Acquired: Pet store
Posted Feb 15, 2014
American Shorthairs are extremely malleable cats. They'll pick up on whatever examples or options you set in front of them, for better or for worse. This was both a blessing and a curse for my cat, Elizabeth, and I. On one hand, she grew very attached and affectionate to me, but since my family was a little rough around the edges and I never made her interact with them as a kitten, she didn't like guests at all. Likewise, I made the mistake of putting cat food in a low-to-the-ground drawer, so I quickly got a fat cat. When I put her outside and played with her daily, she didn't seem to get any thinner; I learned she was hunting birds to make up for the lost food. I feel like Elizabeth could've had an entirely different personality, had I raised her differently. It's extremely hard to unlearn habitual behavior though - to this day she doesn't like dogs or new people.
In terms of health and grooming, there's a reason these cats are so common. Not once has Elizabeth been injured or sick and her coat only needs brushing in the Spring (or else she sheds absolutely everywhere). The biggest problem is getting her to exercise and eat small enough portion to not be overweight, and getting a cat to avoid food is nearly impossible. Still, the American Shorthair is a pretty great cat for anyone, just be careful how you raise him or her.