American Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic: Let’s Find Out!

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Are you worried about your precious little fur balls causing allergic reactions in a family member and want to know, “are American Shorthairs hypoallergenic?”Well, I have been in the same situation.

So, are American shorthair cats hypoallergenic? I am afraid this is not the case. While they make for quite loveable pets, they cannot be labeled as a hypoallergenic breed as they shed quite a lot of hair.

The term hypoallergenic refers to any pet that does not cause allergic reactions in human beings. In this article, we are going to share some information about American Shorthair cats and allergies that you should definitely know.

Overview of American Shorthairs

Characteristics Extent of behavior of the breed
Affection levelHigh
Behavior with childrenGood
Behavior with dogsExcellent
Energy levelSatisfactory
Social needsHigh 

American shorthair 101 (Video)


What causes allergic reactions?

Before talking about American shorthairs; it is essential to first understand what causes allergic reactions to cats.

While it is true that shedding has a pivotal role to play in allergic reactions; shedding is not directly responsible for them. Cats create a protein, Fel D1. This protein is present in their saliva, skin, and urine.

When the cat is grooming itself, the protein makes its way to the fur. Shedding of the coat leads the allergen to spread to the surroundings.

Dander, which is the dry skin flakes, also spreads in the air during shedding. Since skin also contains the Fel D1 protein, this is another way for the allergen to find its target.

American shorthairs and the hypoallergenic feature

This breed sheds moderately and thus is not hypoallergenic. They have dense coats which consequently lead to more shedding.

It is important to comb and brush the coat frequently. Otherwise, cats end up ingesting their own hair which leads to the formation of hairballs in their stomach. You will also have to vacuum quite regularly if you opt for these affectionate cats as pets.

Well, as dumb as I was when I first got my American Shorthair, I had no idea that you needed a proper cat hairbrush to groom it. My poor American Shorthair eventually got so constipated and completely lost its appetite.

What worked for me was a few drops of olive oil in my cat’s food and the use of this fantastic pet hair removal brush. The best part of this brush is that it needs no refills so my lazy self didn’t have to get up and buy refills.

Sometimes, people are unsure whether they do have cat allergies or not. An excellent way to tackle this would be to spend some time with the breed you are contemplating to adopt.

Find an American shorthair breeder and request to spend some time with the precious thing. You will soon know if this is the pet you should have.

What do American shorthair cats look like?

These cats are medium in size albeit quite powerful. They have heavy muscles and bone and have an average lifespan of 15 to 17 years. Therefore, if you are looking for a long-term companion, these would be perfect.

Male Female
11 to 15 pounds8 to 12 pounds

Females tend to be smaller as compared to males. These cats have a muscular neck with a broad chest and strong jaws. Their legs are strong as well.

They have dense and thick coats. The coats increase in thickness during winters and assume a hard texture. This is because the coat is meant for protection.

You will find this beautiful breed in a variety of colors including:

  • Blue
  • Tabby
  • Black
  • Silver
  • Brown

More than 80 variations of patterns are seen on this breed. These include shaded, smoke, solid color and bicolor, among others.

One attribute which makes these cats even more appealing is their eye color. American Shorthairs can have any of the following eye colors:

  • Copper
  • Blue
  • Gold
  • Hazel
  • Green

What type of personality do these American Shorthairs have?

These sturdy cats are quite sociable and affectionate. However, it would be a good idea to know more about their personality traits beforehand.

These friendly cats adapt to families quite easily. Thus, they make great companions for one and all. While they can be labeled as lap cats, they are not excessively needy or clingy. They do not demand attention and affection at all times.

However, the cat does like to spend time with people. While holding, ensure that its back feet are supported. This makes it more comfortable.

These furballs do not mind being lefton their own for some time. They can entertain themselves. However, they also look forward to some interactive playing sessions from time to time. They seem to enjoy puzzle toys quite a bit. Training them is easy as they appear eager to learn new things.

These social cats are also quite dog-friendly and enjoy spending time with other animals. They are not very vocal, too, which is a major plus for people who like to keep their place peaceful. They prefer to let their needs be known via their expressions instead. They are quite patient as well.

American Shorthair care guide

These playful cats do not require much out of you. They can easily be taken care of. Brushing twice weekly would suffice for removal of dead hair and distribution of skin oils. However, since their coat is thick and dense, they can form hairballs. Frequent brushing can solve this problem.

Brushing the teeth is vital if you want to evade dental problems. While daily brushing is ideal, brushing once a week would also be satisfactory. The nails have to be trimmed every other week.

The eye corners should be wiped, using a damp cloth. This removes any discharge and prevents the spread of infections. Ears should be checked weekly. If you think they appear dirty, use a soft cloth, damped with a mixture of warm water and cider vinegar to clean it.

These cats are fond of food. However, obesity needs to be prevented. Therefore, give them measured amounts of food and don’t give into their cute expressions when they want more.

American Shorthairs are particular about cleanliness and hygiene. Thus, their litter box needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If they find the box dirty, you might see them using some other place in the house.

Related Questions

What is known about the origin of the American shorthairs?This breed acquired popularity during the 19th century. They quickly became the preferred option to be kept as pets, thereby giving them their original name of domestic shorthairs.

They garnered the attention of the breeders, and some particular traits were picked out. These traits are now characteristic of American shorthairs. The trails include a wide muzzle, powerful jaw, large head and cheek and variety of colors of the coat.

The primary role of the cat was to keep the population of rodents under control. This is the reason that they were made hardy and robust.

Their name was switched to American Shorthair in 1966. This was done for differentiation from other felines.

What do American shorthairs like to eat?Shorthairs do not respond well to being fed with fruits and vegetables. They prefer to eat meat at all times. Their nutritional requirement revolves mostly around proteins and fats. These cats cannot process carbohydrates well. Therefore, while deciding on their food, this is something to keep in mind.

These cats take some time to mature. It might take them 3 or 4 years to reach their full size. The kitten must be provided with a well-balanced diet for optimal development and growth.

Are there any health issues related to American shorthairs?On the whole, these furballs are quite robust and healthy. Thus, they prove to be an excellent choice for those who do not want to worry about excessive medical costs.

However, there is one health condition that you need to think about, the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition leads to the hypertrophy or thickening of the muscles of the heart. You can use an echocardiogram to rule out the disease.

Their faces have a flat structure. Thus, they are vulnerable to respiratory and ocular conditions as well. Predisposition and gum and mouth diseases are also found. Since these cats are quite laid back, they can easily become obese if attention is not given to their diet.

Where can I get an American shorthair cat?Finding these playful companions is not really difficult since they are quite prevalent. They can usually be bought at an average cost of somewhere between $600 and $1200 USD.

If you intend to purchase from a breeder, research is mandatory beforehand. Ensure that the initial vaccination of the cat is done. The kitten should not be younger than 12 weeks of age. Parental histories along with medical records should also be acquired. This can save you from a lot of trouble.

Which cats are suitable for those with allergies?While all cat breeds shed to some extent, some are considered to be quite close to being “hypoallergenic”. Those suffering from cat allergies might find one of them to be a suitable option. These include:

  • Balinese
  • Javanese
  • Oriental short hair
  • Cornish Rex
  • Devon Rex
  • Siberian cats
  • Sphinx
  • Bengal cats
  • Balinese cats
  • Russian blue cats

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