Origins of the breed
The American Shorthair is believed to be descended from European cats brought to North America by early settlers, including those on the “Mayflower”, to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats. With the interest in showing cats in the 1800’s, it was decided to develop a shorthair cat representative of the American working cat.
It is recorded that, at the Second Annual Cat Show at Madison Square Garden in 1896, a brown tabby American Shorthair was offered for sale for $2,500. Official recognition as the “Domestic Shorthair” was given by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1906. The breed was re-named the “American Shorthair” in the early 1960’s.