Family Pet Guide > Cats > Short Haired > American "Domestic" Shorthair

American "Domestic" Shorthair

Quick Checklist
with kids
with seniors
with other animals
with strangers
Energy & Exercise
Training Needs
Grooming Needs
Size: Medium to Large
Lifespan: Long (12 to 15+ years)
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The American Shorthair, formerly named the Domestic Shorthair, is the ideal choice for a family pet that will jump into your lap and greet you at the door. These medium- to large-sized cats have a stocky, robust build, and are recognized in more than 80 different patterns and colors (although the most well known is probably the silver tabby). Owners report high compatibility with kids, seniors, and other pets, including dogs. And, these cats surely are "American"--they supposedly came over with European settlers on the Mayflower, where they were used to hunt the mice and rats on the ship!

General Care

There's not too much you have to provide an American Shorthair with besides love, attention, water and food--just be sure not to give too much of the latter, as this breed has a tendency to become overweight. This can put them at risk for diabetes and other health problems. American Shorthairs are prone to shedding, so make sure you brush your cat's coat a couple of times a week. These cats are great as either indoor or outdoor pets. You'll also have a long-term companion, as this sturdy, robust breed usually lives anywhere from 15 to 20 years. As always, check with your veterinarian with any questions you have about the health or care of your cat, and be sure to keep up with regular vaccinations.

For more information about American Shorthair cat ownership and care, check out the Cat Fanciers' Association.

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