How Much Does An American Shorthair Cat Cost? [Purchase And Upkeep]

Search for a laid-back and gentle cat on Google, and you will surely come across American Shorthair whose striking appearance gives off the opposite vibe. Fortunately, its true nature speaks differently, which is why this breed is your best bet if you are looking for a pleasant companion. Are you now thinking of getting one? We will help you with your decision, starting with the price you can buy it for and its upkeep. 

You can buy a typical, middle-sized American shorthair kitten for $500-$800 from regular breeders. However, premium American Shorthair with a distinguished pedigree costs between $1,000 and $1,500, or even more.

The price varies because of its ancestry, age, and appearance, especially when you plan to get one that has been pampered and cared for by qualified high-end breeders. Continue reading to learn how these factors can affect what type of American short hair you will most likely get.

An American shorthair cat looking at something on a green background, How Much Does An American Shorthair Cat Cost? [Purchase And Upkeep]

Are American Shorthair Cats Rare?

Good news for you! American Shorthair is not rare at all. In fact, it is the eighth-most popular breed of cat in 2020 that you can buy for $500-$1500.

They even come in diverse colors and patterns, including calico, black, white, tabby, tortoiseshell, shaded, and Chinchilla, among many others. So finding one can be a walk in the park. 

But a background on some of them can shorten your search even further. We looked for some different furs of American Shorthair that might uncover the coat of possibilities for you. Familiarize yourself with the ones below:

Silver Tabby

Among the 80 standard colors of American Shorthair cats, silver tabby is the pet owner's favorite. Tabby is a coat pattern that may look like stripes, whorls, or spots. 

Chinchilla

Are you looking for a little less common American Shorthair variation? Then, a Chinchilla with an almost mystical sparkly coat might just be your cup of tea. This American Shorthair variation possesses a white undercoat and colored hair tip on its sides, tail, head, and back. 

Red

If you are looking for a color variation of this breed that screams "Notice me," a red-coated American Shorthair will grab your attention. They have a deep red nose and a coat of bright red with patches all over its body. However, authentic red American Shorthair is said to be pure red without patterns and shading.

White

The white American Shorthair is the variation that radiates royalty among all other types because of its blue or golden eyes. With their glistening white fur and distinctive pink nose and pads, they are your best pick if you prefer playing with a pure-looking cat. 

What Should I Look For In An American Shorthair Cat Purebred?

Are you starting to like an American Shorthair cat but unsure what to look for in one? We have you covered. 

Purebred American Shorthair cats are strong and muscular with a dense, lustrous coat. These characteristics should be on the top of your list.

But there are even more defining characteristics to look for in a purebred. Take note of the following definitive features

1. Large head that seems to make the proportions of the cat unbalanced. 

2. Wide full cheeks that are almost round, giving the impression of a smiling cat. 

3. Short pointed ears, which give justice to its name, unlike the average ears of other cats.

4. Thick winter coat evident during the cold season. 

5. Pedigree of the cat. Ask the breeder since only they can provide this information. 

6. The right weight. Male American Shorthair weighs approximately 11 to 15 pounds, while the female weighs 6 to 12 pounds. 

7. Height that matches a medium-sized cat. American Shorthair typically stands at about 10 to14 inches. 

8. Affectionate nature, even at the first meeting. 

Where Can I Buy An American Shorthair Cat?

A startled American Shorthair cat on a beige background

Finding a purebred American Shorthair is challenging. Scratch the image of local pet stores, flea markets, or random online pages in your head. You can never find a purebred in those places. 

We recommend you start your search on the website of The Cat Fanciers’ Association, North America’s largest registry of purebred cats of any breed, from Persian cats to the rare North Wirehair cat. On their website, you can search for the most reputable breeders for American Shorthair cats in every state, as well as cats for adoption.

Are American Shorthair Cats Low Maintenance?

Finding the "one" is not the only thing to think about. Keeping it healthy and well-groomed also costs money. Luck is on your side because American Shorthair cats only require a little maintenance to retain their glisten, without the need of shelling out thousands of dollars. 

A beautiful American shorthair cat playing

Nevertheless, you still have to observe a few things to ensure it stays in good shape and lives its expected life expectancy of 15-20 years. Discover what they are below:

Regular Grooming 

Tending to its coat regularly is a piece of advice you shouldn't disregard. Aside from maintaining its shiny coat, regular grooming helps the cat achieve healthy blood circulation, the main driver of glistening hair. 

You might spend at least $15 for a good shampoo for regular grooming for a month. And a $6 dental kit can help prevent dental health issues. 

But if you want professional care, expect to spend between $30-$90 on a pet salon, depending on your cat’s size. 

To learn how often you should groom your feline pet, check out this post: Can You Over Brush A Cat?

Diet Requirements 

American Shorthair is similar to other cats that require 3 meals a day, especially when they are still around 3 months old. You can give their meal twice any time of the day when they reach 6 months old. A 3-month supply of food for a Shorthair may cost around $25-$30. 

Recreational Activities 

You want to make sure they stay engaged and active from time to time. Spare a few minutes to play and connect. Buying a cat toy may also be a good alternative if you can't slice a piece of your time for recreation. A $50-dollar yearly budget for toys is enough. 

A catnip toy is a good item to give an American Shorthair. Read our previous post to know how often you should replace this to ensure your cat stays happy and active frequently. 

Vet Visits 

American Shorthair cats rarely get sick, but you still have to set aside a routine annual check budget to cover unexpected health issues. A good amount to prepare is between $35 to $50. 

Do American Shorthair Cats Have Health Issues?

A fierce looking American shorthair cat looking straight at the camera

These furballs are great to be around as they are healthy most of the time, especially when they are still young and active. But like all beings that age, they encounter a fair share of diseases as they grow old.

There are at least 6 common health risks that can afflict an American Shorthair cat, which other cats can also get:

  • Heart problems - Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) that causes heart failure is the  most common heart disease in cats. Another condition is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to a lack of amino acids and a poor diet. 
  • Feline lower urinary tract diseases (FLUTD) - Often manifesting through blood in urine, FLUTD makes a cat cry in pain with just a little urination.
  • Renal failure - This is simply the manifestation of the inability of the kidney to cleanse the body fluids of waste. This disease is often seen in older cats and seldom in younger cats. 
  • Hyperthyroidism - This condition is the enlargement of the thyroid due to a non-cancerous tumor. Although non-fatal most of the time, be wary when your cats vomit and drink more often than usual and lose weight. 
  • Diabetes Mellitus - Diabetes happens to obese, inactive cats of any breed as they are genetically predisposed to the condition. As in humans, diabetes in cats may also lead to other fatal health problems, so make sure your cats don’t always stay idle.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease - This condition is due to active cysts that enlarge the kidney to abnormal proportions, leading to kidney failure. Unlike the 5 health problems that often originate from diet and lifestyle, polycystic kidney disease is hereditary and usually afflict Persian cats. 

How To Care For American Shorthair Cats

Self-diagnosis of the above health concerns is impossible. And you can’t always fix your eyes on your cat. But if you notice that your little companion becomes lethargic, has difficulty breathing, and shows disinterest in food, visit a vet immediately to undergo a medical examination. 

This is why you should never miss the routine checkup with your cat’s vet. During the session, don’t forget to ask the vet to check the cat’s organs, especially the heart and kidney. 

Even if you are not wishing for the worst, it would be a great idea to get a cat insurance plan so you can cover the treatment of injuries, accidents, and health issues. 

Final Thoughts

Although originally cultured for its rat-catching abilities, the American Shorthair cat is now loved for being a great companion. Today, it costs between $500 and $1,500, earning its right to be one of the world’s top 20 most expensive cats because of its striking features and gentle disposition.

Fortunately, its upkeep is almost negligible compared to other cats on the "expensive cats" list, so you can keep one for as long as its lifespan allows. 

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