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American Shorthair
American Shorthair

Emigrated from Europe to America

Breed Standard










Cat (Felis catus)
List of Cat Breeds

The American Shorthair (ASH) is a breed of domestic cat believed to be descended from European cats brought to North America by early settlers to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats.[1] According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, in 2020, it was the eighth most popular pedigreed cat in the world.[2]


When settlers sailed to North America they carried cats on board ships to protect their stores from mice. Many of these cats "settled" in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early this century a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats. The American Shorthair is also called the Mouser because they caught mice on ships.


A very athletic cat, American Shorthair has a larger, leaner, and more powerfully built body than its relation, the British Shorthair. It is also known as a "working cat."

American Shorthairs are a pedigreed cat with strict standards and a distinctive appearance as set by the various Cat Fanciers Associations worldwide.

Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the "American Shorthair" to better represent its "All American" character and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the notion that the American shorthair is distinct from non-pedigreed, short-haired cats in the United States.[3] A non-pedigreed shorthaired cat (called a Domestic Shorthair) might resemble an American Shorthair, just as another non-pedigreed cat might look like a Siamese, Persian or Maine Coon. The difference, however, is that American shorthairs are a purebred cat and are recognized as such by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).[3]

Personality and History[]

The American Shorthair is usually very personable and affectionate. Usually outgoing, the American shorthair takes pride in greeting visitors to its home. The American Shorthair is America's own breed, whose ancestors came to North America with early settlers from Europe. Records indicate that the Mayflower carried several American shorthairs to hunt ship's rats. For centuries, 'working cats' flourished along with their pioneer owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthaired cat. Their beauty and loving nature came to be valued as much as their rat-catching skills.


When settlers sailed from Europe to North America, they carried cats on board (ships' cats) to protect the stores from mice[4]—for instance, the cats that came over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims to hunt rats on the ship and in the colony.[5] Many of these cats landed in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early in the 20th century, a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats.

The American Shorthair is a pedigree cat breed, with a strict conformation standard, as set by cat fanciers of the breed and the North American cat fancier associations such as The International Cat Association (TICA)[6] and the Cat Fanciers' Association. The breed is accepted by all North American cat registries. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the "American Shorthair" to better represent its "all-American" origins and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the fact that the breed is a pedigreed breed distinct from the random-bred non-pedigreed domestic short-haired cats in North America, which may nevertheless resemble the ASH. Both the American Shorthair breed and the random-bred cats from which the breed is derived are sometimes called working cats because they were used for controlling rodent populations, on ships and farms. American shorthair (then referred as Domestic shorthair) was among the first five breeds that were considered as registered cat breeds by CFA during 1906.[4][7]


Calico cats

American Shorthairs come in all colors, divisions and categories. The Amеrican Shorthair is recognized in an unlimited variety of different colors and patterns ranging from the striking brown patched tabby to the glistеning blue-eyed white, the beautiful shaded silvers, smokes and cameos to the flashy calico van, and many colors in between. The most well-known American Shorthair color today is the cameo tabby, with dense orange markings set on an off-white background.


The Silver Tabby


  • Blue Eyed White
  • Copper Eyed White
  • Green Eyed White
  • Aqua Eyed White
  • Odd Eyed White
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Chocolate
  • Lilac
  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Blue Tabby
  • Chocolate Tabby
  • Lilac Tabby
  • Cinnamon Tabby
  • Fawn Tabby
  • Cream Tabby
  • Red Tabby
  • Brown Tabby
  • Silver Tabby
  • Blue Silver Tabby
  • Chocolate Silver Tabby
  • Lilac Silver Tabby
  • Cinnamon Silver Tabby
  • Fawn Silver Tabby
  • Golden Tabby
  • Blue Golden Tabby
  • Chocolate Golden Tabby
  • Lilac Golden Tabby
  • Cinnamon Golden Tabby
  • Fawn Golden Tabby
  • Red Cameo Tabby
  • Cream Cameo Tabby
  • Blue Torbie
  • Brown Torbie
  • Chocolate Torbie
  • Lilac Torbie
  • Cinnamon Torbie
  • Fawn Torbie
  • Silver Torbie
  • Blue Silver Torbie
  • Chocolate Silver Torbie
  • Lilac Silver Torbie
  • Cinnamon Silver Torbie
  • Fawn Silver Torbie
  • Golden Torbie
  • Blue Golden Torbie
  • Chocolate Golden Torbie
  • Lilac Golden Torbie
  • Cinnamon Golden Torbie
  • Fawn Golden Torbie
  • Blue Tortoiseshell
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Chocolate Tortoiseshell
  • Lilac Tortoiseshell
  • Cinnamon Tortoiseshell
  • Fawn Tortoiseshell
  • Chinchilla
  • Blue Chinchilla
  • Chocolate Chinchilla
  • Lilac Chinchilla
  • Cinnamon Chinchilla
  • Fawn Chinchilla
  • Golden Chinchilla
  • Blue Golden Chinchilla
  • Chocolate Golden Chinchilla
  • Lilac Golden Chinchilla
  • Cinnamon Golden Chinchilla
  • Fawn Golden Chinchilla
  • Shaded Silver
  • Blue Shaded Silver
  • Chocolate Shaded Silver
  • Lilac Shaded Silver
  • Cinnamon Shaded Silver
  • Fawn Shaded Silver
  • Shaded Golden
  • Blue Shaded Golden
  • Chocolate Shaded Golden
  • Lilac Shaded Golden
  • Cinnamon Shaded Golden
  • Fawn Shaded Golden
  • Shaded Blue Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Chocolate Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Lilac Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Cinnamon Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Fawn Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Golden Tortie
  • Blue Tortoiseshell Shaded Golden
  • Chocolate Tortoiseshell Shaded Golden
  • Lilac Tortoiseshell Shaded Golden
  • Cinnamon Tortoiseshell Shaded Golden
  • Fawn Tortoiseshell Shaded Golden
  • Blue Smoke
  • Black Smoke
  • Chocolate Smoke
  • Lilac Smoke
  • Cinnamon Smoke
  • Fawn Smoke
  • Blue Tortoiseshell Smoke
  • Smoke Tortoiseshell
  • Chocolate Tortoiseshell Smoke
  • Lilac Tortoiseshell Smoke
  • Cinnamon Tortoiseshell Smoke
  • Fawn Tortoiseshell Smoke
  • Shell Cameo
  • Shaded Cameo
  • Cameo Smoke
  • Cream Shell Cameo
  • Cream Shaded Cameo
  • Cream Cameo Smoke
  • and pointed, sepia and mink categories of all these colours and patterns all of them with or without white

See also[]


  1. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
  2. The Cat Fanciers’ Association Announces Most Popular Breeds for 2020. The Cat Fanciers' Association (February 25, 2021).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cat Fanciers' Association American Shorthair breed profile
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CFA
  5. “Cat Breeds – American Shorthair.” Pet Source. N.p.. Web. April 22, 2014.
  6. American Shorthair Breed. The International Cat Association (2019).
  7. Script error: No such module "citation/CS1".
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