3 Ways to Identify an American Shorthair Cat


The American Shorthair cat is a friendly, affectionate, and easygoing breed that has long been a popular choice for pet owners. Known for its muscular build and short, dense coat, this native North American cat is considered a working breed due to its history as a hunter in early American households. If you are curious about whether your feline friend belongs to this beloved breed, here are three ways to help identify an American Shorthair cat.

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  1. Physical Appearance:

The most recognizable feature of an American Shorthair cat is its well-built, muscular body. They are medium to large-sized cats with broad shoulders, strong legs, and a thick neck. The tail is usually medium length with a slightly rounded tip.

One noticeable characteristic of the breed is its round face with full cheeks and bright, expressive eyes that come in various colors like green, blue, or gold depending on the coat’s color. The ears are medium-sized, slightly rounded at the tips, and set apart on the head.

  1. Coat Pattern and Colors:

American Shorthairs are known for their thick, dense coats which make them ideal for cold environments. The fur is short and hard to touch but lustrous due to its dense undercoat. One of the telltale features of this breed is the wide variety of coat colors and patterns available – almost 80 different varieties are recognized by cat associations.

Some common coat patterns include solid coats (white, black, blue), tabby patterns (classic tabby, mackerel tabby), calico (tricolor), bi-color (white with another color), shaded colors (chinchilla silver or golden), and tortoiseshell patterns among others.

  1. Behavior and Temperament:

Apart from physical characteristics, you can also identify an American Shorthair through its personality traits. These sociable felines are known for being friendly, gentle, and affectionate with family members, making them great companions. They’re also low-maintenance cats that enjoy relaxing and lounging around the house.

Typically, American Shorthairs adapt easily to various environments, making them suitable for both quiet households and active families with children or other pets. They are intelligent cats with respectable hunting skills and a playful nature, further emphasizing their working breed background.


Identifying an American Shorthair cat can be done through an examination of its physical features, coat patterns, and temperament. Although these three methods should help you determine if your feline companion is an American Shorthair, the most accurate identification would come from a professional breeder or a veterinarian.

Adopting or purchasing a cat from a reputable breeder could ensure you’re bringing home a pure-bred American Shorthair, but remember that many wonderful mixed-breed cats also share similar traits and deserve loving homes. Regardless of their pedigree status, every cat is unique and will enrich your life with their endearing personalities.

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