American Shorthair is a breed of common shorthaired cat. The American shorthair descended from domestic cats brought to North America by European settlers, including the pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620.
The American shorthair has a medium to large, powerfully built body, with a muscular chest and shoulders. The head is broad and rounded, with a squared muzzle. Well-developed cheeks characterize the male. The medium- to large-sized, round eyes are set wide apart, and are slightly higher at the outer corners. The ears are medium-sized, and the broad tail tapers to a blunt tip.
This cat comes in many colors, including black, blue-gray, brown, cream, orange, and ivory, which appear in solid, bi-colored, and tabby patterns. The silver tabby, with silver fur, black stripes, and a distinctive black M shape on its forehead, is a well-recognized example of the American shorthair. Its short, even-textured coat protects the cat from cold and wet weather. Eye coloring ranges from blue or green to gold, depending on the color of the coat. Known for its hunting skills, the American shorthair has good stamina and generally is resistant to disease.
Champion Belle of Bradford, a male orange tabby born in Britain in 1900, was the first of this breed registered in the United States. Originally called the shorthair and then the domestic shorthair, the American shorthair received its current name in 1966—one year after a male silver tabby became the first of this breed to win the Cat Fancier’s Association Best Cat of the Year award.