When settlers sailed from Europe to North America they carried cats on board to protect the stores from mice. Many of these cats landed in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early in the 20th century, a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats.
The American Shorthair is a pedigreed cat breed, with a strict conformation standard, as set by cat fanciers of the breed and the North American cat fancier associations. Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1906 to the "American Shorthair" to better represent its "all-American" origins and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. Both the American Shorthair breed and the random-bred cats from which the breed is derived are sometimes called working cats because they were used for controlling rodent populations, on ships and farms.
They are intelligent cats who are interested in their surroundings. They will watch birds, other animals and any outside activity from a window perch. These cats are calm yet playful, and some enjoy sitting in laps. They get along with children, so they make good family pets. Even though they are social cats, they are still independent. These cats continue to use their hunting skills to catch insects or pests that come into the house. The American Shorthair Cat has a very strong play/prey instinct and they should have access to toys as an important part of their development.
They are recognized in more than eighty different colours and patterns ranging from the brown-patched tabby to the blue-eyed white, the shaded silvers, smokes and cameos to the calico van, and many colors in between. Some even come in deep tones of black, brown, or other blends and combinations.