Skip to main content - The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

  • See All Cat Topics

American Shorthair

American Shorthair Cat Breed Profile

Weight 6.6-9.9 lbs (3-4.5 kg)
Origin England
Color Brown, silver, black, white, cream; multi-colored
Fur Short, thick
Lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Loyal, docile, adaptable, calm

American Shorthair Photo: Andrew Ivan/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The American Shorthair is larger, slimmer and stronger than its relative, the British Shorthair.

Personality and Temperament

The American Shorthair has a calm, friendly and very well-balanced character. They're ideal for anyone who has never had a cat before.


They’re not especially active but not particularly lazy either. They’re not clingy but also not reserved or aloof. They talk (meow) a little but not too much. They’re intelligent and love playing with toys but don’t constantly need new challenges like other cats. They’re kind of the “perfect mix”.

The American Shorthair isn’t a shy cat that will hide from strangers. They usually get on with people well. And even dogs. But there’s one thing this cat doesn’t like: being picked up. They prefer sitting right next to their humans rather than jumping onto their laps.

American Shorthair Photo: Vimvipa Kosasaeng/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Good choice for first-timers
  • Playful
  • Affectionate
  • Tolerates being alone
  • Gets along well with other pets
  • Easy grooming


  • Gets overweight easily

American Shorthair Photo: Vimvipa Kosasaeng/Shutterstock

Popular Cat Breed

The Cat Fanciers' Association (an American cat breeding organization) publishes a list of the most popular cat breeds each year based on all newly registered cats in that year. The American Shorthair took 8th place out of 10 in 2021. Unfortunately, it didn't make it into the top 10 in 2022.



The American Shorthair is a medium to large cat with an open, cute face and large eyes. Their faces are slightly angular. As they used to be hunters, they have strong, muscular bodies, are agile and have good stamina. Their fur is dense and short and can be various different colors (one color or multi-colored) as well as a range of patterns (tabby, tortoiseshell, calico etc.).

American Shorthair Photo: Vimvipa Kosasaeng/Shutterstock


It wasn’t just humans that traveled across the Atlantic Ocean after the discovery of America. There were cats on board those ships too! How come? Food stores (on board as well as in the new land) were vulnerable to mice, rats and other rodents. They ate people’s rations and spread disease. So people took cats with them to keep these rodents in check. The American Shorthair is one of these cats that “migrated” from England to America as “simple” house cats. It has been recognized as a separate cat breed since 1906.

Comparable Breeds

American Shorthair Photo: Vimvipa Kosasaeng/Shutterstock