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American Shorthair Cat Breed Profile

by Crystal Jordan

American Shorthair Calico Cat

American Shorthair Calico Cat

When the early British settlers first came to North America by means of sailing ships they brought many things with them. They already knew that it would take them quite a long time going to the New World and they made many preparations for the trip. One of the brilliant things they did was to put cats on the ships to protect the stored goods from rats. These cats were a great help to them and, subsequently, became the forebears of today's American Shorthair cat, originally known as the Domestic Shorthair and, alternatively, as the North American Shorthair.


The cats that were brought from Europe were also known as mousers because they were known to be good mouse catchers as well as rat hunters, especially on board the ships. After being brought to America they had to become accustomed to their new environment. Living in this new world, they learned to adjust in order to survive.

As a result they developed new traits and characteristics. Initially referred to as simply "Domestic Shorthair", the name of the breed was officially changed in 1966 to "American Shorthair" in an attempt to recognize what had become known as the 'all-American' traits of this specific breed.

This new breed was a product of natural cross breeding. They naturally evolved into a breed of cat known to be quite athletic and, as mousers go, an exemplary at their work. It wasn't long, however, before they became recognized as much for their kindly disposition and beautiful confirmation as they were for their rat catching expertise!

This breed of cat is adaptable and affectionate. They easily get along with children and even dogs. They range in size anywhere between eight and fifteen pounds with the males being somewhat larger. They are known for their good health, low maintenance and can easily live to be more than fifteen years old.

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