With their beautiful looks, pleasant personalities and good health, American shorthairs understandably rank among the 10 most popular cat breeds. The silver tabby has a particularly striking appearance, but rest assured: Your pet's good looks haven't gone to his head. Instead, he'll remain a loving, loyal companion for life.
Silver Tabby Pattern
The silver tabby is the best known of the American shorthair’s more than 80 color and pattern variations. These cats have a white undercoat that accentuates their bright silver fur and bold black markings, giving them an especially striking appearance. Their looks, combined with amiable personalities, make them popular both as show cats and as pets.
Silver tabbies exhibit the same personality traits as other American shorthairs. They’re usually mellow, friendly with dogs and kids, and low-maintenance. They fit easily into almost any living situation; whether you have an apartment or a sprawling mansion, these kitties will make themselves at home.
They combine an affectionate nature with an independent streak, they love to hunt, and they balance an easygoing attitude with a fondness for spirited play. They’re very good at communicating with their humans, both verbally and non-verbally.
You’ll also find that your American shorthair is very intelligent, so you can easily train him to stay off the kitchen counters and refrain from scratching your new sofa.
American shorthairs tend to be robust and healthy, not prone to breed-specific illnesses, disabilities or special dietary needs. Their average lifespan is between 15 and 20 years. If you keep your silver tabby updated on her vaccinations, take her to the vet for regular checkups and don’t let her roam outside, she has a good chance of remaining a valued member of your family well into the future.
The American shorthair can trace its ancestry to the Mayflower -- or to other ships that carried settlers to North America around the same time. The silver tabby who’s curled up on your lap right now is probably descended from working cats who hunted rats, mice and other pests. Over time, people began to appreciate the kitties’ looks and personalities, as well as their help in keeping homes and barns rodent-free.
Breeders started developing lines based on striking colors and patterns, and American shorthairs now have pedigrees dating back more than 50 years. The name distinguishes these cats from domestic shorthairs -- a catch-all label for most kitties who don’t belong to a specific breed -- and it also highlights their position as a truly American cat.
- The Cat Fanciers’ Association Inc.: American Shorthair Breed Profile
- The International Cat Association: American Shorthair
- Cats Center Stage: Breed Profile: Getting to Know the American Shorthair by Ande DeGeer
- Kelloggs: American Shorthair
- Silver Shorthairs: Classic Silver Tabby American Shorthair Cats
- The Cat Fanciers’ Association Inc.: American Shorthair Breed Standard
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images