What Are The American Shorthair Coat Colors And Patterns?

American Shorthair cats come in a broad range of colors and patterns. These markings and shades help distinguish these felines from other cat breeds. But what are these coat colors and patterns? We've asked cat experts, and here’s the answer.

Many American Shorthair coat colors exist, which can come in solid colors or as patterned combinations. Some of the common coat colors and patterns for this cat breed include:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Silver
  • White
  • Bi-color
  • Pointed
  • Shading
  • Solid
  • Tabby
  • Tortoiseshell

Keep reading to further understand these American Shorthair coat colors and patterns. Also, we’ll tackle other pieces of information, such as how to know if your cat is an American Shorthair and how to distinguish this breed from a Domestic Shorthair. Without further ado, let's get into it!

A little gray American shorthair cat lying on the carpet, What Are The American Shorthair Coat Colors And Patterns?

The American Shorthair: Common Coat Colors And Patterns

The American Shorthair has over 80 colors as recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). But some colors tend to be more common than others for this cat breed. These colors include the following:

  • Black: Generally comes in an all-black color with golden eyes.
  • Blue: Can come as a solid blue color but may have different light or dark shades.
  • Brown: May have patched and/or tabby patterns with black markings.
  • Cream: Tends to come with other colors to form distinct patterns.
  • Red: Generally has a deep, strong red shade with brilliant-looking fur.
  • Silver: Silver-like coat finish that may have different-colored tips to provide distinction within the American Shorthair breed.
  • White: Can be pure white without any trace of other colors or combined with other tones.

Also, you’ll likely come across American Shorthairs with these patterns below:

  • Bi-color: Also called a piebald pattern, bi-color American Shorthairs can come in different color combinations. Some examples include smoke and white, red and black, and brown and black.
  • Pointed: Although mostly found in Siamese cats, the pointed pattern can exist in some American Shorthairs. Felines with this coat pattern have creamy-like furs but darkened paws.
  • Shading: Characterized by the different-colored hair tips on pure white undercoats.
  • Solid: A single color unobstructed by other shades throughout the body of the cat. Some American Shorthairs with solid colors will only have different shades on their eyes, nose leathers, and paw pads.
  • Tabby: A cat coat pattern known for the unique ‘M’ marking on the forehead.
  • Tortoiseshell: Cat coats with marbled patterns, which may also signify specific temperaments in felines.

Fierce looking American shorthair cat looking at the camera

You may also see American Shorthairs with tri-colored patterns. Also called calico, these patterns can show three colors of varying color combinations. American Shorthairs with calico patterns generally don’t look alike because the designs tend to differ for each feline.

Cat parents should always remember to maintain healthy diets for their kitties, especially for their American Shorthairs. Learn more about fulfilling your cat’s nutritional requirements by reading this post: What Wet Cat Foods Have The Most Protein?

How Do You Know If Your Cat Is An American Shorthair?

A cute American shorthair cat lying on the floor

Aside from looking at the colors and patterns, American Shorthairs tend to display unique features that might be absent from other cat breeds. You’ll know if your cat is an American Shorthair if it has the following traits:

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 10 to 15 pounds
  • Temperament: Friendly, confident, sociable
  • Intelligence: High
  • Coat length: Short

Many American Shorthairs are also quite docile with easy-going personalities. However, these kitties tend to display a sufficient level of curiosity to become entertaining household companions. Also, these cats tend to not be very demanding about being noticed.

Some American Shorthairs would even love to sit or lie silently in a corner to rest or sleep. But if they want to play, these kitties can bring their toys to their cat parents to demand some attention.

Do American Shorthair Cats Have An Undercoat?

American Shorthair cats have undercoats. Moreover, the color of the undercoats tends to depend on the color of their fur. For instance, an American Shorthair cat with a Chinchilla silver or shaded silver coat color tends to have a white undercoat.

However, a black American Shorthair will generally have a smoke-colored undercoat. Still, many American Shorthair colors will have undercoats with white shades.

Is An American Shorthair A Tabby?

A fierce looking American shorthair looking at the camera

Tabby isn’t a cat breed but rather a coat pattern in felines. Many American Shorthairs are tabbies, but not every feline within this cat breed has that pattern. Many tabby cats, including American Shorthairs, display the distinct "M" mark on their foreheads.

Tabby cats also have the following five fairly common coat patterns:

  • Classic: These tabby cats tend to have whorls resembling targets or bull’s-eyes.
  • Mackerel: They have rings around the tails and legs with broken or solid bands around the body.
  • Spotted: Similar to the mackerel tabby pattern, but these tabbies have spots instead of stripes and bands.
  • Patched: They have dark-colored patches around the body that resemble a tortoise’s shell.
  • Ticked: They tend to only have the "M" marking on the head but is fairly clean for the rest of the body.

Are Domestic Shorthair And American Shorthair The Same Thing?

The American Shorthair is a pure-bred cat while the Domestic Shorthair is relatively any cat of mixed-breed origin while possessing short-coated fur. Still, these two breeds come in a significant array of colors and patterns, which can confuse cat parents and enthusiasts.

Certain visual differences are present between the two breeds, though. For instance, American Shorthair cats can be larger than their domestic counterparts.

But Domestic Shorthair cats can be plumper than American Shorthairs. Males can weigh over 15 pounds while females weigh over 12 pounds on average.

This heftier appearance might make cat collar shopping for pet parents quite challenging. If you want to learn more about that topic, read this post: How Big Should A Cat Collar Be?

Moving forward, take note that an American Shorthair tends to be widely accepted in many cat competitions. On the other hand, many cat competition associations, such as the CFA, don’t accept Domestic Shorthair cats as participants.

What Colors Are British Shorthair Cats?

British Shorthair cats come in a range of colors. These include the following:

  • Pure white: They have white fur throughout the body that tends to have pink nose leathers and paw pads.
  • Jet black: These cats do have black fur with no white or other colors throughout the entire body.
  • Blue: The color can come in light to medium shades of blue for the coat.
  • Red: There's no white color mixed with the red fur but may have other colors combined with the main shade.
  • Cream: Rich cream color generally comes with heavy tabby markings.
  • Smoke: Silver-like coat color may come as a solid color or with tortoiseshell markings.

In Closing

American Shorthair cat colors number over 80 as recognized by the CFA. Some of the common colors include black, red, and white. Moreover, these shades can come as solids or with other colors. Also, these kitties may display certain fur patterns including calico, tabby, and tortoiseshell.

Understanding these distinct traits can help future cat parents find the right American Shorthairs they so desire.

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