American Shorthair (CABG) is a native American native breed whose ancestors arrived in North America with early settlers from Europe. Reports indicate that there were several cats (from the British Isles) on the Mayflower that arrived in America that were used to hunt rats. Over time, the "working cats" lived next to the settlers and, ultimately, established themselves as primordially North American shorthair cats. Their beauty and excellent health were valued as highly as rat extermination skills. These cats reproduced freely, without any restrictions or concern for the pedigree and color. Over the years that separated them from the European parental branch, they developed characteristic features. The American Shorthair, although at first glance reminiscent of the more well-known British Shorthair, larger than the latter, has a more stretched and athletically folded flexible muscular body and a long, very mobile tail tapering to the end, higher powerful legs, they have less broad heads and longer muzzles. And although, by standard, the muzzle is a little longer in length than in width, it still appears rounded due to the pronounced pads of vibrissae and well-developed cheeks, as well as a strong chin.
The hair, compared with the British, is less voluminous and close-fitting, which makes the color of these cats more contrasting. The blood of many generations of free living ancestors made the representatives of this breed hardy, fearless, intelligent. The value of this original breeding material was neglected for a long time, until, finally, American breeders engaged in its selection in order to preserve all that was natural and attractive that was in their domestic cats. In the shape of these cats there is not a hint of effeminacy; everything in this perfect creation suggests that this animal can take care of itself by itself if the need arises. Being representatives of a strong natural breed, these cats become non-troublesome pets with a gentle, friendly disposition. Out of these hardy freedom-loving cats, excellent pets are obtained that are not too susceptible to ailments and infectious diseases. Fans of North American shorthair cats acquired the brightest representatives of the breed and selected pedigree pairs in such a way as to preserve their appearance, pedigree qualities and unique beauty inherent in American shorthair, such as we know today.
Currently, this breed is stabilized, and only purebred producers are involved in breeding. To the American Shorthair it is forbidden to merge other, even related breeds. Although, some breeds still use the infusion of exactly American Shorthair cats - to improve health, give the body strength and strength, to obtain unique bright patterned colors. At the beginning of the 20th century, foreign breeds imported into the United States (longhair and Siamese) were bred with local shorthair cats, giving birth to kittens with different lengths of hair, body shape, color and character. From these crosses during further breeding, some new breeds are now popular. AKSH participated in the creation of such breeds as American Wirehair, Maine Coon, Exotic Shorthair, Devon Rex, Bombay, Ocicat, Scottish Fold, Bengal, Snow Shu, Canadian Sphynx and some others. Until now, some breeds are allowed the infusion of blood CABG. The Cat Lovers Association (CFA) officially recognized this breed as one of the first five registered breeds in 1906.
Originally registered as "Domestic Shorthair", the breed was renamed the "American Shorthair" in 1966 in order to better represent its "truly American" character, and to separate it from any other short-haired breed. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the idea that the original North American shorthair is significantly different from those domestic cats that can be seen in the streets, districts and poultry yards. It happened that a purebred shorthair cat could resemble an American shorthair, just as another randomly born cat could look something like a Siamese, British or Maine Coon. The difference, however, is that a purebred cat can produce kittens of the same type, coat quality, and temperament from generation to generation, while an arbitrarily born cat cannot. Years of systematic breeding and careful registration of many generations of cats guarantee that each litter of kittens will have certain qualities inherent in this particular breed. Currently, this breed is recognized by all the largest international felinological organizations.
The history of the origin of the American Shorthair
These animals have come a long way from unremarkable rat-catchers to the most popular cat breed in America. An interesting legend is connected with the history of their origin, which, alas, has not received documentary evidence. It says that the famous navigator Christopher Columbus, setting off in search of unknown India, ordered a cat to take on each ship in order to protect the foodstuff captured during the trip from damage by rodents. That is exactly how, according to legend, in the 15th century the ancestors of modern "American women" found themselves on the earth discovered by Columbus.
There is a more believable version of the origin of American Shorthair cats. The first likely ancestors of these felids appeared in the New World, arriving in America at the beginning of the 17th century with a group of English Protestants who subsequently founded the first British settlement of Jamestown. This is a completely reliable fact, confirmed by the records made in 1609.
Caught in an unusual climate, the animals began to gradually adapt to new conditions. Over time, their size became more impressive, and the coat became stiff and dense. Significantly strengthened and their health. For this and for their excellent skills in catching rats and mice, settlers highly valued them.
Free breeding of the ancestors of modern American cats lasted until the beginning of the last century. Having appreciated their resemblance to the "British" and their excellent character qualities, breeders from the USA decided to keep this breed. In 1904, CFA registered a cat named Buster Brown, a direct descendant of British cats that were introduced to America by colonists.
From that moment, American breeders developed a clear breeding plan for these animals. This had a positive effect on selection, because it was thanks to the “Americans” that they were able to create new cat breeds: snow shu, Ocicat, exotic, Devon Rex, etc.
In the middle of the last century, the CFA published its first catalog, which included about 50 "American women." At that time, representatives of this breed were known as domestic short-haired. Under this name, they first participated in a cat show. This event, which took place in 1966, was marked by the victory of the "American" nicknamed Shauni Trademark, who got the title "Cat of the Year". After that, the word "American" appeared in the name of the breed.
Description of the breed according to the standard
Having decided to have an American shorthair cat, it is not enough to have an idea about the appearance of these animals. In order not to subsequently be disappointed in your choice, it is recommended to carefully study the characteristics of the representatives of this breed. A cat is a full member of the family. So that the new four-legged inhabitant of the house easily fits into it, it is important what kind of disposition he possesses.
The appearance of the animal
The appearance of cats of the American breed is characterized by some roughness. However, they are not without grace. The weight of males is usually greater than the body weight of females by 3 kg. Cats weigh 7–8 kg, cats 4–5 kg. These animals grow quite slowly, acquiring the final proportions by only 4 years. Features of the appearance of "American":
- The head is in the shape of a square or rectangle. The length and width of the skull are approximately the same. They can differ only by a few millimeters. The forehead is slightly convex. This is especially noticeable in profile.
- A wide, shortened muzzle of a square shape with somewhat angular features. Cheeks are puffy, cheekbones are rounded. The nose is medium length. A developed chin formed by powerful jaws is perpendicular to the upper lip.
- Small rounded ears, pubescent with short hair, widely set apart.
- Round eyes of medium or large size at the base are almond-shaped. The distance between them is equal to the width of the organ of vision. Regardless of the color, in most cases the iris should be orange. In animals with silver hair, it has a green tint, with white - blue or orange. Perhaps a combination of these colors.
- A strong neck of medium length is proportional to the size of the body.
- A harmoniously folded body with rounded outlines is almost not elongated. The shoulders, chest and back of the body are developed. The back is wide and even.
- The tail is thickened at the base and tapers towards a rounded tip. The animal keeps it at the level of the back line.
- Extremities of moderate length with heavy muscles.
- The coat is short, hard to the touch, shiny. The undercoat layer acquires a denser structure with the approach of winter.
- Colors are divided into plain, spotted, smoky and tabby. The standard allows more than 60 variations of shades of wool with patterns, the most popular of which is silver marble.
According to the description, it is difficult to get an idea of the appearance of these animals. What a typical representative of this breed looks like, can be seen in the photo.
American Shorthair Character
American Shorthair is characterized by moderation in everything. These are contact animals, but they will never impose their society. They are active and playful, although you cannot call them restless fidgets. Despite the tender affection for their owners, such cats prefer to keep some distance. "American" responds to her nickname and obediently carries out commands, but does not feel the need for close communication. Hugs with the owner for many hours are not about these animals.
American shorthair cats are not characterized by abuse of voice. You are unlikely to hear persistent meowing from them. A quiet meow is all they can do. "Americans" are very lively facial expressions. All their emotions are reflected on their muzzle.
Representatives of this breed quickly adapt to the lifestyle of the owners. Such pets will accompany the inhabitants of the house to work and joyfully meet them upon their return. Leaving a cat alone, you can not be afraid for the safety of property. Most likely, left alone, she simply curls up and will calmly wait for the owner to return. However, this does not mean at all that it is possible to leave such pets for a long time alone with themselves - for "Americans" long loneliness is excruciating.
Representatives of this breed have highly developed hunting instincts, so it is undesirable to leave them with rodents and decorative birds. These smooth-haired cats coexist quite peacefully in the same territory with dogs. Most likely, they will not be friends with them, but they will not be at enmity. These animals are great for families with children. They treat children pranks condescendingly and will never offend kids. "Americans" are good-natured, contact, obedient, calm and well-bred cats.
The content of the "American"
In order for a pet to always remain healthy, active and cheerful, it must be properly maintained, and enough attention should be paid to its nutrition and care for its hair, eyes, teeth and ears. Each responsible owner of the animal must understand that the life expectancy largely depends on compliance with the rules for keeping the four-legged pet and caring for it.
Walking and physical activity
These calm animals just need regular walks. They are characterized by excessive appetite, therefore, are prone to obesity. To keep their weight normal, they need increased physical activity. You need to walk with the pet, holding it on the harness, otherwise the four-legged pet may get lost or get under the car, frightened by unfamiliar sounds.
As noted earlier, these animals have an increased appetite, so throughout the life should constantly monitor the amount of food they eat. Servings should be calculated in strict accordance with the weight and age of the pet. You should not follow up on a cat who wants to feast on something. A treat will only harm her.
These shorthair cats can be fed with ready-made food or natural food, the main thing is not to mix them. If a four-legged pet eats ready-made food, it must be of the highest quality. You should not save on its purchase, otherwise problems with the animal's health cannot be avoided. If the cat eats natural food, periodically she should be given additional vitamin and mineral complexes, previously agreed with the veterinarian.
With natural feeding, the diet includes lean meat, offal, sea fish, vegetables, dairy products and cereals. They must be fresh. In a cat bowl should not be:
- fatty, salty and pickled dishes,
- confectionery and bakery products,
- tea and coffee
- milk (this product is contraindicated only in adult animals),
- tubular bones
- river fish
- onions and garlic.
Compared with long-haired pets, these short-haired cats do not need special care, and they do not fade so much. In order for the pet to have a well-groomed appearance, it is enough to comb it out periodically, wash it, clean its eyes, ears and teeth, as well as shorten its claws. Information on how to do this is presented in the table:
|Combing out||Once a week||It is better to comb the pet with a special rubber brush or a glove with silicone protrusions. To make the animal look neat during molting, combing it is recommended daily.|
|the washing up||As needed||Representatives of this breed do not like water procedures, and in general they are very clean, so you need to bathe them only with severe pollution. You can use a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and minor impurities. You can achieve a healthy shine coat with a piece of suede.|
|Eye cleansing||1 time in 2-3 weeks||Dust and natural secretions are removed with a cotton pad moistened with cooled boiled water.|
|Ear cleaning||Sulfur pollution and accumulations are eliminated with a cotton pad moistened with cooled boiled water or a special lotion.|
|Teeth cleaning||As needed||Plaque is removed with a fingertip and toothpaste. You can not use funds for people - they are very foaming and have a pungent smell. To prevent the formation of plaque, it is recommended to use special cat treats that are sold in pet stores.|
|Claw trimming||Claws are shortened by claw cutting. In order for the pet to independently monitor the length of the claws between the sessions of the “pedicure”, they buy a claw-claw.|
Health and Life Expectancy
Representatives of this indigenous cat breed are hardy and in good health. They have practically no birth defects. Separate lines are prone to the development of such a deadly disease as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In "American women" extremely rarely reveal congenital inferiority of the hip joint.
Where to buy a kitten and how to choose it, how much can it cost?
There are several ways to buy a kitten of this breed: in the bird market, in a pet store, by announcement, in a nursery. When acquiring an animal from hand, there is a great risk, instead of a thoroughbred baby, to get a thoroughbred pet, and still not too healthy. To avoid this, buying American Shorthair kittens is recommended only in official nurseries with a proven track record. Breeders monitor the health of their wards and do not allow animals with hereditary diseases to mate.
In order not to make a mistake with the choice, you must:
- Ask the nursery staff to show documents on the implementation of activities.
- Within 20-30 minutes, observe the kitten you like. Healthy kids are mobile and funny.
- Assess the condition of the coat, eyes, ears and tail of the crumbling baby. Ideally, the small inhabitants of the nursery should have a shiny fur coat without bald spots, clean eyes and ears, a tail that is even without kinks. The kid should be moderately well-fed. Too thin an animal should alert a potential buyer. He probably has some health problems.
- Ask to show the parents of the animal you like. Their appearance and behavior can say a lot about the heir.
- In the presence of at least the slightest doubt in the correctness of the choice to postpone the purchase.
This is not the most expensive breed. In a private cattery without special regalia, such a cat can be bought for 10-15 thousand rubles. The cost of “American women” in elite nurseries is 5–10 thousand rubles. more. The descendants of multiple winners of various exhibitions are offered at a much higher price. If you do not plan to breed animals or participate in exhibitions, you can buy a kitten with color defects and physical disabilities that do not affect the health and life expectancy of the animal. Such a purchase will cost only a few thousand rubles.
- Breed Name: American shorthair cat
- Country of origin: USA
- Breeding time: XVI century
- Weight: 4 - 8 kg
- Life span: 12 - 15 years, sometimes up to 20 years
- American shorthair cats have a balanced character: they don’t go to extremes, they behave with restraint, but at the same time they do not forget about fun games with their own tail.
- "Americans" do not like to sit in their arms, so when the opportunity arises, they will leave their compelled perch and go in search of a cozy place where you can take a nap.
- Representatives of the breed rarely make a loud meow and prefer to communicate with the owner in mostly lively facial expressions.
- American shorthair cats can cope with forced loneliness, but your long absence is undesirable.
- Fluffy beauties love to hunt and often “delight” family members with a caught fly, and in a private house also with a bird or rodent.
- "Americans" get along well with other animals (except for rodents and birds), they are no less tolerant and affectionate with children.
- Cats can be trained only with a trusting relationship with the owner and training teams in a playful way.
- American Shorthair is unpretentious in care, but you have to carefully control the pet's diet: this breed is prone to overeating and, as a result, obesity.
American shorthair cat It has come a long way from the unremarkable Pied Piper to the most popular breed in the USA. Such widespread cease to amaze when you get to know her better. The American Shorthair is inherent in a delightful appearance, good health and flexible character. Cats easily make contact with people, they know when time is suitable for violent games with the owner, and when - for peaceful snoring nearby. The hunting instincts are not alien to animals, but this does not prevent them from remaining gentle and loving pets that everyone dreams of. Get this wonderful ball of wool and you will forget what a bad mood is!
American Shorthair cat history
An excellent tradition is associated with the origin of American Shorthair cats. It says that Christopher Columbus, planning to go in search of a mysterious India, ordered that cats be taken to all ships of the flotilla. According to the famous navigator, this measure would save the sailors from the need to fight rodents that caused damage to the taken food. That is how in the 15th century the ancestors of American shorthair cats came to the lands of the Indians.
Unfortunately, this legend is not documented, which cannot be said about the common version of the origin of the breed. The first cats, which may have become the progenitors of the “Americans,” appeared in the New World at the beginning of the 17th century with a group of English Protestants. They arrived in America on a Mayflower ship and founded Jamestown, the first British settlement. This is evidenced by journal entries that have survived since 1609.
Once in a different climate, the animals were forced to adapt to new living conditions. The size of cats has increased in comparison with their European counterparts, and their hair has become tougher and thicker. Spending days on farms and ranches, near houses and sheds, the ancestors of American Shorthair could increasingly boast of good health. The settlers drew attention to this and soon began to appreciate the "stability" of animals along with their excellent skills in the extermination of rodents.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, breeding cats proceeded in free conditions: no one cared about the exterior and purebred pedigree, did not attempt to standardize the breed. The ancestors of the "Americans" retained similarities with British relatives, but were distinguished by a more elongated and athletic physique. In addition, the animals were hardy, smart, and fearless, which made them valuable breeding material. Soon, US breeders realized that they needed to keep the breed. So began the breeding of American Shorthair cats.
Fans of these amazing animals began to acquire bright representatives of the breed and the formation of ideal breeding pairs. This would preserve the remarkable appearance and complaisant nature of cats. In 1904, CFA registered Baster Brown, a direct descendant of the "British" who came to the United States with the colonists. From this point on, American breeders have developed a clear cat breeding program.
Its results became clear by 1930, when, with a relatively small number of generations, it was possible to “enrich” the breed with many remarkable colors. Among them was silver - a legacy from the Persians. Breeding of American Shorthair cats played an important role in the life of their brothers. With the participation of these animals, it was possible to create new breeds: snow shu, Bengal, Scottish fold, Ocicat, Bombay, Devon Rex, Exot, Maine Coon, etc.
In the mid-20th century, CFA members published the first catalog, which included about fifty representatives of the breed. At that time, she was known as the domestic shorthair. Under the same name, animals first participated in the 1966 exhibition. Shawni Trademark won, inheriting the title “Cat of the Year”. Then they decided to rename the breed in order to reflect its true "American" character and thereby separate it from other short-haired brothers. Despite this, cases of registration of cats under the same name were encountered until 1985.
In 1984, a handsome victory was won by the handsome Mr. H., and in 1996, Sol-Mer Sharif. The end of the 20th century was significant for the breed. For two decades, American Shorthair cats gracefully climbed to the top of the ranking of the most popular breeds and chose a spot in the top ten short-haired pets of the United States.
CFA has about a hundred registered nurseries that specialize in breeding this breed. However, most of them are concentrated in America: breeders have not entrusted their national heritage to a few. The history of American shorthair cats in Russia began in 2007 with the advent of a breeding pair - the cat Lucky and the cat Cleopatra, brought from the kennel KC Dancers.
Official nurseries can boast worthy producers from the United States. Despite the few litters of American Shorthair, breed representatives are found more and more often. Russian breeders are working hard to ensure that these cats occupy an important place in the hearts of people and later win as many victories at specialized exhibitions as possible. So far, these are only dreams: the European “cat” organization FIFe still does not officially recognize short-haired “Americans”. Representatives of this breed are less common in Russia than, say, in Japan.
The main qualities and characteristics of the American Shorthair cat on a 10 point scale:
- family affection 6/10
- shedding intensity 6/10
- general health 8/10
- playfulness 4/10
- good attitude towards children 8/10
- good attitude to strangers 8/10
- ease of care 8/10
- intelligence 8/10
- friendliness to other pets 6/10
When European settlers sailed from Europe to North America (after the 1600s), they took cats on board the ship to protect the cargo from mice and rats. Thus, cats appeared in the New World that mated and developed special characteristics in order to cope with new conditions and climate. At the beginning of the 20th century, a breeding breeding program was created to develop the best qualities of these cats.
The American Shorthair is a breed with strict standards set by the International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Lovers Association (CFA). Originally known as a domestic shorthair cat, the breed was renamed in 1966 as the “American Shorthair Cat” to better reflect its American origin and to distinguish it from other shorthair breeds.
Size and life span
The American Shorthair cat weighs between 3.2 and 5.4 kg. Its life expectancy varies between 15-20 years.
This adaptable and good-natured cat breed has strong hunting instincts. However, in everyday life, she is likely to be a family companion. The cat has an average temperament, she is calm, but not inhibited. The animal is moderately active and is well involved in the game, but not too demanding of attention. The American Shorthair cat is very smart and loves to play with puzzle toys and interactive toys. She is outgoing in character and will not hide under the bed when guests come to the house. Despite the fact that the breed is calm, it will not want to move in the hands of the owner. She will not always kneel to the owner and will value her personal space.
American shorthair cats are generally healthy, but be sure to ask the breeder about the animal’s health problems and what genetic tests have been done.
Representatives of this breed have heart disease, namely hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCMP). No breeder can know for sure whether the kitten will develop this disease over time. American shorthair cats that breed, must be tested for HCMP. If the kitten’s parents have not been tested for this disease, then it is not recommended to buy it.
Maintenance and care
The hair of an American shorthair cat is easily looked after by combing it a couple of times a week. The density of the coat and the intensity of molting vary depending on the climate and season.
It is necessary to brush the cat's teeth daily (with a special toothpaste and brush) to prevent diseases of the oral cavity. Claw trimming is carried out every 1.5-2 weeks. Ears should be wiped with a damp cotton pad as they become dirty, and it is forbidden to use cotton buds that can harm the pet. The corners of the eyes also need to be cleaned as they become dirty, and in order not to spread the infection, a separate cotton pad should be used for each eye.
These cats are prone to overeating, so to prevent obesity, strictly control the amount of food consumed by the pet. The cat's toilet must be kept clean at all times, otherwise the animal will relieve the need for inappropriate places.
The American Shorthair has a stocky, muscular and strong body. The physique allows the animal to be agile and resilient, and strong, muscular legs make it possible to jump well to get its prey.
A large head with a wide muzzle gives the cat a cute, open expression. She has medium ears, slightly rounded at the tips and wide eyes.
Short, thick coat has a variety of colors and patterns. Silver color and striped pattern is probably the most popular of all.
Children and other pets
This imposing but playful American Shorthair cat is the perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. This breed is well trained in tricks and loves the attention of children who respect the animal with respect. Cats get along well with dogs if they don't pose any problems.
This animal has very strong hunting instincts, but it can be trained not to attack poultry or other small animals, especially at an early age. However, when in doubt, it is best to separate the pets.
If you want to get a healthy and thoroughbred kitten, you should contact the nursery, which has registration. Breeders will provide all the necessary documents for the kitten, including the pedigree, veterinary passport and, possibly, the contract.
As a rule, kittens can be acquired at the age of 3 months, because it is at this time that the baby receives all the necessary skills from her mother and is ready to move to a new house.
When buying a kitten, you should pay attention to: clean eyes, well-fed (but not too) physique, active and playful behavior. If a kitten is afraid of you and hides, then there is a chance that the adaptation will be difficult.
Take an interest in the nursery about the peculiarities of care and the habits of the kitten, as well as pre-purchase everything you need for the baby, including:
- sleeping place and scratching post,
- toilet tray and filler,
- habitual food
- bowl for food and water,
- care accessories (comb with metal rounded teeth, brush and toothpaste, cotton pads, etc.),
- various toys.
The cost of an American shorthair cat in kennels varies between $ 750-1000 (with the right to breed). Without breeding rights, the cost of the animal will be lower.
Hand-made purchases can save a significant amount of money, but be prepared for the fact that in the future you may face big expenses and it is unlikely to get a thoroughbred pet.