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How Much Does It Cost to Own an American Shorthair? 2023 Update

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

red American Shorthair

An American Shorthair Cat is a sweet, adorable feline many pet owners would love to own. Although they’re not expensive cats, there are one-time and monthly costs associated with caring for this loving feline. You’ll want to account for several factors, from pet insurance to vet visits. You can expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $3.000 for the cat depending if you are adopting or buying from the breeder. Monthly costs can then range from $106 to $217.

In this guide, we’ll break down those costs for you, so you can decide whether giving an American Shorthair a forever home is right for you.

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Bringing Home a New American Shorthair: One-Time Costs

On average, you can expect to pay $500 to $800 for an American Shorthair Kitten. However, if the American Shorthair you choose comes from a champion bloodline, you can pay upwards of $3,000 for one of these adorable kittens.

The cost of the kitten will be determined by the pedigree, the breeder’s reputation, the location, and the age of the kitten. However, the costs for your American Shorthair Cat don’t stop here. There are also other one-time costs associated with this cat; we’ll discuss all those costs below.

cream american shorthair
Image Credit: studiogala, Shutterstock


Receiving an American Shorthair for free is an ideal scenario, but it’s vital to ensure the cat is healthy before bringing one home. You might find a trusted friend or neighbor with a healthy cat, but be careful about advertisements for free cats. Some “free” cats may have health conditions that require expensive veterinary treatments.


  • $70 to $150

Sometimes, a pet parent must surrender their American Shorthair. If you can find one of these cats at a shelter, you can expect to pay between $70 and $150, which is much less expensive than purchasing one from a breeder. The price will vary according to the cat’s age, vaccines, and even whether the cat has been spayed or neutered. The good thing about adopting an American Shorthair from a local rescue shelter is that you can be sure the cat has been taken care of, and the shelters do everything in their power to keep the animals in their care healthy.

Most shelters have the cat vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and checked out by their vet before they put them up for adoption. That’s why the prices can vary on adoption, just as they do with a breeder.

american shorthair cat
Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock


  • $500 to $3000

Purchasing your American Shorthair from a breeder is where the real money is spent. Most of the time, you’ll pay between $500 and $800 for this breed. However, it can cost $3,000 if the kitten is from a championship bloodline.

Factors affecting the cost of an American Shorthair Kitten include the kitten’s age, the breeder’s location and reputation, and whether the kitten comes with papers and a health guarantee from the breeder. To find a reputable breeder, ensure they perform health tests on their cats for inherited conditions and allow you to tour the facilities. Breeders with certifications from cat fancy organizations are an excellent place to start.

Initial Set-up and Supplies

  • $670 to $1690

Now that you’ve purchased your American Shorthair Kitten, you’ll need to set up your house for the kitten to come home. You can expect to spend $670 to $1,690 on supplies to make your kitten feel at home. This includes initial veterinary visits, vaccines, an ID collar and microchip, a bed, and grooming supplies.

American shorthair cat eating
Image Credit: Apicha Bas, Shutterstock

List of American Shorthair Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar $5 to $20
Spay/Neuter $200 to $500
Initial Vet Visit $100–$250
Initial Vaccines $25 to $50
Microchip $40 to $60
Teeth Cleaning $150 to $300
Bed $15 to $30
Grooming Essentials $25 to $35
Toys, Scratching Post $15 to $70
Litter Box $20 to $160
Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medication $30 to $100
Misc Supplies $15 to $30
Carrier $20 to $60
Food and Water Bowls $10 to $25

How Much Does an American Shorthair Cost Per Month?

  • $106 to $217 per month

Once you’ve settled in with your American Shorthair Kitten and are both comfortable, you can expect to spend $106 to $217 monthly on your feline companion. From health care to food and grooming to pet insurance, we’ll break down what you’ll spend your money on below.

shaded American Shorthair
Image Credit: Phatthanun.R, Shutterstock

Health Care

  • $10 to $20 per month

While most American Shorthairs are healthy, you never know what could happen. However, barring any illnesses or accidents, you can get by with between $10 and $20 a month for health care. Make sure you take your cat in for regular checkups so that anything that might be wrong with your feline pal can be caught and treated early.


  • $20 to $40 per month

Food for your cat should run you between $20 and $40 a month. However, this depends on where you buy your cat food, which brand your cat prefers, and whether you feed wet or dry food. It’s essential to feed your pet high-protein, quality cat food, so it might be a bit more expensive if your vet recommends premium food for your feline.

American shorthair cat
Image Credit: Thanakorn Kosalakorn, Shutterstock


  • $20 to $40 per month

American Shorthairs are not high-maintenance pets, but they need their coats brushed at least two or three times a week. Since all housecats are vulnerable to dental disease, brushing your cat’s teeth weekly is critical to prevent plaque and tarter from accumulating. You can expect to spend between $20 and $40 a month, especially if you take your pet to a groomer instead of doing it yourself.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $0–$100 per month

Biannual veterinary appointments help veterinarians spot troubling conditions before they progress, and taking your American Shorthair to the vet is essential to the cat’s health. If your pet is healthy, you won’t be spending money every month on the wet. However, you’ll need preventative treatments for fleas and ticks, and your cat may need a prescription filled if it suffers from a minor condition like allergies.

Pet Insurance

  • $30–$50 per month

While pet insurance isn’t required, purchasing a monthly policy’s always a good idea. You never know when your American Shorthair Cat will get sick or become injured, and emergencies at a vet can be incredibly expensive to treat. Pet insurance should run you between $30 and $50 monthly for your feline.

pet insurance form on the laptop screen
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Environment Maintenance

  • $25 to $70 per month

There’s not much to purchase for your American Shorthair to maintain the cat’s environment. The most you should have to spend is between $25 and $70 a month. Litter box liners, deodorizing spray, cardboard scratchers, and litter shouldn’t be expensive. You can also buy a cat tree instead of the cardboard scratchers, and it’ll last much longer, so you won’t have to buy them monthly.

Litter box liners $5 to $20 a month
Deodorizing spray or granules $5 to $20 a month
Cardboard Scratcher $15 to $30 a month


When it comes to entertainment for your American Shorthair Cat, buying toys and interactive games should keep the cat happy. Of course, the best activity for the cat is playing with you. There are also plenty of subscription boxes that you can purchase for your feline. That way, you’ll have toys and even treats delivered to your door every month without having to make a trip to the store.

cat in living room playing with hepper hi-lo cat scratcher while in highest position

A cat scratcher can provide hours of fun daily for any cat, especially our Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher. It's a cardboard scratcher built to last and amuse (all while looking stylish in any room). It can be adjusted to three different positions – high, low, and lower – and is guaranteed to keep your feline companion engaged and entertained, away from getting into [too much] mischief or scratching things they shouldn't. You can click here to learn more about this piece of modern cat furniture and kitty play haven. 

Total Monthly Cost of Owning an American Shorthair

  • $110 to $220 per month

The average monthly cost of owning an American Shorthair Cat is $110 to $220 a month. This varies according to the brand of food and toys you get, plus whether you purchase pet insurance or not, which we recommend for the health and safety of your cat.

Additional Costs to Factor In

You’ll also want to factor in costs such as pet sitters because you won’t always be able to take your furry friend with you if you go away on vacation or a business trip. You’ll also want to factor in pet damage, such as the cat clawing up the furniture or the walls, which they are prone to do. Pet sitters generally charge $20 to $40 per half-hour to care for cats.

american shorthair cat in tree
Image Credit: Erik Gettig, Pixabay

Owning an American Shorthair on a Budget

As you can see, the costs above are just an estimate of how much it can cost to give an American Shorthair Cat a forever home after the initial purchase. You can easily own one of these cats on a budget; you just have to be smart about the things you purchase. There are plenty of off-brand items you can buy that will work just as well as brand-name products. If you have friends who own cats, they might give you supplies for free.

You can also try shopping online for discounts and coupons. However, it’s best to purchase high-quality cat food that isn’t overloaded with fillers and preservatives. Some pet food companies offer deals when you join their email lists.

Saving Money on American Shorthair Care

It’s not as hard to save money on American Shorthair care as you think. There are plenty of coupon sites where you can save money on everything from food to supplies. You don’t have to buy the most expensive products, such as litter boxes or cat trees. Some pet equipment can be constructed to save a few dollars. For instance, you can build a catio or cat tree instead of buying a commercial one.

calico american shorthair
Image Credit: Tramp57, Shutterstock


Owning an American Shorthair is less costly than owning a rare feline or dog. While you will pay quite a bit upfront to adopt your little feline, the monthly costs aren’t bad if you know how to budget. You can save money on food and supplies by signing up for monthly deliveries from retailers like Chewy.

However, ensure you have the money and time to take care of an American Shorthair before you decide to give it a forever home. They make excellent companions but are happiest when they live with loving owners that prioritize their health and happiness.

Featured Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

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