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What Is an American Shorthair?

By Alex Terris
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The American Shorthair (ASH) is a cat breed known for its athleticism. It is thought that the breed originally descended from cats in England that were brought over by settlers several hundred years ago. The American Shorthair is among the top breeds in the U.S. although it is considered to be a working cat. It has a large and strong frame and is more powerful than similar cats such as the British Shorthair.

Settlers who traveled from England to America often had problems with rats on board the ships. To solve this problem, cats were brought on board specifically for pest control. These cats had to be strong and lean in order to be effective at catching the vermin. When the boats arrived the cats were taken ashore and became pets. This is where the cat gets its nickname — the “mouser.”

American Shorthair cats are strictly controlled in regards to appearance. They are pedigreed cats and have to adhere to certain specifications that are set by organizations across the world. Although there are many cats that may look like the American Shorthair, true examples of this breed have to be purebred.

In general, this cat makes a good pet. They are affectionate animals that aren’t aggressive toward strange or new people in the house. Compared to other breeds of cats, they also don’t require much maintenance. A person looking to buy an ASH should keep in mind that the males are nearly always larger and heavier than the females. Although the lifetime of a cat varies with a number of factors this breed can live up to 20 years.

Even though there are strict regulations governing the looks of an ASH, there are a number of different colors. In fact, there are close to one hundred different recognized colors. These can range from brown tabby fur to pure white. Silver American Shorthair cats are probably the most common, and the color that’s associated with the breed.

The price of buying a new American Shorthair kitten depends on the exact type and appearance. There is also variation in price depending on the cat’s fur markings. Breeders of ASH cats usually sell the kittens after around 16 weeks although sometimes as soon as 12 weeks. The bloodline of the cat will also have a major effect on the final price.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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