Monday, October 29, 2012

The Characteristics of the American Shorthair

The American Shorthair is often confused with the domestic shorthair, but the two are not the same. The American Shorthair is a recognized breed of cat while the domestic shorthair is the term used to describe a cat with short hair of indeterminate breed. The domestic shorthair is not a breed, but rather a type. The American Shorthair is a distinct breed in its own right.

As a breed, the American Shorthair is a social and amiable creature. They are quiet and affectionate and just generally easygoing. They are suitable for most living situations and thrive both in apartments and out on the farm. These cats purr a lot and they purr loudly, so expect to hear them purring from another room. American Shorthair cats do tend to scratch, so provide a scratching post. These cats like to hunt, so if you have a rodent problem, an American Shorthair can probably help.

This cat breed comes in a variety of colors and patterns. There are currently over eighty recognized designs and colors allowable for the American Shorthair. Color is not as important as conformation and appearance. The ideal cat is entirely symmetrical in both body and coat pattern. Females should be smaller than males and the tail should be slightly shorter than the cat. The tail itself is thick and tapers slowly. The face of an American Shorthair should have an open expression and the eyes should be large, almost round, and of almost any color. Gold or green eyes are preferred, but other colors are also allowed.

The coat of an American Shorthair is, of course, fairly short. It is therefore quite low maintenance, though they do tend to shed. The undercoat is thick, however, so you can keep your cat comfortable by brushing him out twice a week. You can bathe your cat if he gets dirty, but don't do this more than every six weeks or so. More frequent bathing could dry out the skin and cause discomfort and flaking.

All in all, these cats make wonderful friends and companions. They are suitable for just about anyone and are affecte enough to live with children and most other pets.

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