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CFA Pedigreed Breed: American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is America's own breed, whose ancestors came to North America with early settlers from Europe. Records indicate that the "Mayflower" carried several cats to hunt ship's rats. For centuries, "working cats" flourished along with their pioneer owners and eventually established themselves as the native North American shorthaired cat.

Early in the 20th century, foreign breeds imported to the United States (Longhairs and Siamese) interbred with native shorthaired cats, producing kittens with varied coat lengths, body styles, color, and temperament. Those who wished to preserve the North American shorthaired cat acquired the finest examples of the breed and began mating them selectively to preserve the breed's conformation, beautiful face, and sweet disposition, while perfecting the patterns and colors characteristic of the American Shorthair as we know it today.

The American Shorthair is recognized in more than 80 different colors and patterns, including the striking brown patched tabby; the glistening blue-eyed white; the beautiful shaded silvers, smokes, and cameos; the flashy calico van, and many more. The most well-known American Shorthair color today is the silver tabby, with dense black markings set on a sterling silver background.

Looking for a cat that will be a gentle companion, a playmate for your children, and a full-fledged member of the family? Look no further than the American Shorthair. This breed is known for its longevity, robust health, good looks, quiet disposition, and amiability with children and dogs. American Shorthairs are low-maintenance cats. American Shorthairs can live 15 to 20 years, requiring only annual vaccinations, veterinary checkups, a quality diet, and plenty of tender loving care.

It's no wonder that the American Shorthair consistently ranks as one of the 10 most popular breeds of cat -- truly a star in the feline world.

Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. (c) 2011