Thought to have originated in Europe, and brought across the ocean to North America by early settlers looking to keep cargo safe from rodents, the American Shorthair cat now ranks as one of the most popular domestic cats in the United States. Whether it is their natural instinct or an ingrained trait throwing back to their early ancestors, the American Shorthair is also known to be an excellent hunter.
These muscular and lean cats are incredibly athletic, with a large frame that belies their ability to be stealthy and nimble when stalking their prey. Their long, slender bodies give way to incredibly long tails that are ideal for helping them to balance when jumping up to explore new heights.
When they are fully mature, at around three years of age, American Shorthair females can weigh between eight to 12 pounds. Mature males can weigh between 11 and 15 pounds, demonstrating just how large of a cat they can grow into.
There are more than 80 recognized colors and coat patterns for the American Shorthair cat, ranging from tabbies to calicos and white to shades of silvery and grey and even black or brown.
Affection, laid-back, and sociable cats, American Shorthairs generally have excellent health. They usually require basic care — veterinary checkups and annual vaccinations. With a life expectancy of up to 20 years, these charming cats are an excellent addition to a family looking for an outgoing cat. They also make great working cats on farms that have high populations of mice and rats.