Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted May 07, 2014
I've lived with cats for my entire life, but always with non-pedigreed cats of no particular ancestry. I was certainly happy with random-breed cats, but it's always a lottery with them. You can find some really amazing cats through the luck of the draw, but you can also find some that are, frankly, no fun to be around. This most recent time, I decided to work with a professional breeder, and ultimately ended up coming home with an American Shorthair named Max.
It is incredible how low maintenance Max is. Cats are always independent, but Max practically takes care of himself. He needs fresh food, water, and litter, and some exercise everyday, and that's all. His fur is short and he only sheds a small amount, so grooming is almost completely unnecessary (it's still a good idea to brush and occasionally wash them on a regular schedule, but isn't absolutely required).
It's important to note that he needed a lot of attention as a kitten. If you're welcoming a kitten into the home, you need to make sure you have plenty of free time for them. They don't become independent until they've grown up. When he first arrived he was a curious, spastic little guy with seemingly boundless energy (and utterly adorable). Since then, he's mellowed out quite a bit. He's content to spend most of the day lounging by a sunny window, and he spends most evenings sitting quietly in whatever room I happen to be in, or even in my lap if he's in the mood for it. He's still always ready to play with one of his toys, but he doesn't pester me about it anymore.
Max is extremely friendly with anyone he is familiar with, and I don't think he has ever bitten or scratched anyone outside of play. He's shy with strangers, but that usually doesn't last long if they're patient with him. He's never had any health problems to speak of. So long as you keep them up with their annual vaccinations and veterinary checkups, American Shorthairs should be fine.
If you're looking for a cat, but don't want to play the cat lottery, I strongly recommend contacting a professional, respected breeder and checking out an American Shorthair. My experience with them has been wonderful.