What is the original breed of domestic cat in the United States?
The American shorthair is believed by some naturalists to be the original domestic cat in America. It is descended from cats brought to the New World from Europe by the early settlers. The cats readily adapted to their new environment. Selective breeding to enhance the best traits began early in the twentieth century.
The American shorthair is a very athletic cat with a lithe, powerful body, excellent for stalking and killing prey. Its legs are long, heavy, and muscular, ideal for leaping and for coping with all kinds of terrain. The fur, in a wide variety of color and coat patterns, is thick enough to protect the animal from moisture and cold, but short enough to resist matting and snagging.
Although this cat makes an excellent house pet and companion, it remains very self-sufficient. Its hunting instinct is so strong that it exercises the skill even when well-provided with food. The American shorthair is the only true “working cat” in the United States.