A-Z OF CAT BREEDS, WORLDWIDE
Although they weren't listed on the manifest, American shorthairs are thought to have descended from the cats on the Mayflower which disembarked with the crew in 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
It is possible that they landed in the United States even earlier on ships carrying settlers to Virginia in the Jamestown colony and maybe with the Spanish explorers landing in Florida. They might have accompanied the Vikings when landing in Newfoundland, Canada.
Farmers and storeholders needed to protect their food stores from mice and rats. The Shorthairs were strong cats suited to the wild terrain back then.
They were recognised by The Cat Fanciers Association in 1906. However, they were shown at the first U.S. cat show in 1895. In 1896, one brown tabby American Shorthair was offered for sale for $2,500 at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden. The pedigree cats were given the name American Shorthair in 1966. Previously they were called Domestic Shorthair.
These cats have solid muscularly built bodies with a large head and chubby cheeks. A true breed of a working cat with athletic looks, retaining its hunting ability. They have a large assortment of colours and patterned fur, some of the most popular being silver. The fur is short and thick, making it easy to groom. Males, weighing 11 to 15 pounds, are generally larger than the females at 6 to 12 pounds.
Personality wise, the American Shorthair fits in OK with families who have children and cat friendly dogs. It is a social cat and is unlikely to run away from strangers.
Their lifespan is 15+ years.