 20th century, foreign breeds imported to the United
States (Longhairs and Siamese) interbred with the native shorthaired
cats, producing kittens with different coat lengths, body styles, colours and temperaments. Some
wished to preserve the North American shorthaired cat and took the finest
specimen and mated them selectively to preserve the breed's
conformation, its beautiful face and sweet disposition, and perfected the
patterns and colors characteristic of today's well known American Shorthair.
The CFA officially recognized this
lovely cat as one of its first five registered breeds in 1906 and called it
Domestic Shorthair. The breed was renamed "American
Shorthair" in 1966 to better represent its "All American" character and to
differentiate it from any other shorthaired breed.
This breed is known for its longevity, robust health, good looks, quiet
disposition and amiability with children and dogs.
It is an easy-going and affectionate cat.
The American Shorthair is due to its short coat an
easy-going cat and its coat does not shed. The glistening coat has
no tendency to get filzy or knotted.