Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder),
Posted Feb 01, 2016
I was 10 when my family adopted Butterscotch, my American Shorthair, and his sister, Diamond.
We knew we wanted American Shorthairs because they are
-easy to groom
-known for good health
-generally calm, but playful
-widely available to find
Additionally, we decided to get two cats together so they can keep each other company and groom each other. This turned out to be very important.
We chose two from the same liter. They were about 4 months old, and with ears bigger than their heads.
American Shorthairs seem to bond primarily to one person. Butterscotch bonded to me, first, and Diamond, my mom.
They took quickly to us, and were litter box trained within the first 3 weeks. We did this effectively by a process we coined as "sectioning": we started by keeping the kittens in the bathroom with the litter box, then opened the house to them room by room.
They were easy to feed, and required 2 feedings per day, and consistent access to water. We chose to include additional vitamins and supplements from the start, and each lived to at least 8-years-old very healthy, and with no prior health ailments.
Butterscotch was generally friendly with people, though Diamond took her time. Because they are cats, they are choosy and sometimes inconsistent with their attention, but I remember how much these two liked to hangout.
Additionally, we chose to have both of our cats fixed and declawed. I'd suggest keeping declawed cats as indoor cats.
In the end, Butterscotch had recurring urinary tract infections from being fixed. He was in a lot of pain, and wouldn't respond to treatment. For this reason we chose to put him down at 10 years old.
Diamond was diagnosed with cancer at 12 years old. It was a big surprise to everyone, as she'd had no health issues before that.
On the bright side, American Shorthairs are easy-going, friendly, adaptable cats, and suitable for any family.
We'll always remember ours!