American Shorthair Cat Types? Facts You Should Know


American Shorthair Cat Types? Facts You Should Know

American Shorthair, or ASH, is a domestic cat breed. The breed was introduced to the US to combat rats and other vermin and is thought to be descended from European cats. 

American Shorthairs are a strong feline breed that comes in various coat colors and patterns and is particularly well known for their ability to mouse. These cats frequently have characteristic tabby coat patterns and the letter M on their foreheads; many are also tabby.

American Shorthair Cat Types
Image Credit: American Shorthair by Dustin Warrington (CC BY-SA 2.0) from Wikimedia

The Cat Fanciers’ Association recognized the American Shorthair among the first five registered cat breeds, and it is a national icon in the United States. Despite being a distinct breed, American Shorthair cats have a wide range of colors and patterns, greatly affecting their appearance.

Therefore, this piece will focus on examining the various ‌American Shorthair cats. We shall also discuss its foundations to help us better grasp this breed.

American Shorthair: The Fundamental Facts

The American Shorthair is an adorable, robust, and well-liked domestic cat breed. The Cat Fanciers’ Association recognizes this breed, native to North America and Europe.

The American Shorthair is an American classic and one of the first five feline breeds registered by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. American Shorthairs, considered descended from ship cats, are favored due to their excellent health and longer lifespan. The basic characteristics of this cat breed are listed in the following table.

American Shorthair
Native toEurope and North America
Fur typeShort, thick, and dense 
Common colorWhite
Coat patternsBi-color
Calico / tri-color
HeightUp to 10 inches
WeightUp to 15 lbs
Lifespan (average)Up to 20 years 
Grooming needsMedium- weekly brushing of the coat
TemperamentDocile, social, playful. bold
Physical characteristicsShort
Robust, and athletic build
Short coat
Big eyes closer to each other
Various coat colors and patterns
Prey driveHigh
Lap catYes
SheddingNot much
VocalMedium- when necessary
As a petSuitable for families with multi pets

Is My Cat a Genuine American Shorthair?

Image Credit: American shorthair cat Portrait by Lisa Campeau (CC BY-SA 2.0) from Wikimedia

First-time cat owners often find it confusing to know if the cat they are looking at is an American Shorthair. So, the first question they search is how to know if a cat is an American Shorthair. Let us answer this for you.

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Here are some ‌ways by which you can identify a true American Shorthair cat.

Look at the cat’s physical traits

One of the best ways to identify an American Shorthair is by looking at its physical traits. Overall, these cats have a rounded appearance. In addition, their build is robust, and they look very compact. Yet, to be absolutely sure, look for the following traits.

  • Broad chest
  • Round face
  • Large head
  • Rounded cheeks
  • Short and pointed ears
  • Stout legs
  • Muscular body
  • The thick and dense coat
  • The M mark on the forehead (if possess a tabby coat)

Feel the body

The next thing to do is feel the cat’s body. You can pick up the cat and pet it to feel it better. As a working cat breed, true American Shorthairs should be muscular. When touched, you can feel it. Look at the legs. They should be stout and shorter than average cats. These cats also feature a muscular torso, resulting in a thick neck and muscular limbs. 

Notice the fur

This breed has short, dense fur, as the name would imply. Additionally, the fur is dense and has a low tendency to shed. Also, despite being dense, the fur is not very soft.

An American Shorthair will display a wide range of coat patterns and colors. Additionally, they can have tabby coats. So, to better understand this subject, become knowledgeable about tabby coats.

Select only respectable and registered breeders

Look exclusively for reputable and registered breeders if you want to get a purebred American Shorthair. Only a reputable breed would produce cats that were all of one breed rather than a mix of breeds. Additionally, you should request the cat’s pedigree records. The certificates proving the cat’s lineage are irrefutable evidence that it is a purebred American Shorthair.

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Try a DNA test

Another reliable approach to validate the cat’s breed purity is through a DNA test. A DNA test is preferable to merely speculating based on traits and other characteristics, even though it may not be completely correct.

Is American Shorthair a Rare Breed?

American Shorthair’s history in the US dates back to the early 1900s. To combat vermin and rats, these cats were imported to the US. But is this a unique breed?

The American Shorthair cat breed is not particularly uncommon. Instead, it is currently one of the most prevalent and well-liked cat breeds in the US. Japan and Canada are other nations where this breed is most frequently encountered.

This breed is reportedly uncommon in European nations. There are several organizations there as well that even decline to acknowledge its existence.

What are the Different Coat Colors of American Shorthair Cats?

Image Credit: White Domestic Shorthair Cat by Scott (CC BY-SA 2.0) from Wikimedia

The Cat Fanciers’ Association has certified the first five breeds, including the American Shorthair, also known as an ASH. This sweet-natured feline breed comes in an array of colors and patterns.

Cats of the American Shorthair breed can have a variety of colors and coat patterns, making them a distinctive breed of cat. In reality, the CFA recognizes more than 80 different colors and patterns in ASH. For your information, the top types are listed below.

TypeCoat ColorNose and Paw ColorEye ColorSpecial Marking(s)
WhiteSnow white with pink PinkBlue r golden
BlackPure black with a black BlackGolden
BlueBlur tinge when looked closelyBlueGolden
CreamBuff creamPinkGolden No
RedDeep brilliant redBrick redGoldenNo
Tortoiseshell Black with mixed patches of red shade.
Also comes in a dilute tortoiseshell version. These cats appear more silver or blue due to their white undercoat.
Chinchilla Silver Pure white undercoat.
Black on head, tail, flanks, and back.
Shading and tipping on legs.
Chest, stomach, chin, and ear tufts are white.
Nose leather- red
Pads- black 
Blue Chinchilla SilverBlue tipping.Nose leather- old rose
Paw pads- old rose or blue 
Red ChinchillaRed shading Paw pads- rose pinkGolden
SmokeLight undercoat
The overcoat can be blue-cream, black, blue, or red
Nose and Paw pads- Can range between black, blue, roseGreen, golden, or hazelWhite markings on their legs, chest, stomach, and feet
TabbyMultiple colors with striped patterns
Common color- Silver tabby
Other colors- brown, red, blue, cream, etc.
Classic, mackerel, or ticked
Can also be white
Patched TabbyCommon color- blue, silver, or brown
Patches- red or cream
Vary depending on the coat colorWhite (usually)
CalicoWhite with black and red patches
May or may not have tabby stripes
Diluted calico- white with blue and cream patches
Blue CreamBlue coat with cream patchBlue or pinkGolden


The topic of distinct varieties of American Shorthair cats is now complete. First, look for ASH if you want to find purebred shorthair cats. Roughly 80 different coat hues and patterns are seen in these cats. They are attractive and well-built. Furthermore, this breed is also versatile, friendly, and trainable.

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