Breed Spotlight: American Shorthair

3 min read
Jan 28, 2022

Scottish Fold


15-20 years


6-15 lbs


Short or thick fur that comes in many colors


8-10 inches

The American Shorthair cats have specific traits that keep this breed uniform in size and shape. Un-pedigreed cats, however, could have traits showing up from any number of breeds which is why kittens don’t always look like either of their parents. 

Keep reading to learn more about America’s oldest breed of cats. 

American Shorthair Physical Traits 

Here are some things to look for in an American Shorthair: 

  • Nearly any coat pattern or color 
  • Short, thick fur 
  • Medium to large cat who weighs between 6 and 15 pounds 
  • Overall proportionate build without any over- or under-exaggerated features 

The American Shorthair is one of the few cats bred for their ability to work more than their appearance. As a result, their bodies are built for strength and shouldn’t have any features that cause weakness. 

Personality Traits of the American Shorthair 

Beyond the physical, it’s important to consider the personality of a cat before bringing one into your home. You want to make sure you’ll get along well with her and that your home environment is ideal for her. 


This is the perfect breed to get if you’re looking for a cat that wants to snuggle with you. The American Shorthair isn’t afraid to let you know they love you and often seeks out your company.  Even so, they tend to be nervous when meeting strangers, so don’t expect your cat to greet strangers at the door, though they also aren’t likely to hide until they leave, either. 


Starting out as ship’s cats and then helping settlers colonize the New World has made this into one of the most adaptable breeds of cat. Although big life changes can still make them anxious, the American Shorthair is usually quicker than others to adjust to a new environment or different situations. 


The American Shorthair is a great breed to consider when looking at family pets. They do well with children and most get along great with dogs. This allows them to fit into any dynamic. 

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

Medical Concerns of the American Shorthair 

American Shorthairs have a life expectancy of up to 20 years. They’re also one of the healthiest breeds of cats as the biggest health concern is one that all breeds of cats may face. 

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is common in all breeds of cats. However, responsible breeders test their cats regularly for this condition and immediately remove cats from their breeding programs who develop it. 

Unfortunately, it can’t always be detected early, so be wary of breeders who guarantee HCM-free cats. 

Is an American Shorthair Right for You?

If you’re looking for a cat who’s easy to take care of, healthy, adaptable, and affectionate, the American Shorthair could be right for you. 

The most important thing to keep in mind about this breed is that they are fairly social animals, so plan on being home to spend time with them for at least a few hours every day. 

Protect your American Shorthair with Cat Insurance 

Looking to bring home a new kitty?  Consider protecting them with a cat insurance policy from MetLife Pet Insurance. Our cat insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your kitties deserve.  Get your free quote today. 

Protect your American Shorthair

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

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