American Shorthair Part 2
Coat, Color and Grooming
The American Shorthair has the body of a working cat: stocky, muscular and strong. His build gives him the agility and endurance he needs as a first-rate stalker, and heavily muscled legs make him capable of pouncing, jumping and climbing to get his furred or feathered prey. This is a medium-size to large cat, slightly longer than he is tall.
A large head with a full-cheeked face gives the American Shorthair a sweet, open expression. He has medium-size ears that are slightly rounded at the tips and large, wide eyes. A short, thick coat comes in a large assortment of colors and patterns: solid, tabby, calico, tortoiseshell, bicolor, particolor and more. The silver classic tabby pattern is probably the most popular of them all.
Children and other pets
The laidback but playful American Shorthair is a perfect choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He can learn tricks and loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect. He will get along fine with dogs if they don’t give him any trouble. He is a skilled hunter, but may learn to leave pet birds or other small animals alone if he is introduced to them at an early age. When in doubt, however, separation is best. Always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.
Our Little Bear is, well, little (only 11 pounds and we’re used to larger cats) to us but normal for his breed. However, his hugs aren’t so little. He latches on like velcro and gives huge hugs! He also loves to go face diving: he’ll put his arms around our necks and press his cheek to our cheek and alternate. He also gives, and receives, numerous kisses per day. His favorite kisses are those when we emerge from the shower. He loves water, so he kisses our faces profusely while we’re still wet. When snuggling in bed, he’ll gently tuck his paws under our necks while he sleeps on our chests, or cradle our faces in his paws while tenderly kissing us.
Despite his small stature, he is an alpha male with tendencies to chase our other cats out of their spot on the bed. He also loves to play chase throughout the house. He’s indoor only but still a hunter. It’s Little Bear who tips us off to the presence of a wasp or other bug in the house. He also climbs like a monkey and stares and jumps. It’s so fun watching him zoom through the hall, ricochet off the walls and leap onto furniture!
Sometimes he eats really fast and throws up afterward. That’s only happened a few times in the 3 1/2 years we’ve had him. He also bites. Last week he bit my nose while sitting in my lap (he loves laps) and actually broke skin. Ow! We have to be careful of his love bites that get too bitey. We try to teach him to do kisses instead of bites but bites are still in the mix!
Little Bear isn’t the first one to greet visitors but isn’t the last, either. He takes a bit more time than his extra-pushy love buddy ragamuffin Orange Crush. His first move is to investigate your presence from a bit of distance, then maybe jump to the back of the chair (he’s a furry neck rest). If you’re going to stick around for a while, you may get to pet him. A lot.
This kitty is very curious and “helpful”. Meaning, if you’re trying to make the bed or sort your supplement bottles or whatever, count on him to get right in the middle and make it impossible for you to continue. But he’s so darned cute you can’t be cross with him. Also he likes to chew on my plastic flip flops. I have to spray Boundary on them and/or hide them from him when I’m not wearing them.
Little Bear also likes to wrap himself around our necks and spread across our chests (kitty scarf). He also likes to sleep on my head (kitty hat) and climb my head and shoulders when I’m sitting or standing too. He also burrows under the covers where his purr soothes our hearts.
I do recommend a kitty like this to families who can meet the affection requirements. Ours can do without us when he has to, but he always has hugs and kisses and laps on speed-dial. I couldn’t imagine him as an only cat; he loves interacting with our other cats. (We wouldn’t have only one cat, so that’s something we wouldn’t test.)
We had a dog stay with us for a couple of days and Little Bear mostly ignored him. I think had he stayed longer, they might have become friends. Our boy handles vet visits really well. He loves to play with toys, independently and interactively.
Here’s hoping you see the tell-tale teddy bear faces on some kitties the next time you go looking for one to adopt! They’re great! If you’re specific about having a velcro cat, make sure to clue shelter/rescue workers to your interests because not all ASs are velcro. Good luck!