american shorthair breed information

common health issues

The cells of the body need sugar to function and need insulin to carry sugar in through their walls. Diabetic animals do not have enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, resulting in high blood sugar and starving cells. Treatment entails the lifelong administration of insulin shots, and usually requires frequent trips to the vet for rechecks.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition of increased thyroid hormone caused by a benign thyroid tumor. It is the most common hormone imbalance seen in cats, and its hallmark clinical sign is weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite. The disease can be controlled with medication or cured with radiotherapy.
Just like in the dog, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing, but sudden death can occur with no clinical signs.
Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
American Shorthairs are slightly more prone to colon cancer than your average cat. Colonic masses in cats are more often malignant than benign, and can metastasize, or spread, to other organs. Large masses in the colon can also cause obstructions, leading to severe constipation.

The American Shorthair — not to be confused with the Domestic Shorthair — shares her story with that of most Americans, as she came here to the United States on the first boats from England. These ships typically had several cats to keep the mouse and rat population down. The Mayflower is known to have had cats for this reason, so it’s entirely likely that the American Shorthair was along for the landing at Plymouth Rock!

The American Shorthair was one of the first five breeds of cat to be recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1906. Originally called the Domestic Shorthair, the name was changed to American Shorthair in 1966 to draw attention to its “all-American” heritage.

Though today’s Domestic Shorthair cats may resemble American Shorthairs, they are different breeds. American Shorthairs have slightly shorter muzzles and large round eyes, giving them an adorable pixie-like appearance. They are friendly, gentle and curious, and make a welcome addition to any family, as they are generally good with children.

Adorable looks aside, the American Shorthair may be prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses American Shorthair cats are prone to include eye conditions such as glaucoma; thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism; chronic conditions such as diabetes; cancers such as colonic neoplasia; and heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your American Shorthair inherits more than a friendly nature, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)