7 Best Cat Foods for American Shorthair Cats

By Nadine Oraby | 2021 Update

American shorthairs are the 4th most popular cat breed in the US, and rightly so.

These easy-going, good-mannered, and playful cats are excellent companions for families due to their adaptable nature.

Because these cats are so special, it’s only fair to give them a proper diet that’s full of nutrients.

So which cat food should you feed an American shorthair?

Keep reading on to find out!


The Best Cat Food For American Shorthairs

Top ProductsRatingForm
1. Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Formula Dry Dog & Cat Food4.4Dry
2. Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Dry Cat Food4.8Dry 
3. Instinct Ultimate Protein Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Cat Food4.5Dry 
4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Salmon & Brown Rice Dry Cat Food4.5Dry
5. Fancy Feast Delights Grilled Chicken & Cheddar Cheese Cat Food4.7Wet 
6. Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food4.5Dry
7. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties LID Freeze-Dried Cat Food4Freeze-Dried

1. Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Organic Chicken, 2. Chicken Fat, 3. Taurine, 4. Fish Oil, 5. Natural Flavor

When it comes to mimicking the natural diet of felines, there’s hardly a better choice than Wysong Epigen 90 Starch-Free Dry Cat Food. Its 63% minimum protein content makes it one the most protein-dense dry food on the market and an excellent choice for muscular cats like the American shorthair.

But what makes this cat food even more unique is that it’s completely starch-free, which is similar to a cat’s ancestral diet. It also contains many different superfoods rarely seen in other cat foods like chicory root, chia seed, and apple pectin. The cat food is further formulated with essential micronutrients like probiotics, vitamins, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that make American shorthairs brighter, stronger, and appear healthier.


2. Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Peas, 3. Potatoes, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Flaxseed

For indoor American shorthairs prone to sensitivities and weight-gain, Blue Buffalo’s Freedom Indoor Cat Food is a perfect choice. Its protein-dense and sources macros from high-quality ingredients like real chicken, potatoes, and animal fats. The formula’s calorie count is precisely balanced to fuel indoor cats without making them obese.

Another notable feature of this cat food is that it’s completely grain and gluten free as it sources carbs from potatoes. The formula is further enriched with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits that contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These micronutrients support and strengthen the immune system, organ health, and cognitive functions. 


3. Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Tapioca, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Ground Flaxseed, 5. Natural Flavor

Combining the benefits of raw and dry food into one, Instinct Ultimate Protein Dry Cat Food is an excellent choice for the protein-hungry American shorthair breed. Unlike regular cat foods, Instinct coats their kibbles with crushed, freeze-dried raw chicken that significantly boosts the cat food’s nutritional value and protein-density. Even without the raw coating, the kibbles comprise of 95% real chicken.

Aside from that, the cat food offers superior digestibility and live probiotic support that improves digestion and nutrient absorption. Antioxidants and omega fatty acids are essential parts of the formula as they help make your American shorthair’s coat softer and shinier. 


4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ground Rice, 3. Fish Meal, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Poultry Fat

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Cat Food is a mix of wholesome ingredients combined into an easily-digestible and nutritious formula for breeds like American shorthairs. It has all the macros needed by a muscular breed like the shorthair and sources it directly from real salmon and brown rice for optimum digestibility and nutrient absorption.

Apart from that, the cat food provides prebiotic support, taurine, omega fatty acids, and numerous other micronutrients necessary for optimal organ functioning and a healthier appearance. The recipe also excludes corn, wheat, soy, fillers, and artificial additives to cater to sensitive cats. 


5. Fancy Feast Delights with Grilled Chicken & Cheddar Cheese Gravy Canned Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Poultry Broth, 2. Chicken, 3. Liver, 4. Meat By-Products, 5. Cheese

Give your cat a delicious bistro-inspired meal with Fancy Feast’s Grilled Chicken & Cheese Gravy Cat Food. The high-protein food is made from real chicken tender bites and cheddar cheese dipped in broth so your cat can enjoy their meals just as much as your leftovers. The formula has been designed to provide your cat with complete holistic nutrition, so you can freely feed this canned food on its own. 

Since the canned food contains broth, it’s also beneficial for your American shorthair’s urinary health. Micronutrients such as taurine, vitamins, and minerals are also plentiful in the canned food and make your cat look and feel healthier. 


6. Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Dried Egg Product, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Flaxseed, 5. Salmon Oil

Full of protein and focused on bladder health, Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Cat Food is one of the most spot-on formulas available for American shorthairs on the market. At least 59% of the cat food is pure protein sourced from chicken and pork, which supports lean muscles and fuels your cat throughout the day. 

In addition, the cat food features a low-oxalate ingredient profile which prevents bladder stones and crystal buildup. This is particularly important for American shorthairs since their poor water drinking habits can make them prone to urinary issues. The dry food is also easily-digestible for cats with sensitivities as its free from grains, gluten, and fillers. 


7. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Rabbit, 2. Rabbit Liver, 3. Rabbit Heart, 4. Goat’s Milk, 5. Herring Oil

If you’re leaning towards a raw diet for your American shorthair, Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Cat Food is one of the best options available. The patties are only made up of a handful of ingredients such as rabbit meat, liver, heart, goat’s milk, herring oil, and a natural preservative. This leaves no room for fillers, grains, and artificial ingredients, making the patties an excellent choice for sensitive cats.

Apart from that, the patties also feature a delicious raw meat texture thanks to the slow freeze-drying process they’re preserved with. All you have to do is add some warm water to the patties and serve a hot, tasty, and fresh meal that every cat is bound to enjoy. 


8. Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Potato Starch, 4. Sunflower Oil, 5. Thiamine

Premium-quality nutrition packed in tasty gravy and meat chunks; Weruva Paw Lickin Chicken Cat Food makes an excellent wet food option for American shorthairs. It contains shredded chicken pieces that provide tons of protein to support your cat’s muscles and the delicious texture of real meat. 

Moreover, the broth-based gravy makes the canned food an excellent hydration source for lazy drinkers like the American shorthair. The wet food is also enriched with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins for your cat’s overall well-being and optimum functioning. 


9. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Whole Brown Rice, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Dried Plain Beet Pulp

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor contains all the right ingredients and nutrients to help indoor American shorthairs live a healthy and active life. It uses real chicken for protein and brown rice for healthy fibers, both of which support lean muscles while powering your cat throughout the day.

Apart from that, the delicious dry food also improves your cat’s digestive health and makes their coat shinier and skin healthier. Despite the vast nutrition profile, the formula only contains the most premium-quality ingredients and excludes corn, wheat, soy, artificial additives, and GMOs. 


10. Royal Canin American Shorthair Adult Dry Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Corn, 2. Chicken Fat, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Dried Chicory Root, 5. Fish Oil

Royal Canin is well-known for their tailor-made lineup of cat foods for specific breeds, and their American Shorthair Cat Food is no less. It features a formulation specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of American shorthairs. The cat food provides a range of essential macros that support your cat’s muscle mass while helping them stay active and maintain an ideal weight. 

Since obesity is a common problem with the shorthair breed, the cat food also contains L-carnitine and low-fat levels. It’s enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, and omega fatty acids that nourish your cat’s coat health and strengthens their immune system. Overall, the cat food is easily-digestible and can also work for shorthairs with sensitivities. 


Buyer’s Guide

Like any other breed, feeding your American shorthair a high-quality and nutritious diet is crucial to their health and lifespan. While there are hundreds of different cat foods available in the market, choosing one for an American shorthair is easy due to their love for food and good overall health.

However, you do need to be careful about their macros and caloric intake as these cats are prone to becoming obese. Here are some basic macronutrient guidelines you need to keep in mind while searching for a cat food for your American shorthair:

Macronutrient Requirements

1. Proteins

All cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their digestive systems have evolved to digest meat and flesh primarily. Because of that, a lot of a cat’s core functions are dependent on protein. It is their primary source of energy and is essential for building muscle blocks. So, it only makes sense for the majority of their diet to consist of protein. 

American shorthairs also need high-quality protein in their diet. But because they have muscular bodies and strong limbs, their protein requirement is significantly higher than other breeds. American shorthairs need at least 35% protein in their diet, compared to the 25% protein requirement of typical cats. 

Remember to choose high-protein formulas that derive meat from premium-quality sources. You can choose any meat type such as chicken, turkey, beef, or fish as long as your cat can digest it. 

2. Fats

Every cat needs a healthy portion of essential fats from their diet. Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are great examples as they nourish your cat’s skin and help them grow a soft and lustrous coat. They are also crucial for fueling your cat’s energy reserves throughout their day. 

The minimum fat requirement for American shorthairs is 10% and changes as they age. Fats should form the majority portion of your cat’s diet apart from protein. Just make sure that fats in your cat food are animal-based or vegetable-based. Some great sources of essential fats for cats include salmon oil, chicken or beef fat, and flaxseed oil. 

3. Carbohydrates

Because most cats are obligate carnivores, carbohydrates aren’t a major part of their diet. Considering the typical prey of cats are birds and small animals, their natural diet consists of less than 10% carbohydrates. That being said, domesticated cats still require some proportion of carbs in their diet that can fuel their body and keep them active.

Make sure that the carbohydrates in your cat food are sourced from easily-digestible foods such as brown rice or potatoes. Your cat food should also be grain-free as grains can cause digestive upsets in cats and even trigger an allergic reaction. 

American shorthairs should be fed very few carbohydrates. This breed is generally quite lazy, so any excess carbs they consume will accumulate as fat on their bodies and make them obese.

Factors to consider when choosing cat food

Every American shorthair is unique and has different nutritional needs. To select the best possible cat food for your shorthair, you need to know how some common factors can affect their diet. The following factors will help you narrow down the search and pick the right food for your cat: 

1. Age

An American shorthair’s dietary requirements change at each life stage. As a kitten, they need lots of calories and frequent meals to fuel their growing body. In adulthood, they need a consistent number of macros to stay active and alert. And as they grow into seniority, they require a high-protein diet and slightly lesser calories to keep diseases on hold and prevent obesity. 

Nutritional requirements also change as an American shorthair age. Kittens, in particular, need a range of micronutrients due to their developing senses and growing body. Their maturing organs such as eyes, bones, brain, and heart need amino acids, calcium, essential fats, and glucosamine to grow properly. So, go for a kitten formula that’s rich in micronutrients and contains an appropriate amount of macros that can fuel their body.

Once an American shorthair is six to eight months old, they can be shifted to an adult cat food. Make sure that the diet is protein-dense and contains as few carbs as possible. 

Seniors need more attention as they’re at a higher risk of obesity and diseases. Choose the most protein-rich formula so your shorthair can maintain its lean structure without gaining extra fat. Also, make sure that the cat food contains glucosamine and antioxidants to cope with your cat’s weakening bones and immune system.

2. Activity Level

American shorthairs are more of a lounging cat than an energizer bunny. Still, some cats can be more active or lazier than others which can change their calorie requirement. And you don’t want to over or underfeed these cats as they can become obese or malnourished without notice quite easily. 

An American shorthair adult or senior cat needs 280-360 calories on average in a single day. But for the most accurate figure, you need to consult a veterinarian with whom you discuss your cat’s attributes and activity levels. 

3. Health status

American shorthairs are lucky in this aspect as they’re generally quite healthy and aren’t predisposed to common diseases faced by most felines. Despite that, they are prone to becoming obese, which can onset lots of other health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, and pancreatitis. 

To prevent an American shorthair from becoming obese, you must feed them a high-protein diet with minimal carbohydrates. More importantly, you need to control feeding habits and avoid free-feeding and excessive treat consumption at all costs. 

If your American shorthair is already overweight or diabetic, you need to feed them the same high-protein and low-carb diet to control their weight. Diabetes is incurable in cats, but fortunately, it doesn’t require insulin injections and can be handled through weight-management.


FAQ’s

Is wet food or dry food better for American shorthairs?

Wet food is better for American shorthairs because it helps them stay hydrated. However, you can also increase their water intake with dry food by adding some meat broth to their regular bowl of kibbles. 

Can you free-feed your American shorthair?

No, you should never free-feed American shorthairs as these cats can easily become overweight if they overeat. Food left out in the open can also become rancid quickly and cause food poisoning. 

Why is my American shorthair hungry all the time?

Most American shorthairs tend to have enormous appetites and will eat just about everything in sight. However, you must not feed them anything over their daily quota and keep toxic food items out of their reach. 

How many times should an American shorthair eat?

An American shorthair kitten should be served their daily food portion in three to four meals per day. In contrast, an adult or senior shorthair should be fed their total calories in two meals a day. 

How to know if my cat is dehydrated?

A quick way to know if your cat is hydrated or not is to pinch and pull the skin over their shoulders and then release it. If their skin pops back into place, your cat is hydrated. But if their skin forms a tent, they’re dehydrated.