How To Identify An American Shorthair Cat | Things to Know About An American Shorthair Cat
How to Identify an American Shorthair Cat
The American shorthair cat is a breed that goes back centuries in America. The cats were first brought over in ships from Europe by settlers to help with rodent population control; in fact, records show these cats were even on the Mayflower.Overtime, the cats were bred to be sturdier, stronger cats, able to hunt well and survive long winters, which is why one of their defining characteristics is a strong, muscular body.When identifying an American shorthair, look for that body type, along with an average body size, and an easygoing personality.
Finding Defining Physical Characteristics
Pay attention to a large head.American shorthairs have an uncommonly large head, particularly in relation to their body size. If you're trying to identify an American shorthair, see if the head seems a bit too large for the cat.
Notice full cheeks.One defining characteristic of an American shorthair is a wide face, particularly in the cheeks. The cheeks should seem round and full, which can make the cat look happier. A narrow face is not characteristic of this breed.
Look for short ears.American shorthairs tend to have shorter ears than other cat breeds. In addition, the ears tend to be pointed. Check the ears on the cat in question to see if they seem shorter than average.
Check for a muscular body.American shorthairs were breed to be hearty, muscular cats. Their primary job early on in America was rodent control, particularly on farms. Therefore, over the years, they began to develop strong bodies, so look for sturdy cats with a muscular build.
- These cats will often have a full head and neck, as well as stout legs.
Note thick winter fur.Obviously, a shorthair cat is going to have short hair. However, these cats also tend to develop hearty coats during the winter to protect themselves form harsh weather, so their coats will get thicker and longer. In addition, their fur isn't particularly soft, as its main purpose is protection.
- As far as coloring goes, they come in a wide variety of colors, from tabby to tortoiseshell and calico.
Check the lineage.If you are looking for a purebred American shorthair, you need to look to the lineage, which is why using a reputable breeder is important. One of the defining characteristics of any cat breed is the fact that it can reproduce cats in the same breed, rather than a collection of different breeds.
Check its weight.A male cat of this breed is typically 11 to 15 pounds. The female is a bit smaller, usually 6 to 12 pounds. This cat is a medium-sized breed, so it should look basically like an average-sized cat if you're trying to eyeball it.
Look at the cat's height.As a medium-sized breed, American shorthairs are about average height. Most cats in this breed are 10 to 14 inches tall, so see if the cat is in that range when trying to identify the breed.
Learning About Its Personality
Look for a sociable cat.If you're looking for a friendly, affectionate cat, it's hard to go wrong with this breed. They enjoy being around you, and they will cuddle with you when you're nearby. Plus, they don't mind being picked up.
Note if the cat is low-maintenance.While American shorthairs are perfectly friendly, they are also fine being on their own. In other words, they aren't a cat that will be on top of you all the time. That means if you have a busy life, a shorthair may be a good option for you.
- While they are low-maintenance, they still enjoy play time with you. Try a game that has a bait on the end of a pole that you can make dance for your cat.
Notice a quiet cat.American shorthairs will talk to you by meowing. However, they aren't especially noisy cats. They generally will show you what they want rather than talking to you. If you want a cat that will hold a "conversation" with you, this breed may not be for you, though it does depend on the cat, of course.
See if the cat plays well with others.Because these cats are easy-going, they do well with families, including those with younger children. They are also usually fine with other pets in the household, including dogs.
Look for a respectable breeder online.If you’re looking to adopt a kitten, browse different American Shorthair breeders on the internet until you find one that seems legitimate. Avoid any breeders that let you have any kitten you want, have multiple litters up for adoption at once, and/or allow you to pay with a credit card online.
Request pedigree documentation from the breeder.When purchasing a kitten from purebred parents, ask the breeder to show you the pedigree registration documents as an absolute means of identifying them as American Shorthairs. Any reputable breeder will have this documentation and be willing to give it to you.
Have a DNA test done.Purchase a home DNA test for your kitten or cat so that you can identify it for certain. Collect a sample of cheek cells on a special swab and send it off to the reference lab to be analyzed. The company that you do this through will then give you a genetic breakdown of the cat's parentage.
- Go with a company that has a lot of information and DNA samples in order to ensure that you get the most accurate results.
QuestionWhere can I purchase a large litter pan for an 18-pound-cat who's big, not fat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should be able to find more accommodating litter trays (as well as larger-sized accessories like litter tray liners) in any of the pet superstores or bigger pet shops near you. Litter trays for dogs are becoming common; while without a top-cover, this may be a good solution for your larger cat.Thanks!
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