American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)

Gender: N/A





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


American Short Hair


Buffalo, New York, United States

Posted May 13, 2013

I can recall adding a kitten to my Christmas list as a child. I had in mind a white, Persian feline I’d seen in commercials for cat food. That Christmas, I was very upset with Santa for denying me my fluffy friend. Eventually, I stopped believing in Santa. But, my desire to own a cat didn’t change. It had to be done.

I have discovered that not all cats live up to the hype. That hype mostly revolves around the idea that cats are aloof. Some are, and some are not. It seems to depend on a variety of things, maybe socialization during kittenhood, breed, or genetic disposition. My experience with cats has proven that they do love to be loved. But, there are boundaries.

Cats are good for people who want something fluffy, responsive, and loving with a set of boundaries that provides space to breathe. This is often a quality not found in dogs. They are truly man’s best friend, and strongly desire to please their masters. Cats? Not so much.

Cats come easy to potty train. Their innate drive to rake and scratch makes it easy to get them to use kitty litter. Cats learn to navigate their environment quickly, figuring out how to use those sharp claws. Some people see fit to declaw their pets. I’m against it because those nails mean so much to felines. It allows them to have a defense mechanism, and aids in them feeling . . . feliney. But, whatever floats your boat. Since some cats tend to get out, and there are some crazy critters out there, I’d prefer my cat had tiger claw kung fu action grip.

Unlike dogs, cats are straight up carnivores. They need the meat. Using food designed for cats is so important. Also, they’ll love if you supplement their diet with fresh meat or canned seafood. I have found that some cats prefer wet food. That is just a trait of the cat, being fickle and picky. There may be a way to compromise. If you stick to your guns from the kitten days, you probably won’t have this problem.

Cats are hunters. At some point, you’ll come home to see something dead presented to you. It could be a mouse that you had no idea was cohabitating with your family. Or, it could be a fly that flew in unbeknownst to the horrible death that awaited it. Either way, you will be honored with a kill offering. I actually used to think this was an honor until I read an article that explained how this was your cat’s way of saying, “You need to learn how to be a better hunter, so I’m going to show you. Now, play with this. Mama is going to go clean her crotch.” Regardless of what it means, just get comfortable with tiny dead bodies. That’s all I’m saying.

Overall, owning a cat isn’t as dramatic as TV and films make it out to be. Just like dogs, certain cats are more likely to be intimate and affectionate. American short hairs seem to have a good disposition, and make great companion pets for folks who want to snuggle. Cats are independent, and can take care of themselves. But, you will need to clean out litter on a regular basis. Your steak will look delicious to them, so save a few bites for Felix. And, that dead sparrow is just his way of saying you’re kind of a wuss. Cats are like tiny lions. Respect your cat like you’d respect Simba, and everyone will get along fine.

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