Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Jan 30, 2013
I got Zurine when she was only 3 weeks old as her mother abandoned her and she was the only surviving kitten of the litter. She was so tiny and hadn't spent enough time with her mother to know how to use the bathroom on her own. Luckily one of my friends was a cat person and knew all the tricks of how to use a damp paper towel to simulate the mother's tongue, etc.
My experience may be a bit atypical because I did get her so young, but she has been very easy to train, super affectionate when she's not playing, and never uses her claws on skin. She will occasionally nip when she gets too excited. An American Shorthair would be the perfect pet for an adult, and depending on the age you get them, it would be great for kids as well. Shedding is minimal and they really are friendly, even with strangers.
Kids might get a little frustrated, depending on how well the cat is trained, by accidental scratching and/or the occasional bite.
Besides patience, the biggest thing I've learned about cats (as I grew up a dog person) is to give them their space and respect what they want to do, because they don't necessarily want to be pet all day and sometimes they just want to be left alone.
I couldn't be happier with my American Shorthair and would recommend one to anyone.