Originally the American Shorthair was an ordinary domestic cat of no particular breeding which was modified and improved by enthusiasts. And, since the Americans are known never to do anything by halves, in the process they produced a vast number of varieties!
The European cat travelled to America on the Mayflower :with the first immigrants, but it had to wait three centuries for recognition. Today the American Shorthair still retains the overall look of its moggy ancestors. It has also retained their qualities of intelligence, willingness to please and affection for its owners. Here is a cat that is both dependant and independant.
Of course it is an excellent mouser, A hardy cat, resistant to disease, it is easy to look after and to feed. One day, on a farm in Verona in the State of New York, two kittens in a litter were born with frizzy coats. On becoming adult one of them was crossed with a female of similar coat and so, in 1966, began the line known as the American Wtrehair.
The breed has since become recognised. Reminiscent of the Rex, the coat is, however, frizzy, as distinct from the curly undercoat of the latter. The hair is much rougher to the touch. With an apparently more diverse character than the American Shorthair, the agile Wirehair pokes its nose into everything.
While affectionate with its master it knows how to make itself respected by other pets or farm animals. It, too, is an excellent mouser. It only needs an occasional light brush. Not difficult to look after, the Wirehair will eat anything it is given but likes meat best.
Muscular and solid body firmly planted on moderately long, heavy paws. The medium long tail is ringed and thickly covered in hair.
Fairy large, with rounded ears set on the top. The eye colour is in harmony with that of the coat.
Short, thick hair, covering the whole body, protects it from the cold. They come in a great variety of colours, new ones appearing all the time. These include black, white, grey, blue grey, reddish brown, cream, golden, cameo, black smoke, cameo smoke, tabby, blue smoke, marmalade etc. The American Shorthairis not well known in Europe, itsequivalent being the British Shorthair and the common European cat.
Medium sized, well proportioned, stocky and muscular. The female is smaller than the male. The long tail tapers atthe end.
Round shaped with full cheeks, slightly protruding nose and small ears. Extremely brighteyeswhich match the colour of the coat.
Frizzy, medium long haired. Colours vary enormously.
This is the original ordinary British domestic cat. No longer a moggy since it became accepted as a breed in 1929. The date of its appearance in the British Isles is unknown and, although allowed in cat shows, it was definitely the poor relation until, at a congress of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, a member persuaded the G.C.C.F. to recognise the breed.
In Europe the equivalent cat had to wait much longer; in France, for instance, it was not recognised until 1983. The British Shorthair is a solid sort of cat with a confident look, ready for anything. It has proved its intelligence by the way in which it survives the dangers of the street when left to itself.
It has often had to solve unexpected problems instantly and can obviously think on its feet! Living in a family it always knows just how far it can go and how much it can get away with. It shows great affection to its owners and also to children (with whom it will play) and other members of the family, even the family dog. But it never loses its dignity and soon lets you know if you go too far! It has no special care or feeding requirements other than the general rule of weighed quantities of food served at regular times every day.
Solidly and powerfully built. Short, sturdy paws. Well proportioned, thick tail.
Round and solid. Strong neck. Ears set wide apart. Calm eyes.
Short, thick hair. May be any colour. There are innumerable. Varieties of the breed.