American Shorthair Facts

American Shorthair Facts

The American Shorthair is a medium to large cat. It arrived in America by early settlers. They brought them to keep mice and rat population under control.

Soon it became America’s own cat and developed into a full time working cat.American Shorthair Facts Because of its closeness to its human companions, the American Shorthair cat became a very sociable and adaptable cat. It’s incredible mousing abilities earned him the title, a “must have cat.” Farms would find themselves lost without these great mousers. Soon store outlets and homes acquired them for the same purpose. It’s menu included mice, rats, squirrels and chipmunks.

More American Shorthair Facts. They became fashionable to own. This very sociable, incredibly beautiful cat was very accepting of other pets and children. Soon it found itself in urban homes. It became the companion we see today, lovable, affectionate, active, and sociable.

The American Shorthair was first known as the Domestic Shorthair. Breeders began breeding their finest qualities and soon its name changed in 1966 to the American Shorthair. The name change represented its “All American” character and it was to differentiate them from their short-haired cousins.

Today there are over 210 different color variations. The American Shorthair is known to have the longest life expectancy of any purebred cat. They are also very healthy and have few health issues. Being an active cat, they will soon become your entertainment. They’re very trainable and can be trained with a harness to go for walks. They also like to keep you company and visit pet friendly locations.

Below are some interesting American Shorthair Facts on this precious cat.

American Shorthair Facts

  • American Shorthairs can weigh 8 to 12 pounds (5.44 kg) at maturity.
  • American Shorthair has a thick, dense coat and comes in over 210 colors variations and patterns. Coat might be pure white, silver, cream, blue, reddish, golden, brown or black, or two- and tri-colored (Silver Tabby is the most popular of all colors).american shorthair silver tabby kitten
  • American Shorthair has massive head, full cheeks, extensive muzzle and robust jaws. It has broad chest, sturdy, muscular physique, thick legs and tail of medium size.
  • American Shorthair has large, expressive eyes that may be copper, gold, or green.
  • American Shorthair is easy-going, calm and clever cat that’s great in homes with children and other pets, including dogs.
  • American Shorthair is a superb cat for those that live alone.
  • American Shorthairs are very independent and don’t require a lot of attention.
  • American Shorthairs like to play with its family and loves puzzles. It can be taught to perform various tasks.
  • American Shorthairs entertain themselves if they don’t have a companion to play with.
  • American Shorthair is not very vocal, it doesn’t create a mess in the home when left alone. It likes to relaxation by the window sunbathing and watching birds, squirrels and other animals.
  • American Shorthair does well in the company of strangers who visit the home.
  • American Shorthair sheds like all other cat breeds. Brushing them once or twice a week is recommended, it’s both therapeutic and great for keeping the coat healthy.
  • American Shorthairs have an average littler of two kittens. Because of the square conformation they can only have so many babies.
  • American Shorthairs are very healthy, however they do suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • American Shorthairs require a well-balanced diet in order to keep good weight and a healthy lifestyle. Raw diets are the best preferred.
  • American Shorthairs have the longest life-expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
Visit our Available Kittens page to learn more about our litters and upcoming kittens.
For more American Shorthair Facts please visit our History page.
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COVID-19 and Companion Pets

COVID-19 and Companion Pets

By W. Jean Dodds, DVM on

COVID-19 and Companion Pets

In the wake of the news about a dog from Hong Kong possibly having COVID-19, Dr. Dodds and Hemopet have received many emails asking us if our companion pets are safe. Since then, follow up confirmatory testing on this dog was negative, as predicted.

In times of crisis like this, we beg you to listen to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) regarding companion pets and COVID-19.

Please see the excerpts below from the OIE, AVMA and WSAVA. To review the full statements, please click on the link noted at the bottom of each statements.

OIE Statement as of March 14, 2020

What do we know about COVID-19 virus and companion animals?

The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.

The Veterinary Services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China reported to OIE evidence that a dog had tested positive to the COVID-19 virus following close exposure to its owners who were sick with COVID-19 – see Immediate Notification (01/03/2020) and Follow-up report no.1 (09/03/2020). The test, conducted by real time PCR, showed the presence of genetic material from the COVID-19 virus, but the dog was not showing and has not shown any clinical signs of the disease.

There is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals might be affected by COVID-19 virus. The OIE will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.

There is no evidence to support restrictions to movement or trade of companion animals.

What precautionary measures should be taken by owners when companion or other animals have close contact with humans sick or suspected with COVID-19?

There have not been any reports of companion or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 and currently there is no evidence that they play a significant epidemiological role in this human disease. However, because animals and people can sometimes share diseases (known as zoonotic diseases), it is still recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit contact with other people and companion and other animals until more information is known about the virus.

When handling and caring for animals, basic hygiene measures should always be implemented. This includes hand washing, preferably with hot soapy water, before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking or sharing food.

When possible, people who are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19 should avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of their household care for their animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a properly fitted face mask whenever possible.

OIE

AVMA as of Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Q: Can SARS-CoV-2 infect pets?

A: Currently, there is no evidence that pets can become sick. Infectious disease experts, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OIE, and WHO indicate there is no evidence to suggest that pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection with SARS-CoV-2, including spreading COVID-19 to people. More investigation is underway and as we learn more, we will update you.

However, because animals can spread other diseases to people and people can also spread diseases to animals, it’s a good idea to always wash your hands as indicated above before and after interacting with animals.

AVMA

AVMA on Veterinary Medications

Potential supply chain effects

The COVID-19 outbreak has raised concern about potential medical supply issues, including both pharmaceuticals and medical products such as personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, gowns) and surgical drapes. No current shortages are reported by any of the 32 animal drug companies that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the U.S. market, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, six of the firms have indicated that they see supply chain disruptions that soon could lead to shortages.

AVMA

Canine Coronavirus Vaccine – Would it help?

No. No. No.

From the WSAVA Statement on March 7, 2020:

Should veterinarians start to vaccinate dogs against canine coronavirus because of the risk of SARSCov-2?

The canine coronavirus vaccines available in some global markets are intended to protect against enteric coronavirus infection and are NOT licensed for protection against respiratory infections. Veterinarians should NOT use such vaccines in the face of the current outbreak thinking that there may be some form of cross-protection against COVID-19. There is absolutely no evidence that vaccinating dogs with commercially available vaccines will provide cross-protection against the infection by COVID-19, since the enteric and respiratory viruses are distinctly different variants of coronavirus. No vaccines are currently available in any market for respiratory coronavirus infection in the dog. [Information from the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group].

WSAVA

Commentary

Coronaviruses are zoonotic – meaning they jump between species. Scientists are currently racing to find out the animal origin of the novel COVID-19 disease in humans, that is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first we heard was from two species of snakes, the Bungarus multicinctus (the many-banded krait) and Naja atra (the Chinese cobra). This was doubted by virologists around the globe. Virologist Paulo Eduardo Brandão – who has been specifically researching whether or not snakes can become infected with coronaviruses – simply said there is no supportive evidence to date.

In mid-February, we heard that ant-eating pangolins smuggled into China might be the origin. While these animals are considered better contenders as the source by some researchers, the whole genetic match between the coronavirus circulating within the pangolin population is not close enough to that in the human population.

Thus far, the closest match identified came from bats, but the evidence suggests that an intermediate source between the bat and the human is needed. Indeed, research suggests that Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has an intermediate source in camels. The 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak is believed to be bat to civet cat to human transmission.

Clearly, this is a rapidly evolving situation. The best thing to do is keep calm.

Suggestions

We all play a role in personal and community safety. The best approach is to prepare, but not to panic as it raises stress levels that contribute to a reduction in immune function. A healthy immune system is key to recovery against COVID-19.

For a simple and detailed guideline that includes even tips on how to dilute bleach to clean surfaces, please visit the CDC’s page “How to Protect Yourself”.

In the meantime, Hemopet will keep you up-to-date on the latest information regarding companion pets as information about this virus becomes available and verified.

References

Brulliard, Karin. “Dog with ‘Low-Level’ Coronavirus Infection Remains Quarantined after Blood Test, Hong Kong Officials Say.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 Mar. 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/03/13/dogs-pets-coronavirus/.

Callaway, Ewen, and David Cyranoski. “Why Snakes Probably Aren’t Spreading the New China Virus.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 23 Jan. 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00180-8.

Coronavirus. World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus.

Cyranoski, David. “Mystery Deepens over Animal Source of Coronavirus.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 26 Feb. 2020, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00548-w.

Dodds, Jean. “How Does Stress Affect a Dog’s Long-Term Health?” Pet Health Resources Blog, Hemopet, 9 Mar. 2020, https://www.hemopet.org/does-stress-affect-a-dog-long-term-health/.

Dodds, Jean. “The Wuhan Coronavirus and Companion Pets.” Pet Health Resources Blog, Hemopet, 26 Jan. 2020, https://www.hemopet.org/the-wuhan-coronavirus-and-companion-pets-2019-ncov/.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). World Health Organization, 11 Mar. 2019, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/middle-east-respiratory-syndrome-coronavirus-(mers-cov).

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). World Health Organization, 26 Apr. 2012, https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/sars/en/.

Shared with permission from W. Jean Dodds, DVM

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