American Shorthair cat resting on the floor next to a wall.

American Shorthair Cat Breed

A robust, easy-care cat, this breed is known for its sweet personality and amiability with children, dogs, and other pets.

The first domestic cats in the US are said to have arrived with the early pilgrims in the 1600s. Over the following centuries, sturdy, workmanlike cats spread all over the US, most of them kept as efficient mousers rather than as house pets.

But by the beginning of the 20th century, a more refined form of the farmyard hunter, known as the Domestic Shorthair, began to emerge. Careful breeding further improved the Domestic, and by the 1960s—now renamed the American Shorthair—it was attracting attention at pedigree cat shows. Healthy and hardy, American Shorthairs are perfect family cats that fit in with almost any type of household.

Origin: US, 1890s

Breed registries: CFA, TICA

Weight range: 8–15 lb (3.5–7 kg)

Grooming: 2–3 times a week

Colors and patterns: Most solid colors and shades; patterns include bicolor, tabby, and tortie.