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How Big Do American Shorthair Get? Average Weight & Growth Chart

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

american shorthair cat

The American Shorthair is a hardy breed that can adapt to almost any family or situation. They are friendly, independent, intelligent, and even get along with other pets, including dogs. While independent, the American Shorthair is also known for cuddling up with its pet parents to watch TV, so you get the best of both worlds with this feline.

As a pedigreed version of the Domestic Shorthair Cat, the American Shorthair didn’t become standardized by breeders until 1966. If you’ve been looking to adopt an American Shorthair, but are worried about how big the cat gets, we’ve got you covered in the guide below. In general, male cats can reach 11 to 15 pounds and females 6 to 12 pounds.

American Shorthair Breed Overview

The American Shorthair Cat is a version of the Domestic Shorthair Cat and is a medium to large cat. The cat is social, mellow, affectionate, and independent at the same time. While the name of this breed suggests that it has American origins, that is not true. Actually, the American Shorthair’s ancestors, the British Shorthairs, came from Europe.

The cat was used to catch mice and rats and protect the food stores on the Mayflower as it made its way to the New World in the 17th century. Today, you rarely see one of these stunning cats catching rodents, but they still retain some of their hunting skills.

American shorthair cat
Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock

American Shorthair Size and Growth Chart

The American Shorthair is slightly stockier than the British Shorthair and has a round head and muscular body. If you’ve been wondering just how big your American Shorthair cat will get and how to keep your furry friend healthy, here is a weight chart that shows how large the American Shorthair grows in two years.

Age Weight Range (Males) Weight Range (Females)
3 months 3 to 4 pounds (1.3 – 1.8 kg) 2 to 3 pounds (0.9 – 1.3 kg)
4 months 4 to 4.6 pounds (1.8 – 2 kg) 3 to 4 pounds (1.3 – 1.8 kg)
6 months 5.5 to 6 pounds (2.4 – 2.7 kg) 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 – 2.2 kg)
10 months 6 to 7 pounds (2.7 – 3.2 kg) 4.5 to 8 pounds (2 – 3.6 kg)
12 months 7 to 10 pounds (3.2 – 4.5 kg) 5 to 9 pounds (2.2 – 4 kg)
18 months 9 to 12 pounds (4 – 5.4 kg) 5.5 to 10 pounds (2.5 – 4.5 kg)
24 months 11 to 15 pounds (4.9 – 6.8 kg) 6 to 12 pounds (2.7 – 5.4 kg)

Note: Your American Short Hair may not strictly abide by these weight guidelines, and their individual growth rates may vary (especially if they are female). In addition, American Short Hairs continue growing until they are about 3 to 4 years old, though growth generally slows down after they are about 2 years old.

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

When Does an American Shorthair Stop Growing?

In most cases, you can expect your American Shorthair to reach total growth by 3-4 years. That does not mean your furry friend can’t gain weight if it isn’t fed properly. There are larger American Shorthairs out there, and the average weight at full growth is between 11 and 15 pounds (for males), with females being considerably smaller on average. If your male American Shorthair reaches over 17 pounds, it might be time to talk to your vet to ensure they aren’t overweight and how to tackle the issue if they are overweight. You should also do the same if your female American Shorthair attains 14-15 pounds in weight.

Factors Affecting the Size of American Shorthair

Nutrition and exercise will have the biggest impact on your American Shorthairs’ size. This breed is pretty healthy, but there are a few health problems that you need to watch out for. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a concern for these cats, and a healthy diet and exercise are key to keeping them healthy. Dental disease, ear infections, and skin conditions can also impact the cat’s health, but you can reduce the likelihood of your pet contracting a chronic condition by maintaining regular veterinary appointments.

American shorthair cat
Image Credit: Thanakorn Kosalakorn, Shutterstock

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

High-quality, well-balanced kibble or wet food can provide a healthy diet for your cat. Avoid serving your cat table scraps or rich human food to keep it healthy. The American Shorthair is already a medium to large cat, so it can easily become overweight if it doesn’t get the right amount of exercise and eat the correct diet.

If you feel your cat is getting too heavy, you can switch to weight-management cat food for the feline. However, before changing your cat’s diet, check with your veterinarian to ensure the food is suitable for your pet.

How to Measure Your American Shorthair

You can use your bathroom scale to weigh your cat. Simply weigh yourself, then weigh your cat, subtracting the cat’s weight from yours. What remains is how much your cat weighs, but the measurement isn’t as accurate as the vet’s scale.

Measuring your cat’s length can be difficult, so you might want to get someone to help you. Once you’ve convinced the cat to sit still, take a cloth measuring tape and measure the cat from its head to the base of the tail.

While these methods will work to measure your feline pal, they aren’t exact. You can take your American Shorthair to the vet’s office for a more accurate reading.

american shorthair cat lying_Kari Dickinson_Pixabay
Image Credit: Kari Dickinson, Pixabay


American Shorthair Cats are medium to large cats that are a version of the Domestic Shorthair Cat. They are intelligent, loving, gentle, sweet, and a bit on the independent side as well.

Since they can get weigh 16 pounds at total growth, it is best to keep a close eye on your American Shorthair’s diet, so that it doesn’t become overweight. If you’re looking to adopt one of these adorable cats and give it a forever home, make sure that you feed a healthy diet and take it for regular checkups.

Featured Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock

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