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American Shorthair Cat: A Guide for Pet Owners

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American Shorthair

American Shorthairs have a calm and friendly personality that makes them get along with kids, dogs, and other pets. Many pet owners like them because they are easy to care for. They also have a natural skill for catching mice, which is why they were brought to the Americas on ships long ago and became our beloved pets.

American Shorthair cats have a medium size and a strong body. They have sweet faces that match their gentle nature. They usually weigh between 6 and 15 pounds, with males being heavier than females.

How to take care of an American Shorthair: 

American Shorthairs need to play and exercise every day. They like to hunt mice and climb on cat trees or chase their toys.

When they are tired, they love to snuggle with their humans and sleep. These cats are easy to look after and friendly, so they are good for new or experienced pet owners.

American Shorthair Health Problems: 

American Shorthairs are usually healthy cats that can live for 15–20 years. India, a black American Shorthair who was the White House cat when George W. Bush was president, lived until she was 18.

But the breed can have some serious health issues, so you might want to buy pet insurance for your American Shorthair kitten. Pet insurance can help you pay for emergencies and regular care, depending on the plan you pick.

Heart Disease in American Shorthairs: 

HCM is a common heart problem in cats, and American Shorthairs can get it more than some other breeds.

HCM can be hard to find in the early stages, so the best way to check for it is to do genetic tests and regular heart exams. If the problem gets worse, cats may have trouble breathing, feel tired, and even have heart failure.

If you buy an American Shorthair from a breeder, make sure their cats have been tested for HCM. If your cat is from a shelter or adopted, you can also use DNA kits at home to find out if your cat has HCM before they show signs.

Mouth Problems in American Shorthairs: 

Many cats have mouth problems, but you can stop them by taking care of your cat’s teeth at home and taking them to the vet for checkups and cleanings. Your cat may have mouth problems if they have:

  • Bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Scratching their mouth
  • Spitting out food
  • Drooling
  • Not eating

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University says that dry cat food and treats that the VOHC says are good for teeth can help stop mouth problems by cleaning off the plaque. For example, most cats like Greenies dental treats, which the VOHC says are good for teeth

Food for American Shorthairs: 

American Shorthairs can eat any good quality cat food that follows the rules of the AAFCO.

But different cats need different food depending on their age. American Shorthair kittens need food for “growth” or “all life stages,” while older cats need “adult maintenance” foods.

If you don’t know what food is best for your American Shorthair cat or kitten, ask your vet for advice.

Extra Food for American Shorthairs: 

Young and healthy cats don’t need more food than what is in a good and balanced diet. But as your American Shorthair gets older, you may want to ask your vet about giving them senior cat food.

Senior cat food has things that are good for their joints, like omega-3 from fish oil. Older cats can get sick more easily, so it’s important to talk to your vet before changing your cat’s food.

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