American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


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

Gender: Male





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


Domestic Short-Hair Tabby (Adopted, Abused)


United States

Posted Jun 02, 2016

My husband and I had never planned on getting more than one cat. Gingersnaps, the little orange tabby who’d adopted us, was a handful herself. But when my brother’s first wife found she had become seriously allergic to cats and needed to find homes for hers, we took in the big gray tom known as Snarf.

Snarf had a very sad background. My sister-in-law had acquired him from a shelter which had rescued him from an abusive owner. The worst this owner had done was to lock Snarf in the shower and turn on the water and though my sister-in-law had owned him for a little over 10 years, he was still afraid of even the sound of water being turned on.

There are certain animals which can be the least forgiving of abuse in their lives. I’ve found cats are one of them. They remember it, remember the people attached to it, hold grudges and sometimes never get over it.

I mentioned in my other review on Short-Hair Tabbies that Gingersnaps had this thing about dogs, she simply did not like them and would let any dog get close to her. For Snarf it was fear of any kind of water and an overabundant need for affection. We knew Snarf’s reason for the first and realized the second when we found my sister-in-law had been breeding several different types of Siamese cats leaving not a lot of time to give too much affection for any one cat.

When we brought Snarf into our home it did not take him long to cling to my husband. He seemed to realize there was no real competition for affection in our home as he could ask for it whenever he wanted or be alone whenever he wanted. We just had to get him to stop bolting out of the small bath nook or kitchen when the faucet was turned on. With the amount of abuse he went through, it took almost three years before he was comfortable in a room which had running water.

Snarf had a “homebody” personality. He was a big tom who liked to laze about and if he didn’t want to move you weren’t going to get him to move unless you picked him up (and he wasn’t light). He didn’t even have a play mode. We tried everything to get him to play – balls, toys, fuzzy mice, feather toys, even the laser pointer. The last he just lay on the floor and looked at the light as if to say, “Yep, it’s there. Now what?” So we resigned to just keep him with a better diet.

So that was Snarf in a nutshell. If I, or my husband, were on the couch or bed – he would want to be right there with us. With my husband he’d insist on sitting on top of him, I was a bit stricter. Since he was such a big tom, for me he had to sit or lay beside me. He didn’t seem to mind though, as long as he was loved.

It was a very sad time when I had to move because it meant I needed to find a good home for this big, loveable cat. He was still considered a “special needs” cat, so I needed to find someone who understood what it took to care for him. Snarf still had issues with new people in the house, he’d generally run and hide, wouldn’t come out for days if the person was staying with us. And never would he let the person pet him or pick him up. Not to mention the serious need for affection from his owners to begin with. Plus, anyone who did adopt him would need to know his original background in case he reverted to any of his old behaviors.

With answered prayers I did find someone who was a perfect fit for Snarf. Someone I was surprised Snarf actually came to on his own when the gentleman came into the house. You really can’t ignore when animals seem to gravitate towards certain people on their own.

So as a last note – simply remember – if you’re planning to adopt or buy an animal from a shelter, rescue, breeder, or owner; be sure you know the background of the animal. Know if it came from an abused home or not. Are you going to need to do some re-conditioning or simply give it a lot of love.

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