How to Take Care of an American Shorthair Cat

American Shorthairs are probably as close as you can get to an all-around acceptable cat. Like Goldilocks, you will find them to be just right. They are moderate in size, build, activity, and tendency to cuddle. They prefer to come to your lap as opposed to being picked up or carried. Usually patient with children and other animals, American Shorthairs can handle a little rough play but be warned, they will give as good as they get. These cats are not great conversationalists, but they make great companions, following their favorite humans as they go about their day in the house.

American Shorthair Cat

How Much Does an American Shorthair Cat Cost?

You may be able to purchase an American Shorthair kitten for around $600 – $700 if you are buying from an unknown breeder. A kitten from a reputable breeder will run you between $1,000 and $1,500. This is a comparable price for most American breeds. Other rarer breeds would cost at least five times as much to start and go as high as $125,000.

What are the specific needs of the breed?

This breed of cat is pretty much hands-off when it comes to anything special with regards to definite needs. A good combing and brushing once a week should leave a smooth texture to the coat. These cats need plenty of water in the heat. This includes hot summer months and overheating in the winter in extremely warm homes. Mental and physical stimulation is a big plus with this breed, and toys should be designed for exercise and provide a bit of a challenge.

cat lounging outside

What is the diet of the breed?

Since American Shorthairs are not extremely active, they should eat food with high-quality fats and protein. Wet foods that contain game meat, chicken, salmon, liver, crab meat, and tuna are ideal for this breed. Wet food also helps maintain hydration. Dry food is usually a hit because it just tastes good. Gluten-free and grain-free choices can be served in small portions throughout the day.

Low-quality fats and by-products, fillers, artificial additives, and plant-based protein are not healthy ingredients and should be avoided.

girl and kitten

What are the health issues of the breed?


This breed is generally healthy, but all purebreds have at least one condition that they suffer as a breed. Two common conditions seem to be associated with American Shorthairs, hip dysplasia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Both of these conditions are hereditary.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is primarily the enlargement of the heart muscle. A vet should catch a heart murmur during a routine examination. From there he or she can determine if further testing and subsequent treatment may be necessary.

Hip Dysplasia is a malady of the hip socket. It can be mild with little to no pain or lead to painful paralysis. Medication is recommended and surgery may be an option. It is a good idea to practice preventive treatment for these two ailments.