At first glance, a cat of this breed looks like a striped cat "Matroskin" in popular cartoons. But, having looked closely, you can consider the most unusual color, large muscles, beautiful eyes. Interestingly, in America, this cat is a chic decoration and an honorary member of the family. Also at various parties thoroughbred American cats are present as accompanying their owners. Its origin is not quite ordinary and the story is interesting.
History of breed origin
1904 was a discovery for the appearance of the genus of American Shorthair cats. The cat, which had an original smoky color with black wide stripes, was considered the founder of this breed (from the side the wool seems like a silver tabby type). Before that, cats of this breed lived quietly on a ranch, caught mice, roamed, and did not suspect that someday they would become very valuable and expensive animals. The cost depends on what type of kitten and what level of nursery.
In 1900, it turned out that one cat with a similar color was already registered, which caused confusion. Soon they sorted it out and called it British. Felinologists had to introduce effective ideas for distinguishing similar breeds. In the end, a tough cat differences program has been developed.
In 1930, the result was on the face and American cats became recognized. After 20 years, a catalog appeared with a full description of all shorthair (50 animals). Currently, only purebred producers are stably breeding. The program of specialists was successful, and the cat of this breed, which won recognition, is the proof, therefore it is called the "cat of the year" in 1966. In addition, he was held in high esteem even by the largest felinological organization. The panel of judges issued documents to confirm the new breed (CFA). Judging by the research, American shorthair cats have not only a beautiful appearance, but also a unique character.
The variety of colors of wool is abundant. Therefore, cats with black, white, silver, smoky colors and others are recognized as felinologists' organizations. A grayish color with wide black stripes is considered especially beautiful.
- Large eyes in the form of a wedge, the color of which depends on the color of the coat. The silver cat has greenish eyes, the white cat has orange eyes.
- The size heads in width converges with its length. A muzzle in the form of a square, and a developed chin looks powerful.
- Nose they have a round, beautifully turns into a neat feline mouth that looks like a "smile".
- Powerful neck medium length harmoniously connected with the same head.
- Body strong, chest wide, especially in cats. The weight of cats is up to 8 kg, and cats up to 5 kg.
- Medium in size ears wide, and slightly rounded at the tips.
- Even color of paws, nose, pads also depends on the color scheme of the coat. In appearance, cats and cats are powerful, strong, but differ in musculature. The length of the limbs is medium, and round, thick legs are stable.
- Tail very long and thick, but tapering towards the end.
- Wool although short, but dense, thick, looks gorgeous.
Lovers of calm animals will be able to enjoy relaxing with cats of the American breed. Just smoky black breed has a pleasant unobtrusive character and serenity.
Cats can adapt to their kindred relatives, good-natured dogs. Everything is in order with communication: they easily find a common language with people. Owners who spend the whole day at work are suitable cats that can remain in solitude for a long time. American short-haired, quiet, flexible cat, which does not require special privileges, companies. She will always find something to have fun with.
A feature of cats is independence. They do not like it when they are forcibly hugged, carried on their hands, put on their knees. This happens if the animals themselves want and lie on the hands of the owner. Despite these facts, cats have such qualities as devotion, affection. Although they are calm, but, like all cats, they love games, entertainment, and hide and seek. Even when they are alone, they will find classes and independently take up the matter.
They cleverly catch animals and play with a soft toy when there is no hunger. But, being on the street, this breed will not return without a catch! Of course, cats, although they like to sleep, walk quietly, but the instinct of jumping on high objects will not be canceled. They will not miss the moment to climb on cabinets, televisions, shelves, even just to find a place to sleep.
You can’t call them demanding, it is noticeable in a quiet voice (their usual manner of speaking). But in case of indifference of the owners, cats will vote in full. This is done in special circumstances, when cats have something to fight for. In addition, cats have intelligence, which allows them to quickly train some teams. Until old age, cats are active and cheerful.
Cats have good health, so we can call them centenarians (up to 15 years). But there is a predisposition to hereditary heart disease, which can lead to death. Cats experience pain due to hip dysplasia, and limp when walking. Some cats also have a genetic kidney disease, which causes them to fail (polycystic). Endurance can prevent the development of such diseases. When buying a cat, you must ask the breeders for a guarantee document confirming the good health of the pet.
Caring for a cat is not difficult due to the fact that the coat is smooth, not long. Therefore, comb should only be once a week. When American Shorthair cats molt, hair care is enhanced.
Careful observation requires eating cats, because they are not averse to eating a lot and often. The consequence of this is a different stage of obesity, which leads to health problems. If this happens, you should play more active games that burn calories. Also consult with a veterinarian on the preparation of a diet menu.
In these cases, many owners who do not have time for frequent games, acquire a training sports corner with a scratching post. They can jump on it and scratch their claws. This is a big plus: furniture will be saved from furious cat claws and the pet will lose weight!
Photo of an American Shorthair cat
- cat and cat
- near the claw point
- very cool,
Historical background on the origin of the breed line
It is believed that the ancestors of American shorthair cats were European wild forest cats. These are large animals weighing about 8–9 kg with gray, brown or smoky hair. In the twentieth century, the Romans presented the British with cats, so that they help protect grain reserves. At that time, Prince Havill was the ruler of Britain. He introduced laws that protected these animals. Those who injured or killed cats were severely punished with fines.
Then hard times came for the ancestors of American Shorthair. The Inquisition destroyed not only witches, but also green-eyed cats, attributing them a connection with magic. This has led to a reduction in the population of wild European cats. People remembered the striped hunters only in the 17th century, when a plague epidemic was raging. Artful animals that managed to survive during the Inquisition destroyed rats, peddlers of a deadly infection.
European Wild Forest Cat - Ancestor of the American Shorthair
Soon, dexterous rodent fighter cats were learned throughout Britain. These animals became real friends of the inhabitants of the country. They came to America during the gold rush, they were bought by workers in the mines. By the end of the 19th century, European cats spread throughout the United States and gained immense popularity. As an independent breed, the Pied Piper was registered in 1900, calling it domestic shorthair.
From that moment, active breeding work began to improve the line. For 30 years, breeders have managed to create many new attractive colors and improve the exterior of a shorthair cat. Compared to the European version, American cats turned out to be stronger, knocked down, athletic, and the coat became thicker.
In 1934, a cat show was held in New York, in which the second place was taken by the cat Mickey, a representative of the domestic shorthair breed. He managed to get around more than 1000 participants. In the mid-20th century, the feline organization CFA published a catalog that included about 50 names of cats belonging to the domestic shorthair breed. In 1966, another exhibition was held in America, in which a cat nicknamed Shawni Trademark won.
This was the reason for changing the name of the pedigree line. In the same year she was renamed to American Shorthair. Artful, fearless and at the same time gentle animals have gained increasing popularity in America. At the exhibition held in 1984, the handsome cat Mr. Eych got the honorary title, and 12 years later Sol Mer Sharif became the winner and favorite of the public. So the American Shorthair cat breed has taken the top positions in the ranking of the most popular breeds in the United States.
American Shorthair in Russia
American Shorthair came to our country in 2007. The breeding couple - Lucky cat and kitty Cleo were brought from the US kennel KC Dancers. The Russians love this breed for their unpretentiousness, high intelligence, friendly character and attractive appearance. The breed still remains an unrecognized European organization FIFe, but this does not interfere with the growth of its popularity around the world.
Consider the requirements of the standard for the exterior of cats of this breed:
- a rounded head with a slightly convex forehead,
- the muzzle is short and rather wide with puffy cheeks and well-defined cheekbones,
- there is a stop during the transition from the nose to the forehead,
- medium length nose with a neat nose
- the jaws are strong, the chin is strong,
- eyes are large, oval, wide open, the upper corners are slightly raised, the color of the iris is green or golden,
- the auricles are compact, small in width, rounded at the ends,
- dense neck of medium length,
- the body is wide, downed, well muscled with developed breasts,
- the tail has a thick base and a narrower end,
- limbs of medium length, strong, with rounded paws,
- the coat is short, thick, shiny, stiff, awn, there is an undercoat.
Representatives of the breed are distinguished by their large size.
Representatives of the American Shorthair breed are distinguished by their rather large dimensions. The weight of an adult cat reaches 8 kg, cats - up to 5 kg.
The appearance must be in accordance with the WCF breed standard.
Table: External features of the American Shorthair cat
|Part of the body||Description|
|Head||The head is large, round. The forehead is convex. The muzzle is square with a powerful chin, chubby cheeks and rounded cheekbones.|
|The ears||Small, widely spaced, with rounded tips.|
|Eyes||They have a wedge-shaped or almond-shaped shape, their color is determined by the color of the cat's coat.|
|Jaws||Powerful, developed, with a good bite.|
|Torso||The body is large or medium in size, harmoniously folded, with well-developed and strong muscles. The chest is wide, well developed. The back is straight and wide, the stomach is tightened. Paws medium length, muscular and strong.|
|Tail||Middle length. It is thickened at the base and gradually tapers towards the end.|
|Wool||Short, with a healthy sheen, very soft, dense with a thick undercoat, the density of which increases with the advent of cold weather. The color of the coat may be different. The color of the fur determines the color of the legs, nose and pads.|
The palette of colors and patterns on the fur coat of the "American" is diverse, but the most popular are silver marble individuals.
For breeding, cats with a standard color are always chosen.
The main colors of the breed are:
The table below shows the color options that are most common:
|Color group||Color variations|
|Solid||Cats can have the following colors: red, cream, blue, white, black|
|Tabby||Marble color, variations: mackerel, classic, patchwork|
|The combination of two or more colors||Tortoiseshell, Bicolor, Spotted|
|Smoky||Solid color, as if covered with a darkened veil|
Cats with signs of crossbreeding in colors are not allowed to participate in exhibitions and breeding: shades of chocolate, lilac color, color point.
American Shorthair cats are considered one of the most powerful and healthy breeds in the world. Due to natural selection, they acquired strong immunity and endurance, therefore, certain diseases are uncharacteristic for them.
The main disease of this breed is a predisposition to the development of obesity. Therefore, its owner must pay close attention to the diet and lifestyle of the pet.
Some lines are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, this heart disease in most cases leads to death. In some individuals, dysplasia of the hip joints is detected.
Otherwise, representatives of the breed are considered completely healthy, they can be safely called long-livers, because the average age to which they live is 15-17 years.
An American cat, receiving a balanced diet and having the ability to move for pleasure, will not cause the owner any problems and will not give an occasion to visit the veterinarian again.
Purchase a kitten
Choosing and buying a kitten is necessary only in a nursery that specializes in breeding this breed.
You should not trust the low price for kittens sold without documents on classified sites, since it is almost impossible to distinguish purebred animals from domestic animals.
A competent breeder will always talk about the features of the breed, show documents for litter and pedigrees of parents. Good owners never sell kittens, which are still fed by cat-mother. You can only pick up those kids who have learned to eat on their own.
The ideal age of the kitten is three months. The grown-up baby no longer needs breast milk, has balanced mental and physical health and is vaccinated against dangerous infectious diseases.
Particular attention should be paid to veterinary certificates and vaccinations of a kitten. This helps to avoid acquiring a sick animal.
Kittens should behave actively and have a healthy and well-groomed appearance.
The kitten must be active and have a healthy and well-groomed appearance. It should be moderately well-fed, have a shiny silky coat. The baby's eyes and ears should be free of pathological discharge, and the area under the tail should be clean and dry.
The price of an American shorthair kitten starts at 20 thousand rubles and depends on gender, color and other factors. If in the future it is assumed that the pet will participate in exhibitions and further breeding, the cost of a kitten increases to 50 thousand rubles. and more. You can find options worth 8-10 thousand rubles, but it will be kittens from a random connection and without any guarantees.
Representatives of the breed are prone to obesity, so the owner should make a diet so that the cat receives all the necessary nutrients and vitamins, but does not overeat.
An excellent food option is ready-made dry food of superpremium and holistic classes. For example, grainless mixtures of Hills, GO, NOW, Acana, Royal Canin, Iams, Purina and others.
Basic feeding rules:
- The number of feedings for small kittens is 4 times, for adolescents - 3 times, for adult cats - no more than 2 times a day.
- The optimal daily amount of food should not exceed 8-9% of the weight of the animal.
- It is preferable to use finished dry feed of high quality. Inexpensive feeds such as Whiskas, Kitekat, Darling, etc. are strictly not recommended.
- It is forbidden to feed the pet with products from the owner's table.
- When feeding a cat with natural food, non-fat raw fresh meat (poultry, beef), sea fish, eggs, dairy products, raw vegetables and fruits (up to 20%), and cereals are allowed. Cook food for the cat separately.
- Experts do not recommend feeding cats dry food and natural food at the same time.
- Filtered or infused water should be in a separate plate. It is categorically not recommended to give cats boiled water because of the high risk of urolithiasis.
- It is forbidden to include fatty meat, fried, pickled, sweet and salty foods, coffee, tea, whole milk, river fish, legumes, tubular bones, onions, garlic, dried fruits, potatoes, mushrooms in the diet.
Keeping a pet does not cause much trouble and is not particularly different from caring for representatives of other breeds. It involves the following activities:
- ear cleaning
- eye wash
- claw care
- teeth cleansing.
American cats have a thick undercoat, they molt profusely and require regular brushing.
During seasonal molting, pets must be combed out every day. For this, special devices are perfectly suitable - furminators, which remove the dead undercoat without harming the axial villi. In the intervals between molting, the number of combing is reduced to one or two times a week.
It is advisable to comb short-haired cats using a furminator.
American shorthair cats are fairly neat and do not need frequent bathing.
Wash these pets with shampoo every six to eight months.
Also, swimming is indicated in cases where the animal is very dirty or after a walk in rainy weather.
Toenails need to be trimmed by pets every 2 weeks. The procedure is performed using a special device - a nail clipper.
Cat Nail Clipper
Also, experts advise you to purchase a scratching post, which will help maintain the integrity of the furniture.
It is mandatory to remove plaque from the teeth with the help of special cat paste. An old toothbrush or a special finger nozzle is suitable for the procedure.
You can only care for your cat’s teeth with special toothpastes
Teeth should be brushed at least 2 times a month.
For toothbrushing, pets are not recommended to use toothpastes intended for humans. For the purpose of preventive brushing, you can use special hard treats for cats.
American shorthair cats are trained to the tray very quickly, but some cats can mark their territory during the mating season.
When equipping a toilet seat for this breed, there are no special recommendations. It is necessary to adhere to the general rules:
- the tray should be placed away from food bowls,
- the use of any filler is allowed depending on the preferences of the animal,
- it is necessary to regularly maintain the cleanliness of the toilet tray, otherwise the cat will recover in another place.
The breeding of this breed must be carried out under the control of the nursery in which the kitten was purchased. To prevent closely related mating, one should take seriously the choice of a partner.
Breeders allow the crossing of an American Shorthair cat only with an American Wirehair.
To obtain a purebred offspring, only those cats that have documents of origin must be mated.
Pregnancy planning is recommended only after 3-4 estrus. In cats, the first menstruation occurs in the fourth month of life. Therefore, mating becomes possible only at the age of 6–9 months. Males reach puberty only by the 8th month of life.
Duration of estrus can last from 3 to 14 days. Throughout the year, a cat usually has 2-3 periods of sexual activity, but experts do not recommend giving birth more than 2 times a year.
The period of labor in "American women" can continue until death, but the first 8 years of life are considered the most favorable age for childbirth.
Experts advise mating on the territory of the cat. The best time to conceive is the third day of estrus.
Pregnancy in representatives of this breed can last from 58 to 64 days. If a cat has a large number of kittens, this period may increase.
Castration and sterilization
In cases where breeding a breed is of no interest to the owner, it is preferable to sterilize or neutered the pet.
Castration is the operation to completely remove the genital glands in cats. In males, testes are excised, in females - ovaries. After such an operation, the production of sex hormones is completely stopped, the animals become unable to reproduce offspring and stop all manifestations of sexual behavior. So, aggression disappears in cats, the desire to mark the territory, and in cats, heat disappears.
Sterilization is referred to as more sparing operations. It consists in ligating the vas deferens in cats and fallopian tubes in cats. At the same time, the body continues to produce sex hormones, which contributes to sexual desire, but the animal does not become pregnant.
The experts consider the period from 6 to 12 months to be the optimal age for castration or sterilization of a cat.
Regarding the most favorable age for such operations in cats, there are 2 opinions:
- The period from 3 to 6 months or until the onset of the first estrus. Proponents of this theory explain this by the fact that at this age the cat is easier to tolerate any surgery. It also reduces the risk of developing breast tumors at an older age.
- Age 10 months. Adherents of this view argue that the operation before puberty provokes negative hormonal disorders, which can lead to a worsening of the behavior of the animal.
Pet care after surgery
After surgery, the cat is shown wearing a bandage
In the postoperative period, caring for an animal is not particularly difficult. In the first days after surgery, the cat should wear a bandage, and on the 8-12th day, the suture is removed.
Cats feel great right after the end of anesthesia.
Pros and cons of the breed
The positive qualities of the American Shorthair breed are:
- calm character and luxurious appearance,
- pronounced hunting instincts for small rodents,
- lack of genetic diseases,
- mind, quick wit and quick learner,
- unpretentiousness in leaving,
- the ability to get along peacefully with other pets,
- suitable as pets and to participate in exhibitions.
- predisposition to completeness and the need for a special diet,
- independence, the desire for solitude and silence,
- the high cost of kittens,
- difficulty in acquiring a kitten due to the small number of nurseries involved in breeding this breed.
Average life expectancy
With proper care and proper nutrition, the American Shorthair cat can live up to 18 years.
The average life expectancy of the representatives of this breed is 15 years.
In history, cases have been recorded when American cats crossed the 20-year mark.
The American Shorthair cat can be described as a charming beauty with a gentle disposition and grace of a wild predator. It is perfect for those people who need not only an attractive pet, but also a devoted companion for many years.