American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


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

Gender: Female





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


Learning with Jade


Tennessee, United States

Posted May 08, 2014

I own 3 cats currently. My oldest, Jade, is a black American shorthair. She was abandoned by her mama and I acquired her at about 5 weeks. She is gun shy around people and plays and snuggles when she wants to. She was the sole cat for the first year and a half of her life. My middle cat entered the picture at that time, and while it took a few weeks, Jade and Smokey became the best of friends. My third cat, however, is hated by Jade. Rocky is rambunctious and doesn’t understand Jade’s personality and they quarrel and fight constantly, and have from the time he was little.

Jade was my first experience as a cat owner. I had invited strays in occasionally and fed them. But she was my first real cat. She is small, which may be why she was abandoned by her mother. She is a picky eater; she has a few bites in the morning and walks away. She then insists on having more food later, even with food still in her bowl. Last summer, she was diagnosed with cancer and had a leg amputated. While it took her about 4 months to get back to normal, she did. She moves everywhere she did, with almost as much ease as she did with four legs. She eats a lot more than she once did, but her picky habits haven’t really changed. Two things stand out: she is probably more snuggly than she once was. She is the lap kitty of the three and seems to crave it more now. And she hates Rocky more than ever. I assume she perceives herself as less able to defend herself and she won’t have anything to do with him. In fact, we must keep them separated now, for her peace of mind. It isn’t the best solution, nor do we like it, but it works well enough.

We made the decision years ago to let Jade keep her claws; as such, they have to be trimmed frequently. Other than that, and the bi-weekly cleaning of litter, cats require little in the way of maintenance. They are remarkably self-sufficient, get along well by themselves for long periods of time (in my case, made easier by multiple cats) and usually stay out of the way if you need them to. They are easily distracted with certain toys (laser lights being the top choice) if you wish to play with them. And they are more affectionate than non cat owners think they will be. On the down side, they do have litter and it does have to be cleaned and it can spread around the floor. Cats also have the tendency to awake in the middle of the night and be ready to begin their day. But understand that, and cats (especially American shorthairs) are good for people who want a pet with low maintenance.

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