American Shorthair: The Ultimate Guide to Their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care

If you are on the hunt for a new family feline, you might want to consider the American Shorthair. It’s a friendly and easy-going house cat. Let’s get to it and tell you absolutely everything that you need to know about this cat breed.

What's the nature of the breed?

The American Shorthair cat is quite mild-mannered in nature. They are great companions and housecats. They tend to be fairly peaceful and have moderate energy levels.

One of their favorite activities is sitting on a window sill in the sun and watching birds. These cats were originally hunters, mainly for rats, so they do have a proclivity for bringing squirrels, rats, birds, and other kills to the door.

They are quite placid, sociable, and all-round good cats to have around the home. They aren’t overly demanding, high maintenance, or playful, making them an easy to care for cat in most respects.

Origin and history of the breed

The American Shorthair cat, although it has the word “American” in it, actually originates from Europe. It is somewhat unclear which other cat breeds went into making this one, and exactly how far back this breed dates is also somewhat unclear.

However, what is clear is that the American Shorthair breed is several hundred years old. Although they are not listed on the Manifest, it is a certainty that this cat breed was on the Mayflower that landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

Learn more about American Shorthair cats in the video below:

One of the main reasons they were brought over is because the sailboats were full of disease-ridden rats, and these cats have a proclivity for hunting and killing said rats. There is actually a publication from 1634 which credits these cats with saving several farm crops due to their ability to hunt and kill vermin with maximum efficiency.

By the 1900s, the American Shorthair had made quite the impact and was exhibited in cat shows all throughout the US.

Physical standards of the breed

Health and possible diseases

American shorthair cats tend to be quite healthy cats. They are not known for having many diseases or health issues. One of the only things which one of these cats may suffer from is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart disease found in many cats.

Other than that, they tend to be very healthy and have minimal health concerns to consider.

On a side note, American Shorthairs love to eat and if fed too much will easily become fat and overweight, so this is definitely something to watch out for.

Grooming

In terms of grooming, thankfully these cats do not require too much of it. As the name implies, they have very short hair, and therefore, there is really no possibility of tangling or matting.

With that being said, you do still want to use a standard cat brush to remove loose hair – about twice per week should do fine.

The American Shorthair should not be bathed often, as it is bad for their coats. More baths than twice per year is not recommended. Other than that, these cats do not require much in the way of grooming.

Height and size

The American Shorthair is known as a medium-small cat breed. They usually do not get too large and are known to be a bit stalky and bulky.

They are not long and slender like some other cat breeds, but a bit boxier; their thick fur makes them look even boxier than they really are. At their shoulders, the males are generally between 12 and 14 inches, with females being a bit smaller and coming in at between 10 to 12 inches in height at the shoulders.

They are not overly large cats.

Weight

When it comes to weight, these cats are not super heavy. The males are a bit bigger than the females, with male American Shorthair cats coming in at 14 to 16 pounds, and the slightly smaller females coming in at 10 to 15 pounds.

Activeness

In terms of energy and activity, the American Shorthair is pretty moderate. They are not overly active, but also not lazy. They enjoy bird watching on window sills and if given the chance, they love to hunt for prey, especially vermin.

They do enjoy a good play for a few minutes as they are natural hunters, but when they are not hunting or watching birds, they aren’t doing much. They love to sit on the couch and just do nothing.

Hypoallergenic

Unfortunately no, the American Shorthair cat is not hypoallergenic. It does have short and thick fur, but they shed quite a bit and that dander and pet hair can get all over the house.

While they are not as bad for people with pet allergies as some other cats, they are by no means ideal if you have a cat allergy.

Lifespan

American Shorthairs are known to be quite long-lived, so be prepared to make quite a commitment when you purchase one of these felines.

They are known to live for 15 years at the least, and they top out at around 20 years of age, with 17 or 18 years old being the average maximum lifespan for these cats.

Caring Difficulty

American Shorthair cats are fairly easy to take care of. Their fairly relaxed and mellow nature means that they do well in homes and around kids.

They don’t require too much grooming, but you will need to wipe their eyes on occasion, clean out their ears regularly, brush them twice per week, and clip their nails on occasion.

In terms of difficulty, they are moderately easy to care for. Just give them some good food, but not too much, some toys, and a window sill to watch birds from.

Where to get a American Shorthair

If you are looking to purchase an American Shorthair cat, it is always recommended that you find a breeder, a real certified breeder that can provide you with papers in regards to pedigree and immunizations.

You will want to avoid breeders which claim that their cats do not involve a lineage which suffers from heart disease, as the vast majority of these cats, their lineages, all have heart disease in some respect.

If a breeder tells you that his kittens are from an HCM-free line, they should be avoided.

How much does a American Shorthair Cat cost?

The cost of these cats really depends on where you buy them and their lineage. Generally speaking, be prepared to spend around $600 at the least, and around $1,200 at the most.

Choosing the right type of American Shorthair Cat

Which American Shorthair you get is up to you. These cats come in over 80 different patterns and colorations, so just get the one which you find the most appealing.

Ask the breeder about the health concerns and personalities of the parent cats to determine, or at least estimate, what the health and personality of the kittens will be like.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a American Shorthair Cat

What do they require?

American shorthair cats require regular grooming; they like to play and hunt; they need a bed, a scratch post and some toys.

Be prepared to check for heart issues, make sure not to overfeed them due to a tendency to get fat, and give them their space. These cats really do not require too much care or maintenance.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

As we have mentioned several times now, American Shorthairs do like to hunt and they like to be on their own at times. In other words, besides taking care of grooming and feeding needs, you don’t have to give them much attention.

While they are peaceful and friendly, they are not fond of being picked up or sitting in laps.

Characteristics of American Shorthair Cats

Behavior

These cats are fairly friendly, well mannered, calm and docile. They like to play at times, but often also like to be on their own. They are not aggressive and tend to be great house pets.

Pattern

As we have mentioned above, these cats come in a large variety of patterns and colors, more than 80 variations.

Affectionate

The American Shorthair is moderately affectionate. It does not mind playing with humans or being pet on occasion. However, they don’t like being picked up or sitting in laps. They are not overly affectionate.

Dog/child-friendly

While they might ignore kids and dogs, they are not aggressive or mean towards them. They just might not care either way.

Intelligence

The American Shorthair is considered to be one of the smarter cat breeds out there. They are intelligent, skilled hunters, and if done right, they are easily trained as well.

Energy

In terms of the energy level of this cat, it’s not overly energetic when just around the home. It enjoys playing, but also enjoys lounging and sleeping.

However, if it sees something that it considers to be prey, its energy level will spike, at least until that rat or bird is dead.

Maintenance

These cats are not too hard to maintain. Besides ensuring a proper diet and avoiding overfeeding, they don’t require much.

Just look after their coat, claws, teeth, and ears, provide with some cat scratch posts and toys, and give them a bit of affection. They are generally quite low-maintenance cats.

Types of American Shorthair

There are no other types of American Shorthair cats per say, but as we mentioned before, they do come in many variations in terms of colors and patterns.

Color and Pattern

American shorthairs come in a variety of colors, patterns, and combinations, over 80 in fact. They can come in pretty much any color and pattern that any other cat breeds come in.

The amount of choice here is great if you are picky in terms of what you want your cat to look like.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, the American Shorthair is easy to care for, has moderate energy levels, is friendly, yet don’t require too much attention, and have minimal health concerns.

They make for the perfect family pet.

Abyssinian: The Ultimate Guide to Their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care

If you are thinking of getting a new cat, you may have considered an Abyssinian cat. These are really beautiful cats that will give any other cat a run for its money in terms of energy and playfulness.

These cats absolutely love to chew and scratch on stuff. Either way, let’s take a closer look at these cats to see what they are all about.

What's the nature of the breed?

The nature of the Aby is a super adventurous, playful, and destructive one. These cats never sit still; they love to hunt animals, play with toys, and explore new places.

Here's a short clip about Abyssinian and what you need to know about it: 

These cats are said to be super smart and highly inquisitive, and thus they will get their claws into anything and everything. They love heights as well and they love to jump up trees, window sills, refrigerators and everything in between.

This is a high-paced cat with more energy than most people have.

Origin and history of the breed

The origins of the Aby are somewhat unknown. Based on genetic tests, it is assumed that this cat originally comes from near the Indian Ocean and Southeastern Asia.

It is possible that this cat was brought to England from India, or the Indonesian Islands by British or Dutch traders. The first mention of this breed in print is in 1872 in an issue of Harper’s weekly. 

To be fair, there are no records of origin for the Aby, only pure speculation. The first Abyssinians were introduced to the US around 1900, with the first breeding program in the US being started at around 1930.

It’s lucky that this cat made it to the States when it did, because across the rest of the world, this cat breed was devastated by WWII. 

Physical standards of the breed

Health and possible diseases

One thing which you need to know about the Aby is that it is widely known for having multiple health issues. They tend to be fairly healthy when young, but as they age, they are susceptible to a multitude of health issues such as early-onset periodontal disease; they have various kidney diseases which they are susceptible to, and are also known for developing degenerative eye diseases.

Besides that, the Aby is also known for its tendency to develop hyperesthesia syndrome, which is a serious neurological issue, as well as patellar luxation, which is a hereditary dislocation of the kneecap.

As you can see, if you get an Aby, you need to be prepared to spend on medical bills, as they have a vast array of health issues which they may suffer as they age. 

Grooming

Luckily for Aby owners, these cats don’t require all that much in terms of grooming. They have relatively short fur and don’t shed too badly.

However, with that said, brushing once per week is recommended, just to remove dead hair and skin. They should never develop fur matts because the hair is short, but it does happen sometimes.

Moreover, you want to bathe your Aby no more than twice per year, as it is not good for their coats. To help stave off early onset periodontal disease, you do want to brush their teeth at least twice per week, if not more.

You will also want to groom or cut their claws accordingly, as well as clean out their ears with cotton balls about once per week.

Height and size

Abyssinians are not overly large cats. They are medium in build, tend to be relatively slender, have long tails, and really big and pointy ears.

They make for a good medium-size house cat. The males and females tend to be about the same size, with their shoulders topping out at around 10 inches in height, sometimes as little as 8 inches.

As you can see, they are not the largest domestic cat breed.

Weight

The Aby is not a very heavy cat either. It’s slender and sleek build usually never weighs more than 12 pounds. A fully grown Abyssinian can weigh as little as 6 pounds, with the average weight being anywhere between 8 and 10 pounds.

Activeness

The Aby is one of the most active, energetic, and hyper cats around. They love to spend all day running around and exploring.

They absolutely love to get their claws, as well as their teeth, into everything. They love to chew and scratch things apart, so if you don’t want them messing with your furniture and belongings, you’d better get them toys and scratch posts to keep them occupied.

These cats also love to play with people. In terms of activeness, they are perhaps one of the most hyperactive cats around.

Hypoallergenic

Although Abys are not 100% hypoallergenic, cats like this are shown to have lower levels of Fel d 1, which is a main allergen that causes outbreaks or reactions in people with cat allergies.

This is not 100% proven, but there is strong evidence to support it. However, as we mentioned before, they are still known to cause reactions in some.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of this cat is around 12 to 13 years. Some of them have been known to get as old as 15 or 16 years of age, but that is pushing it.

Due to the many health issues which these cats can suffer from, their average lifespan is significantly shorter than that of many other cat breeds.

Caring Difficulty

The Aby is quite difficult to care for. While they do not require too much grooming, their high level of activity and propensity to tear apart anything they can get their claws on does require a certain degree of dedication.

Where to get a Abyssinian Cat

These cats are fairly rare, but there are breeders across the world. The bottom line is that if you want to be sure of what you are getting, you need to go to a certified breeder, one that will provide you with all of the proper papers.

You might find them online or in animals shelters on occasion.

How much does a Abyssinian Cat cost?

Your average Aby is going to run you anywhere from $900 to $1,200 for a kitten. However, kittens coming from distinguished lines and award winners may run you up to $2,000.

Choosing the right type of Abyssinian

When choosing an Abyssinian, you would be wise to inquire into the specific genetic line of the kittens and their parents. Seeing as these cats can suffer from a number of health issues, finding a cat that has relatively healthy ancestors is the main thing to look for.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a Abyssinian Cat

What do they require?

Abys really do not require all that much. You need to groom them once per week, clip their nails on occasion, clean their ears regularly, and provide them with a proper diet.

Other than that, you want to get them scratching posts and toys so they don’t shred your home.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

In terms of care, as mentioned above, they require moderate care, and in terms of attention, they require moderate attention.

They do love to play, but they are not overly affectionate and are certainly not lap cats. Keep in mind that if you don’t keep them busy, they will find a way to do it themselves.

Characteristics of Abyssinian Cats

Behavior

These cats are energetic, smart, inquisitive, and always on the move. Whether they are chasing a mouse, scratching a post, or jumping on top of the fridge to see what is going on, these cats never sit still.

They love to play but hate being picked up or sitting in laps.

Pattern

Abys can come in a variety of colors, but no matter the color, they tend to have a lighter stomach and neck, with a dark top of the tail and a dark back, with their legs sitting about in the middle in terms of darkness.

Affectionate

While they like to play and they like the occasional belly rub, they are not overly affectionate. They are not lap cats.

Dog/child-friendly

Yes, Abys are fairly friendly towards kids and dogs. However, they have been known to get a little frustrated when animals or young children continuously bother them.

Intelligence

Abys are known for being some very smart and inquisitive cats. They are great problem solvers and have been known to often trick their owners in various ways. These cats are relatively intelligent as far as cats go.

Energy

As mentioned several times now, in terms of energy, these are non-stop cats. Have you seen the Energizer bunny? You know, that bunny in the battery commercials that never dies and pounds on the drums all day long. That is the Abby

Maintenance

Besides regular grooming, a good diet, some nail clipping, and the provision of toys and items to rip to shreds, there is not too much in terms of maintenance.

Types of Abyssinians

In terms of different types of Abyssinians, technically there is only this one breed or type. However, they can come in a variety of colors.

They usually all have the same pattern which we talked about above, but they can come in red, blue, fawn, a cinnamon color, and ruddy as well.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the Aby is a very high-energy cat that needs a fair amount of attention, and if you don’t give it to them, they will most likely rip your home to shreds.

It is a very energetic and playful cat that will never have you bored or short on anything to keep you busy. These cats are friendly and can be slightly affectionate, but not overly so.

They aren’t too hard to maintain and don’t need too much grooming either. They are certainly both smart and good looking.

47 Different Cat Breeds

Some people think that cats are just cats, and that they are all the same. Those same people might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of different cat breeds, and each of them has its own specific traits, both in appearance and personality. Today we are going to take a look at 47 of our favorite cat breeds, and tell you a little bit about each one.

1. Abyssinian

This is a highly energetic cat that has the appearance of an Egyptian cat. It is not necessarily a lap cat, as it is very active, and it loves to climb to the highest points possible. This is a cat that is always on alert.

2. American Bobtail

The American Bobtail may look like a wild cat, but it is actually a very friendly and playful breed. These cats love attention from their humans, and will not hesitate to let you know when they want to play.

3. American Curl

Here is a cat that has absolutely adorable, curly ears. This is a breed that is known to be very affectionate, and they thrive on attention. They love their people, and they are also good with other animals.

4. American Wirehair

This cat has a curly coat that is low-maintenance. They are calm and friendly, and love to play without being too hyperactive. This is a cat that wants attention, but isn’t going to be demanding about it.

5. Balinese or Javanese

These cats are named for dancers, because they are so lithe and graceful. They are also extremely affectionate, and will follow you from room to room. They also love to talk, a lot, and are very devoted.

6. Bengal

If you want an exotic looking cat, the Bengal is perfect. They have the look of a wild, jungle cat, but they are extremely loving. They do have a lot of energy, and are highly intelligent so they are easily trained.

7. Birman

Here is a beauty that was once worshipped in temples in Burma. Not only is it beautiful, the Birman is also one of the sweetest and gentlest breeds you will ever have the pleasure of owning (or them owning you).

8. Bombay

Who says black cats are bad luck? The Bombay is black and beautiful, and incredibly affectionate. They love everyone, including children, and will follow their people around to get the attention they desire.

9. British Shorthair

This adorable, round-faced cat kind of looks like a small teddy bear, and is Britain’s most popular feline. This is a cat with a sweet and gentle disposition, and gets along well with people and other animals.

10. Burmese

A mix of the Burmese and the Chinchilla Persian, this cat has a playful and sociable temperament, and is quiet and easy going at the same time. This is a cat that is playful and laid back all at once.

12. Chartreux

This is a well-mannered cat that is sweet and quiet, and loves to be affectionate. It is also known to be an excellent mouser. It loves to relax, but it also loves some good play sessions with its people.

13. Chausie

This is a cat that is fast and fearless, and will always keep you on your toes. This is also a very intelligent cat, and it will have no problem finding the most out of the way spots to hide and play.

14. Colorpoint Shorthair

Here is a cat that is very affectionate, and very sensitive. It also loves to talk, and let you know exactly how it is feeling as it follows you around the house, waiting to be pampered and talked to.

15. Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is slim and graceful, and has a gorgeous curly coat. It loves to play, and has an abundance of energy. This is also a very intelligent cat that can be trained to do a few tricks, including opening doors.

16. Cymric

This is basically a long-haired Manx. It generally has no tail, and a stocky body. This is a cat that is playful and loves affection, but can also be quite independent at the same time. It is also very territorial.

17. Devon Rex

The short wavy coat, big ears, and big eyes make this cat very recognizable. This is a cat with tons of energy, and it is very dexterous. It can jump and climb like nobody’s business, and it loves people.

18. Donskoy

This is a hairless cat that loves people, whether it knows them or not, but is particularly affectionate with what it considers to be its people. It is very curious, and very affectionate, and wants to be loved.

19. Egyptian Mau

Here is a cat that can adapt to just about any situation, and is happy as an indoor or outdoor cat. It is an excellent hunter, and will likely bring you back presents after each hunting trip.

20. Exotic Shorthair

This cat has the facial features of a Persian, but not the long hair so it isn’t nearly as high-maintenance. It is easy going and affectionate, while being playful and active at the same time.

21. Havana Brown

Here is a cat that absolutely thrives on love and affection, and wants as much attention as you can possibly give. He loves to watch everything you do, and will constantly try to get your attention for cuddles.

22. Highlander

This is a very large cat with wild cat roots, but is a comical house pet with a great personality. This can be a bit of a goofball, and it loves to show off. This is a cat that loves people, even children.

23. Himalayan

This is the best of both worlds, a combination of the Siamese and the Persian. It is an absolutely gorgeous cat, with the gentleness of the Persian and the playfulness of Siamese cat, and it is very affectionate.

24. Japanese Bobtail

Here is a highly confident cat that gets along well with other people and animals, and it loves to talk. Because it is so confident, it can easily be left to its own devices for a few hours without getting lonely.

25. Khao Manee

This beautiful cat is pure white, with odd colored eyes, one gold and one blue. This is a rare breed, and one of the most social and devoted cats you will ever meet, and it loves to get lots of attention.

26. Kinkalow

This small cat is a little ball of energy, and loves lots of play time with its humans. It love to sleep on its back, and oddly enough, enjoys being on a trampoline. It has short, stubby legs, and curled ears.

27. Korat

This is a cat that wants to be the center of attention, at all times. It is highly intelligent, and has a huge vocal range that it is not afraid to use at any time to get the attention it expects and demands.

28. Kurilian Bobtail

This bobtailed cat has the look of a wild cat, and loves a rough and tumble lifestyle. It even likes to go swimming. It is gentle and loving, and loves most people. It even gets along well with other pets.

29. Lambkin Dwarf

Here is a tiny, short cat that is so adorable, with Munchkin and Selkirk Rex roots that give it a sweet and loving disposition. This is the ideal blend of both breeds, and it is one of the cutest cats you will ever see.

30. LaPerm

The name suits this cat with curly fur, and it is as cuddly as it is cute. This is actually an extremely affectionate cat that will tune into your emotions and comfort you when you need it.

31. Maine Coon Cat

This is one of the larger housecat breeds, and one of the oldest breeds originating in the US. This is a rugged, strong cat that has water-repellant fur. It is highly affectionate, and loves lots of cuddles.

32. Manx

Here is another cat with no tail, and that isn’t its only strange characteristic. This is a cat that is very protective of its home, and its people. It is also the most dog-like of all the cats, and loves to play fetch.

33. Minskin

This is a miniature cat that has extremely short legs, and the body is mostly hairless. This is a very unique little cat that is small in size, but huge in personality. It loves affection, and is highly intelligent.

34. Munchkin

This is a tiny cat with a huge heart, and is social with just about everyone. It even loves to be picked up, when not being cuddled, is a little ball of energy that loves to be active and play a lot.

35. Nebelung

Here is a cat that acts as distinguished as it looks. It is affectionate, but reserves its love for a very select group of people, usually just its owners. This is a quiet and low-maintenance cat that is very sensitive.

36. Norwegian Forest Cat

This is a strong and muscular cat that has one of the sweetest dispositions. It is very affectionate and even nurturing, and loves everyone it meets, even kids. It also has a lot of energy, and love to play.

37. Ocicat

This cat looks wild and exotic, but it is actually one of the sweetest breeds. This cat has no wild DNA, and is overly friendly at most times. You can even train it to go for walks on a leash.

38. Ojos Azules

This blue-eyed beauty can be is probably one of the rarest cat breeds you will find. It does love attention, and it is absolutely gorgeous. If you can find one of these hard to get cats, it is definitely meant to be.

39. Oriental

Here is a cat that will do just about anything to get the attention it craves. It loves belly rubs, and loves to talk until you finally talk back. If you want a companion, this is definitely the cat for you.

40. Persian

This is the most popular cat breed, for its beauty, and for its awesome personality. This is a relaxed and good natured cat, but it does require a lot of maintenance because of its long, lustrous coat.

41. Peterbald

This is another hairless cat that is highly intelligent, and very devoted to its people. It loves lots of affection, and wants plenty of cuddles and play time. This is another cat that loves to talk.

42. Pixie Bob

Here is a smart cat that can even learn to understand a few human words, and it can be leash trained to go for walks. This is another cat breed that has a personality similar to that of a dog.

43. Ragdoll

This big fluffy kitty can be carried around like a ragdoll, hence the name. It is laid back and mellow, and loves attention from just about everyone. It will follow you from room to room just to be near you.

44. Russian Blue

Here is a quiet and gentle cat that is an introvert and shy near strangers. It also doesn’t like large crowds or a lot of noise. But, it does love the humans it lives with, and is very affectionate.

45. Savannah Cat

Here is a cat that has it all: beauty, intelligence, and grace. This is an athletic cat that has plenty of energy, and it can be trained to walk on a leash. It can jump as high as eight feet, straight up.

46. Scottish Fold

You can’t help but fall in love with those big eyes and folded ears. This is an adorable little cat that is sweet and gentle, and loves everyone. It will be playful for most of its life, and loves to pose for photos.

47. Selkirk Rex

This is a cat with a thick, plush coat that is curly and soft. It is playful and affectionate, but is also very calm and mellow. It loves people, and gets along well with other pets.

Just for fun, here's a short video of the cat breeds that made it to the top 10 list:

This list is just a subjective list from some group of people and of course, the choices of the top and best breeds would still be up to you.