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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 13:35 EDT

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is a descendant of English cats which were brought on ships to North America by settlers to protect their cargo from rodents. Today the American Shorthair is the most popular breed of cat in the United States.

American Shorthairs can be medium to large cats, not reaching their full size until 3 to 4 years of age. They have very powerful legs, strong paws and a square muzzle. Their coat is short, dense and stiff, thickening in the winter and shedding in the summer. American Shorthairs can easily become overweight.

As a breed, the American Shorthair is very affectionate with very few behavioral problems and a cheerful disposition. They typically are very good with children and other animals, including dogs. Although friendly, it is also a hunting breed, and can easily survive either indoors or out.

Grooming the coat of an American Shorthair is a low maintenance job, it needs an occasional brushing and wiping with a damp cloth. A shedding comb will help prevent hairballs in the summer. American Shorthairs come in over 100 varieties of colors, and their pads, eyes and nose will always match their coloring.

American Shorthair