American Shorthair - Shorthaired Cats

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.

Van Pattern Tabby American Shorthair (click on the image to enlarge)

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.

Picture: Silver Tabby American Shorthair

Silver Tabby American Shorthair
A classic variety of Tabby.

Picture: Shaded Silver American Shorthair

Shaded Silver American ShorthaIr
Exactly like its British counterpArt in color, but larger in build.

WhitePure whiteNoneDeep blue, brilliant gold, or odd-eyed
BlackCoat blackNoneBrilliant gold
BluePale blue-greyNoneBrilliant gold
Deep, rich redNoneBrilliant gold
Brilliant gold
BicolourWhiteBlack, red, blue, or cream patchesBrilliant gold
Shaded SilverWhite undercoatMantle of black tipping, shading towards white
Green or blue-green
Chinchilla SilverPure white undercoatBlack tipping on back, flanks, head, and tailEmerald-green or blue-green
Shell CameoWhite undercoatRed tipping on back, flanks, head, and tailBrilliant gold
Shaded CameoWhite undercoatLike Shell, longer tipsBrilliant gold
Cameo Smoke (Red Smoke)White undercoatVery deep red tippingBrilliant gold
Black SmokeWhite undercoatTipped with blackBrilliant gold
Blue SmokeWhite undercoatVery deep blue tippingBrilliant gold
Blue-CreamBlueClear patches of creamGold
Red and cream patchesGold
Tortoiseshell SmokeWhite undercoatBlack, red, and cream tips in tortie patternBrilliant gold
Van PatternWhiteAuburn with patching similar to Turkish CatBrilliant gold
CalicoWhiteBlack and red patchesBrilliant gold
Dilute CalicoWhite
Blue and CreamBrilliant gold
Brown TabbyCoppery brownBlack Classic or mackerel patternBrilliant gold
Red TabbyRich redDeep, rich red Classic or Mackerel patternBrilliant gold
Silver TabbyPale, clear silverBlack Classic or Mackerel patternBrilliant gold
Blue TabbyPale, bluish-ivoryVery deep blue Classic or Mackerel pattern
Brilliant gold
Cream TabbyVery pale creamBuff or cream Classic or Mackerel patternBrilliant gold
Cameo TabbyOff-whiteRed Classic or Mackerel pattern tipsBrilliant gold
Patched Tabby (Tortie-Tabby, or Torbie)Silver, brown, or blueBlack or dark grey Classic/Mackerel; red/cream patches
Brilliant gold or (Silver only) green or hazel