One of the first five breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the American Shorthair cat is a true American icon. Believed to descend from ship cats who crossed with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, the American Shorthair breed developed along with their new country. Known for their health and long lifespan, the American Shorthair is a popular family pet, thanks to their sweet nature and gorgeous looks. In fact, the American Shorthair is one of the 10 most popular purebred cats in the world.
The distinctive looks of the American Shorthair come not only from their strong build and round face shape but their widely varied colors and patterns. More than 80 different color and pattern combinations are allowed in the American Shorthair breed standard. Tabby American Shorthairs are the best known and most common, but there are many more colors to discover! Here are 15 different American Shorthair cat colors, representing the full range of the breed’s coat possibilities.
White American Shorthairs should be a bright, glistening white all over their bodies, like a snowball in feline form. Their eyes can be blue or gold or even one of each! White American Shorthair cats also have pink noses and paw pads.
Black-coated American Shorthairs also have black noses and paw pads. Their coats are deep black all over and down to the roots. Some other coat types can look black but have lighter hair tips or undercoats. A true black American Shorthair is the same level color all over, with golden eyes.
Blue American Shorthairs might look gray at first glance, but their coats should have a distinct blue tinge on closer inspection. They are the same solid color all over their bodies and down to their hair roots. Golden eyes with blue noses and paw pads complete the look.
Deep, bright red from nose to tail, this American Shorthair color is sure to grab your attention! True red American Shorthairs have no light shading or markings. Their nose and paw pads are brick red and their eyes are gold.
Cream American Shorthairs are a little darker than those with pure white coats, a shade usually described as buff. Their hair is the same level coloring all over and to the roots, like the other solid colors. Like white American Shorthairs, the cream cats also have pink noses and paw pads but may only have gold eyes.
Tortoiseshell American Shorthairs are black with patches and shades of red mixed in all over their bodies. They also come in a dilute tortoiseshell version, with a white undercoat that makes them appear more silver or blue than black.
Chinchilla is a unique American Shorthair color variation. These cats have white undercoats and hair tipped with color on their back, sides, head, and tail. The combination of white with the tipped colors makes chinchilla American Shorthairs appear to be sparkling. Chinchilla American Shorthairs come in silver (black tips), blue, red, cream, and tortoiseshell versions. Their eyes, noses, and paw pads can be a variety of colors.
Shaded American Shorthair cats have white undercoats with color starting dark along their backs and shading lighter down their sides until it becomes white on their stomach and chest. Silver, red, blue, cream and tortoiseshell are all accepted colors for shaded American Shorthairs. The color of their eyes, nose, and paw pads will vary based on what color they are shaded.
Smoke American Shorthair cats appear to be one, usually solid color when they are holding still. However, unlike solid cats, who have hair one color all the way to the root, smoke American Shorthairs have a light undercoat. When they are in motion, the light underneath the solid is easy to see. Smoke American Shorthairs often have white markings on their legs, chest, stomach, and feet. Their overcoats can be blue-cream, black, blue, or red.
Tabby is a striped pattern that occurs in multiple colors. The most famous American Shorthair color is the silver tabby, but they can also be brown, red, blue, cream, and many others. Tabby markings can either be classic, mackerel, or ticked.
Classic tabbies are striped up and down their sides, while mackerel tabbies have stripes running front to back down their body. Ticked tabbies are striped on their legs, tail, and head, but otherwise, don’t appear to have any markings on their body. American Shorthair tabbies of all types and colors can also have white markings.
11. Patched Tabby
Patched tabby American Shorthairs are also called “torbies.” Patched tabbies are blue, silver, or brown tabbies with the addition of red or cream patches like a tortoiseshell. Like the other tabby patterns, patched tabbies can also come with white markings.
Calico American Shorthairs are white with black and red patches, sometimes with tabby stripes in the red. Dilute calicos, a variation of calico, is white with blue and cream patches. Their eyes should always be gold.
Bi-color American Shorthairs are white with one of the other allowed solid colors: blue, black, red, or cream. The solid colors shouldn’t have any other markings or shadings.
Vans is an American Shorthair color in which the coat is mostly white, combined with other color and pattern types. Unlike other bi-color cats, the Vans cats can only have colored hair on their head, tail, and legs, leaving the body all white with only one or two small patches allowed. Vans American Shorthairs can be found in all the colors and patterns already discussed and others as well.
Blue-cream American Shorthair cats have blue coats with cream patches or cream color mingled into the blue. While they should always have gold eyes, their noses and paw pads may be either blue or pink.
Related Read: How to Tell If Your Cat Is an American Shorthair
These are just a few of the many colors and patterns of the American Shorthair cat! No matter which of their many unique looks catch your eye, expect an American Shorthair to be a loving and playful member of the family. If you’re ready to pick a cat and color to call your own, make sure to work with a responsible breeder who guarantees the health of their cats. American Shorthairs are known for their long lifespans, meaning you can look forward to many years enjoying life with your American Shorthair and their coats of many colors!
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