Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Jan 09, 2014
I got extremely lucky when I adopted James from my local Humane Society. He did have some health problems at first, but that was to be expected since he had been in the cattery with other shelter cats for the first two years of his life. With appropriate veterinary care, he's become much healthier and, it appears, quite content.
I chose a male over a female because male American shorthairs appear to be more sociable/friendly than the females. My husband and I had a female tabby before we got James, and she didn't seem to have the same interest in being in the same room as the people. James follows me from room to room almost like a dog would. He also seems to be quite intelligent for a feline. He has, for example, learned how to open the bifold closet doors by sticking his paw under the fold and pulling. He learns quickly - he only had to be told once not to meow while we're still in bed.
The biggest drawback to being the caretaker of an American shorthair is that they still shed a lot, even though they probably shed less than a long-haired breed. Brushing him, vacuuming up his hair, and dusting for dander are time-consuming tasks in my household - but I think he's worth it.