Kitten History: American Shorthair

The American Shorthair kitten's good looks can be traced back to early American settlers.

The American Shorthair kitten's good looks can be traced back to early American settlers.

American Shorthair © Helmi Flick

Your sweet American Shorthair kitten charms you with his tabby good looks. He owes his natural beauty to a long line of cats that can trace their history back to the early American settlers.

Documents from the Mayflower note that the ship carried several cats to control the ship’s rat population. When the Mayflower arrived in America, the pilgrims kept these working cats as pets. These felines traveled across the country with their pioneer owners, establishing themselves as the American cat.

As the cat fancy became established, these beautiful tabbies became the stars. Selective breeding to preserve the characteristics of the breed began in the early 20th century, and the Domestic Shorthair (renamed the American Shorthair in 1966) was one of the first five breeds registered by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1906. Even today, the American Shorthair retains its popularity, consistently winning new fans and placing in the top-10 breeds year after year.

Return to the American Shorthair Breed Profile

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Cats · Kittens

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