You are here:

Cats/Is my cat a European Shorthair or American Shorthair?


I don't have any pictures of my cat, but he looks a lot like the cat on this page -

I've done some research, and I don't know if my cat is American Shorthair, European Shorthair or Domestic Shorthair. My cat looks most like the European Shorthair, but he's not from Europe. He's from Oregon.

Here's some physical characteristics and personality traits of my cat.

Could you please tell me what breed he is? Thank you.

Physical characteristics -
- brown tabby
- young-looking (He's 7 years old, but he looks just like a big kitten. He has an adult body but a kitten head. It's precious!)
- long, muscular chest
- short, thick-boned legs
- little bit of toe tuft
- little, round paws (look like little snowboots)
- black fur that goes all the way down his back
- small, round, green eyes
- short, thick neck
- dense, short, soft, glossy fur
- small head
- little bit of brown fur above his nose
- average-size (maybe 13 or 14 lbs)
- nose is short and turns upright when you look at him from the side
- fur on his cheeks and stomach is a beautiful, caramel color
- looks just like a shorthaired version of the brown tabby maine coons I see on TV
- he's the softest, glossiest cat I've ever seen

Personality traits -
- quiet most of the time (but when he meows, he's very loud. He definitely makes his presence known)
- independent most of the time, and you don't know he's there
- loves to catch moths and eat them (good hunter)
- not scared of my mother and me, but he's scared of everyone else and is very scared of noises like loud cars and vacuum cleaners. He acts very feral around strangers
- super smart and has a very smart facial expression

I love my cats so much, and I want them to live forever!



To really answer your question, a picture would be very, very helpful.  90% of all pet cats are from the feral population and the picture of the European Shorthair on the link could easily be from the feral population.

The American Shorthair has become a bit more extreme than it used to be but is not as robust as the British Shorthair.  Look at:

My source has European Shorthair with the following description:

"First recognized in Sweden, similar to, but less cobby than British Shorthair. 58 color varieties are approved, classic tabby being favourite. Derived from cats brought to Europe by Roman settlers, possibly with admixture of genes from native European Wildcat (F silvestris) with which it can interbreed. Coat type reflects the harsher northern European climate. Has given rise to other breeds e.g. Chartreux, Norwegian Forest Cat."


For pictures of the Cat Fanciers' Association, inc,  American Shorthair, see:

For pictures the Cat Fanciers' Association, inc., British Shorthair, see:

I hope this is helpful.

Best regards... Norm.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

©2017 All rights reserved.