Care and Health
Care and Health
Table of Contents
- Health Facts
- Bathroom Needs
- Final Thoughts
The American Shorthair has an impressive life expectancy ranging from fifteen to twenty years. Its charming, good looks and robust health make it a favorite among cat owners.
The American Shorthair is remarkably friendly and sociable, making them great with kids and other pets.
However, there are some care and health concerns that all cat owners should be aware of.
The American Shorthair is one of the most impressive of all cat breeds. Although they are one of the healthiest of all cat breeds, and have the longest life expectancy, one health issue that can affect them is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
HCM is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle which can eventuality lead to death.
The best and most accurate way to diagnose HCM is to perform an echocardiogram by a feline cardiologist. This test along with an ultrasound can confirm whether a cat has HCM or not. Early detection is key to giving them a chance to reach their life expectancy.
Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines, there is no such thing. No breeder can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM.
An American Shorthair Cattery should screen their breeding stock for HCM. Cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs.
Not all cats are created equal. While there are some common care and health methods for all cats, your cat’s breed, age, temperament, and other factors affect how they should be cared for.
We recommend feeding the highest-quality food you can find. We believe that a cat should be fed a carnivorous diet. You can make these diets yourself or from your breeder. Your breeder should be able to assist you in determining the best diet for your kitten or cat. One very important consideration is the addition of key vitamins and minerals to any raw diet. This will ensure that the food is properly balanced.
Age, how active your cat is, and its state of health will determine how much it should eat. Following formulas can lead to obesity or malnutrition.
- One of the most important ingredients in a cat’s diet is taurine. It is an essential amino acid that is critical for their heart and eye health. When selecting the proper food for your kitten, look for this essential amino acid.
- Your cat should have fresh, clean water at all times.
- Treats should be healthy options like bananas, pumpkin, or a small meatball of raw meat.
- You can feed your kitten Gerber 2nd Stage baby food if they refuse to eat. Whatever you choose to feed your kitten or cat, make sure it doesn't contain onion or garlic. Those are poisonous to cats.
- If your cat begins to have signs of anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea for more than two days, take it to your vet immediately.
- Always reach out to your breeder if you have any nutritional questions. You can also consult your vet.
Please see our Nutrition page for more information on where to source your cat food.
An American Shorthair Cattery will brush their cats and kittens weekly. We use a stainless-steel brush. Brushing keeps a cat’s thick coat shiny and healthy and is surprisingly therapeutic. It mimics the same sensation of their mother grooming them.
The rest is basic care. Aside from regular ear cleaning, you should clip their nails every 14 days to 3 weeks.
Your cat should have its own place: a cat bed, a cat tree, or a nice snuggly box. Having its bed near a window lets the sun rays warm them, giving them vitamin D. Additionally, it’s something they enjoy. Wash their bedding regularly to ensure their skin and hair remain clean.
Our cats are one hundred percent indoor cats. Care should be taken to make sure they never go outside.
If they come in contact with an outdoor cat, they can catch viruses and diseases that those cats often carry.
A cat let outdoors can be hit by moving vehicles. They can also get into serious fights with feral cats, raccoons, and dogs.
They can also fall prey to mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, snakes, birds of prey and other wild animals.
Flea and tick infestations are also common with outdoor cats, and this could lead to serious health problems with both the cats and their human companions.
If you want to take your cat outdoors, we recommend training them to wear harnesses. Please contact us for more information on how to properly train your cat to walk on a leash and what harnesses that we recommend.
Always have their outdoor encounters completely supervised to make sure they don’t get exposed to sick or dangerous animals.
Your cat should have a sturdy litter box with clean litter. It should be cleaned daily and emptied monthly. The cat litter box should be sterilized during these monthly cleanings. Check the stools often as they are a gateway into a cats health.
We recommend the Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan. They have two sizes: small or large. The size you purchase depends on how many cats you have and the overall size of your cat. (Note: A smaller litter box may need to be cleaned more than once daily.)
Finding the right American Shorthair Cattery is your first step into bringing a kitten into your family that will give you years of joy.
You should find a cattery that follows the above advice, it's registered with CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) or TICA (The International Cat Association) and provides a solid health guarantee.
Responsible and reputable catteries will ensure your cat is as healthy. They will have their kittens checked by their veterinarian and perform a thorough checkup before leaving the cattery.
For more tips on the care and health of your cat and any other question you might have, please contact us.