You’ve seen them on television and in the movies. The distinctive black tabby markings set against the luxurious silver fur immediately grab your attention — and the “cat next door” good looks keep it. “Hmmm,” you may think, “I used to have a cat that looked like that.”
Make no mistake, however; the American Shorthair — featured in cat food ads and motion picture scenes — is not your average tabby cat. “Whatever color and pattern the cat appears in, it will be easily identified as something more special than the typical domestic cat,” says Virginia Wight, a breeder from Macon, Ga.
What makes the American Shorthair stand out? Breeders cite the cat’s well-proportioned, muscular body, its oblong head with full cheeks and the large, almond-shaped eyes that lend the breed a sweet expression. And then there’s that striking coat. “They have beautiful patterns,” says Linda Bartley, secretary of the National American Shorthair Club and a breeder from Altoona, Pa.
Wight agrees, describing the American Shorthair’s striking patterns and rainbow of colors as “difficult to resist.”
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