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American Shorthair at a GlanceAmerican Shorthair Full Body

Like its counterpart, the American Wirehair, the American Shorthair is a good-natured, easy-going medium-sized cat and is one of the most adaptable breeds for any type of household, including children and seniors. The two breeds are alike in appearance and personality, differing only in coat type. The American Shorthair has a regular, short coat while the American Wirehair has a hard, wiry coat. Find out more about this breed and if the American Shorthair is right for you and your family.

  • Temperament: Easygoing, Friendly, Curious

  • Size: Medium-sized cat with an athletic build. Males tend to be larger than females

  • Colors: The American Shorthair can be found in all traditional colors. The most common are the tabby and tabby with white variations.

About the American Shorthair

Loyal and loving by nature, American Shorthairs are very people-oriented and love being with their families. They thrive on human companionship and participating in a busy household. But be advised, they are smart and curious enough to get into something.

Activity Level: American Shorthairs are easy to train and like to be active and play fetch, but they are happiest when cuddling with their families. They make great family pets and are good with young children, other pets, people living on their own, the elderly and disabled.

TICA Regions, Clubs & Rescues

Want to connect with fellow cat lovers and those who love the same breed as you?
TICA is a large resource made up of smaller regions and clubs around the world.
Click here to find a club near you and contact information for your regional director and website.

Wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!® 


Find a Kitten: American Shorthair TICA Breeders

The TICA website is the only place where you can find TICA member breeders who have signed the TICA Code of Ethics.
Click here to find American Shorthair Kittens.

American Shorthair Breed Head ShotCare

The American Shorthair’s short coat is easy to care for not really a coat to be brushed. They do shed. It is recommended to run a comb through the coat as needed to help them avoid swallowing excess hair. They tend to keep themselves clean and don't typically need a bath.

As with all cats, keep their nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and provide a nice tall scratching pole to help their natural scratching instinct.


A small portion of wet food is good once daily for American Shorthairs. They like to have a variety of food. A bowl of dry food can be left out as they like to eat a little at a time. Food can depend on their activity level and whether they are fully mature. A few treats can be offered and are preferred over table scraps.

As with all cats, it is important to give your cat fresh, clean water daily. Fresh, clean water is best, so cats don’t hesitate to drink. If you worry about your cat drinking enough water each day, here's a tip from cat behaviorists - place the water bowl at least three feet away from any food. Cats’ noses are sensitive and an overwhelming smell of food may cause them to drink less. Filtered drinking fountains can also be used in place of a water bowl.


The American Shorthair is not known to be prone to any genetic or hereditary illnesses, however it is advised to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian.


Although not listed on ships rosters, the American Shorthair came with early settlers to this country bringing their diverse backgrounds to form an "American" cat. They were "working cats" protecting the ships' stores on the long journeys. These early American cats were strong, hardy cats that earned their living status here with their hunting skills but were soon noticed for their intelligence and many varied colors and patterns. In early cat exhibitions in the 1900, the shorthair cats then known as Domestic Shorthairs were represented. As more shorthair breeds were imported, dedicated breeders of the domestics began selective breeding to develop a cat of specific type. Although the American Shorthair is a natural breed, it is the process of selective breeding that has developed the American as we know it today. It was not until the early 1960s that the breed was renamed American Shorthair and began its rise in recognition and as a contender on the show circuit.

Opposite Breeds


The Breed Standard

The American Shorthair and American Wirehair are medium-to-large in size. The body should be well-knit and powerful with well-developed chest and hindquarters, especially in the males. Females are of proportionally smaller size and allowance must be made. The head is broad, with cheeks especially well-developed in studs. The nose and face are medium-short, with eyes and ears set wide apart. The muzzle should present a squarish aspect, but should not be foreshortened.

Click here to read the full TICA American Shorthair Breed Standard.

American Shorthair Breed

American Shorthair Full BodyAccepted For Championship in TICA in 1979

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