kids encyclopedia robot

American Shorthair facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
American Shorthair
Jewelkatz Romeo Of Stalker-Bars.jpg
Black silver blotched tabby American Shorthair
Other names none
Origin North America (formal breed development)
Europe (original landrace stock)
Breed standards
CFA standard
TICA standard
ACFA/CAA standard
CCA-AFC standard
Domestic cat (Felis catus)

The American Shorthair (ASH) is a breed of domestic cat believed to be descended from European cats brought to North America by early settlers to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, it was the eighth most popular pedigreed cat in the world for 2020.


When settlers sailed from Europe to North America, they carried cats on board (ships' cats) to protect the stores from mice—for instance, the cats that came over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims to hunt rats on the ship and in the colony. Many of these cats landed in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early in the 20th century, a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats.

The American Shorthair is a pedigree cat breed, with a strict conformation standard, as set by cat fanciers of the breed and the North American cat fancier associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). The breed is accepted by all North American cat registries. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the "American Shorthair" to better represent its "all-American" origins and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the fact that the breed is a pedigreed breed distinct from the random-bred non-pedigreed domestic short-haired cats in North America, which may nevertheless resemble the ASH. Both the American Shorthair breed and the random-bred cats from which the breed is derived are sometimes called working cats because they were used for controlling rodent populations, on ships and farms. The American shorthair (then referred as Domestic shorthair) was among the first five breeds that were considered as registered cat breeds by CFA during 1906.



GC Yatfung's Brown Cobra
Brown blotched tabby adult
ASH Russeller’s Cleopatra of Solid Fold (4496955956) (cropped)
Side profile of an adult head showing the typical short nose

The American Shorthair is a medium to large sized cat breed with males weighing between 11-15 lbs (5-7 kg) and females weighing between 6-12 lbs (2.75-5.5kg). The head is large, resembling an oblong with more length than width. The ears are medium sized and slightly rounded at the tips. The eyes are large and wide. The neck is medium in length and well-muscled. The legs are medium in length and muscular. Tail is of medium length.

Coat color

The American Shorthair is recognized in more than eighty different colors and patterns ranging from the brown-patched tabby to the blue-eyed white, the silvers (tabbies, shaded, smokes and cameos) to the calico van, and many colors in between. Some even come in deep tones of black, brown, or other blends and combinations. Generally, only cats showing evidence of crossbreeding resulting in the colors chocolate, sable, lilac (lavender), or the point-restricted pattern of the Siamese family are disqualified from being shown.


A study in Japan found that 47% of tested American Shorthair cats with renal and hepatic cysts had the PKD1 mutation, which is responsible for feline polycystic kidney disease. A review of over 5,000 cases of urate urolithiasis in the United States found that the American Shorthair had significantly lower odds of developing urate uroliths than mixed-breed cats.


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: American shorthair para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Contemporary African-American Artists:
Janet Taylor Pickett
Synthia Saint James
Howardena Pindell
Faith Ringgold
kids search engine
American Shorthair Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.