As the standard describes it, the American Shorthair is eminently adapted to the ethos of a country forged by frontiersmen and women: “lithe enough to stalk its prey but powerful enough to make the kill easily” with legs “long enough to cope with any terrain and heavy and muscular enough for high leaps”. It is a very athletic cat, with a larger and more powerfully built body than its British relation, harder fur, and a more oblong face.
The American Shorthair undoubtedly sprang from the tough, hardworking cats that accompanied the Pilgrim Fathers and later settlers to the New World. The first feline colonists thrived in the American environment, adapting to the climate, landscape, and lifestyle, and developing their own unique characteristics. Selective breeding to perpetuate the best of these features began early this century.
Courageous, intelligent, energetic, and hardly, the American Shorthair does its country proud!
The American Shorthair is bred in any number of colours and coat patterns, of which the more popular are shown in the chart.
Van Pattern Tabby American Shorthair
This example shows off the best features of its type: a robust, muscular build, an open, appealing face, and general hardy disposition – a cat equally at home on the range or in the parlour.
Large to medium in size; powerful, strongly built and well balanced, with well developed shoulders, chest, and hindquarters.
- Broad, level, back.
The fur is thick, dense, and hard; a soft or silky coat would be a fault. The colour is white with red tabby markings on the face, legs, and tail.
Medium in length, tapering to a rounded tip.
Medium in length, although slightly longer than the British Shorthair, and heavily muscled.
The paws are heavy and rounded with pads that match the colour of the coat.
- Pink paw pads.
Large, with full cheeks, almost oblong in shape, the nose is medium in length and should have a pad that matches the coat color.
- Pink nose pad.
- Well-developed chin.
Large and wide with an upper lid shaped like half an almond, and the lower lid shaped in a fully rounded curve. The color should match that of the coat.
- Blue eyes.
Medium in size and round-tipped.
Silver Tabby American Shorthair
A classic variety of Tabby.
Shaded Silver American ShorthaIr
Exactly like its British counterpArt in color, but larger in build.
|White||Pure white||None||Deep blue, brilliant gold, or odd-eyed|
|Black||Coat black||None||Brilliant gold|
|Blue||Pale blue-grey||None||Brilliant gold|
|Red||Deep, rich red||None||Brilliant gold|
|Bicolour||White||Black, red, blue, or cream patches||Brilliant gold|
|Shaded Silver||White undercoat||Mantle of black tipping, shading towards white||Green or blue-green|
|Chinchilla Silver||Pure white undercoat||Black tipping on back, flanks, head, and tail||Emerald-green or blue-green|
|Shell Cameo||White undercoat||Red tipping on back, flanks, head, and tail||Brilliant gold|
|Shaded Cameo||White undercoat||Like Shell, longer tips||Brilliant gold|
|Cameo Smoke (Red Smoke)||White undercoat||Very deep red tipping||Brilliant gold|
|Black Smoke||White undercoat||Tipped with black||Brilliant gold|
|Blue Smoke||White undercoat||Very deep blue tipping||Brilliant gold|
|Blue-Cream||Blue||Clear patches of cream||Gold|
|Tortoiseshell||Black||Red and cream patches||Gold|
|Tortoiseshell Smoke||White undercoat||Black, red, and cream tips in tortie pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Van Pattern||White||Auburn with patching similar to Turkish Cat||Brilliant gold|
|Calico||White||Black and red patches||Brilliant gold|
|Dilute Calico||White||Blue and Cream||Brilliant gold|
|Brown Tabby||Coppery brown||Black Classic or mackerel pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Red Tabby||Rich red||Deep, rich red Classic or Mackerel pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Silver Tabby||Pale, clear silver||Black Classic or Mackerel pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Blue Tabby||Pale, bluish-ivory||Very deep blue Classic or Mackerel pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Cream Tabby||Very pale cream||Buff or cream Classic or Mackerel pattern||Brilliant gold|
|Cameo Tabby||Off-white||Red Classic or Mackerel pattern tips||Brilliant gold|
|Patched Tabby (Tortie-Tabby, or Torbie)||Silver, brown, or blue||Black or dark grey Classic/Mackerel; red/cream patches||Brilliant gold or (Silver only) green or hazel|