American Shorthair cat ‘Piper’ and one other, both silver tabbies

I believe that the American Shorthair is an underrated purebred cat. This is a cat with a long American history, similar to the more famous Maine Coon. This was a cat of American barns, a kind of working cat; a moggy to use the vernacular. They were and still are to be honest street cats. It is believed that they originate in non-purebred shorthaired cats from Britain or Europe brought with European settlers to protect cargo from mice and rats. In other words, their first task was to be a ships’ cat. There are some records, it is said, that several cats arrived on the well-known ship the “Mayflower”. And of course, once they were ashore, they mated with other cats because back in the day they were not neutered or spayed.

Here are two photographs by Helmi Flick, a professional photographer based in Dallas, USA. She often takes photographs at cat shows using a mobile photographic studio. Her husband, Ken, helps by ensuring that the cats are stimulated and positioned well on the table (wrangled in his words).

American Shorthair cat Piper
American Shorthair cat Piper. Photograph by Helmi Flick.


In the early days, like many other cat breeds, these non-purebred domestic shorthaired cats were refined through selective breeding to become a recognised and accepted purebred cat. A group of dedicated breeders wanted to preserve the look of a cat they called “the Domestics”. And so they said about selectively breeding them to create the beautiful and very natural looking purebred cat that we see today.

On this journey of refinement as the cat fancy would call it the breed went through a name change. In the beginning they were called ‘Domestic Shorthairs’. An almost generic name by today’s standards. Breeders decided to change the name to American Shorthairs to better reflect what Gloria Stephens refers to as “this wonderful all-American cat.

“The American Shorthair is known for the beautiful silver classic pattern” – Gloria Stephens Legacy of the Cat.

Piper and the other cat are classic silver tabbies. This appearance has been developed and cultivated over many years. This breed is referred to as an ‘ASH’.

American Shorthair Cat PIPER – photo copyright Helmi FlickThis popular cat breed (8th out of over 70) is meant to be heavy. I guess that means well-muscled. After all this cat was a working barn cat like the Maine Coon in days past. Another feature of this breed is the square muzzle. The body shape is described as semi-cobby. The eyes are large and round and the ears are medium-sized. These are the characteristics of a normal shaped cat! This cat should not be extreme like the Ultra Persian.

Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.– Paul GrayThousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. – Anonymous – see Egyptian Cat Art.

This page has been refreshed as at Jan 04, 2022 and it was first published about 13 years ago ✌.

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