It’s thought that American Shorthairs found their way over to the States on ships when early settlers took their cats with them to the new world. They were used to keep vermin under control on the long sea voyagers across the Atlantic to the New World and as such, they were hardy, robust and healthy cats. They were also known to be highly intelligent which once over in America, people soon began to notice and as such, they started keeping them as pets.
When they were first shown at cat shows in the 1900s, they were called “Domestic Shorthairs”, but over time and as more cats were imported to the States, breeders set in place careful and selective breeding programmes to ensure these charming cats remained a healthy, natural breed. Thanks to this careful breeding, the cats we see today are just that, a natural breed that boasts being a wonderful companion and family pet and one that’s also very specific to type.
In the 1960s, the breed was renamed “American Shorthair” and it was at this time that more cats were exhibited not only in America, but elsewhere in the world including the UK. The breed gained full recognition from most of the international breed organisations although the American Shorthair has not yet been recognised by the GCCF, but they are registered with many other international breed clubs which includes TICA. Today, they remain one of the most popular breeds in the States, but anyone wishing to share their home with an American Shorthair in the UK would need to register their interest with breeders and go on a waiting list for the pleasure of doing so because few well-bred kittens are available every year.
Interesting facts about the breed
- Is the American Shorthair a rare breed? No, but very few kittens are bred in the UK every year and as such they can often command a lot of money with waiting lists being long
- The breed was originally called Domestic Shorthairs
- They come in an amazing 60 colours with many different coat patterns too
- They are the descendants of European cats
- They are one of the most popular breeds in the United States
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