Kitten History: American Shorthair

The American Shorthair kitten's good looks can be traced back to early American settlers.

By Stacy Hackett

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American Shorthair © Helmi Flick

Your sweet American Shorthair kitten charms you with his tabby good looks. He owes his natural beauty to a long line of cats that can trace their history back to the early American settlers.

Documents from the Mayflower note that the ship carried several cats to control the ship's rat population. When the Mayflower arrived in America, the pilgrims kept these working cats as pets. These felines traveled across the country with their pioneer owners, establishing themselves as the American cat.

As the cat fancy became established, these beautiful tabbies became the stars. Selective breeding to preserve the characteristics of the breed began in the early 20th century, and the Domestic Shorthair (renamed the American Shorthair in 1966) was one of the first five breeds registered by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906. Even today, the American Shorthair retains its popularity, consistently winning new fans and placing in the top-10 breeds year after year.

- Return to the American Shorthair Breed Profile -

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

8/30/2013 11:54:25 PM

I love them.

Cindy    Ellwood City,, PA

1/27/2011 1:50:21 PM

According to my cats veterinarian papers they are American Shorthairs. Tina is the mommy of Magellan and both are black & white. Magellan is a perfect tuxedo and Tina has random black spots over a mostly white body. As I am reading this article the American shorthair is a tabby color. I would like to find out more about what breed of cats I have.

Mary Beth    Lawler, IA

7/26/2008 11:06:31 AM

The picture in the American Shorthair looks like what I have been told is called an Oce, crossed with an ocelot. Can you verify this?

Emma    Ashtabula, OH

3/19/2008 5:39:31 PM

This is a good thing to learn and really awesome and cool.I think it's great,too.

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