American Shorthair Breed Standard

POINT SCORE

HEAD (including size and shape of eyes, ear shape, and set and structure of nose)30
BODY (including shape, size, bone, and length of tail)30
COAT15
COLOR
(Tabby pattern = 10 points; Color =10 points)
20
EYE COLOR5

GENERAL: the American Shorthair is a true breed of working cat. The conformation should be adapted for this with no part of the anatomy so exaggerated as to foster weakness. The general effect should be that of a strongly built, well balanced, symmetrical cat with conformation indicating power, endurance, and agility.

SIZE: medium to large. No sacrifice of quality for the sake of size. Females may be less massive in all respects than males and should be rewarded equally if overall balance is correct.

PROPORTIONS: slightly longer than tall. (Height is profile measure from top of shoulder blades to ground. Length is profile measure from tip of breastbone to rear tip of buttocks.) Viewed from side, body can be divided into three equal parts: from tip of breastbone to elbow, from elbow to front of hindleg, and from front of hindleg to rear tip of buttocks. Length of tail is equal to distance from shoulder blades to base of tail.

HEAD: large, with full-cheeked face giving the impression of an oblong just slightly longer than wide. Sweet, open expression. Viewed from front, head can be divided in two equal parts; from base of ears to middle of eyes and from middle of eyes to chin tip.

EARS: medium size, slightly rounded at tips and not unduly open at base. Distance between ears, measured from lower inner corners, twice distance between eyes.

FOREHEAD: viewed in profile, forehead forms smooth, moderately convex continuous curve flowing over top of head into neck. Viewed from front, there is no dome between ears.

EYES: large and wide with upper lid shaped like half an almond (cut lengthwise) and lower lid shaped in a fully rounded curve. At least width of one eye between eyes. Outer corners set very slightly higher than inner corners. Bright, clear and alert.

NOSE: medium length, same width for entire length. Viewed in profile, gentle concavely curved rise from bridge of nose to forehead.

MUZZLE: squared. Definite jowls in mature males.

JAWS: strong and long enough to successfully grasp prey. Both level and scissors bites considered equally correct. (In level bite, top and bottom front teeth meet evenly. In scissors bite, inside edge of top front teeth touch outside edge of lower front teeth.)

CHIN: firm and well-developed, forming perpendicular line with upper lip.

NECK: medium in length, muscular and strong.

BODY: solidly built, powerful, and muscular with well-developed shoulders, chest, and hindquarters. Back broad, straight and level. Viewed in profile, slight slope down from hip bone to base of tail. Viewed from above, outer lines of body parallel.

LEGS: medium in length and bone, heavily muscled. Viewed from rear, all four legs straight and parallel with paws facing forward.

PAWS: firm, full and rounded, with heavy pads. Toes: five in front, four behind .

TAIL: medium long, heavy at base, tapering to abrupt blunt end in appearance but with normal tapering final vertebrae.

COAT: short, thick, even and hard in texture. Regional and seasonal variation in coat thickness allowed. Coat dense enough to protect from moisture, cold, and superficial skin injuries.

PENALIZE: excessive cobbiness or ranginess. Very short tail.

DISQUALIFY: cats showing evidence of hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, sable, lavender, lilac, or point-restricted (i.e. Siamese-type markings). Any appearance of hybridization with any other breed – including long or fluffy fur, deep nose break, bulging eye set, brow ridge. Kinked or abnormal tail. Locket or button (white spots on colors not specifying same). Incorrect number of toes. Undershot or overshot bite. Tongue persistently protruding. Obesity or emaciation. Any feature so exaggerated as to foster weakness.

AMERICAN SHORTHAIR COLORS

WHITE: pure glistening white. Nose leather and Paw pads: pink. Eye color: deep blue or gold. Odd-eyed whites shall have one blue and one gold eye with equal color depth.

BLACK: dense coal black, sound from roots to tip of fur. Free from any tinge of rust on tips or smoke undercoat. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black. Eye color: gold.

BLUE: blue, lighter shade preferred, one level tone from nose to tip of tail. Sound to the roots. A sound darker shade is more acceptable than an unsound lighter shade. Nose leather and Paw pads: blue. Eye color: gold.

RED: deep, rich, clear, brilliant red; without shading, markings, or ticking. Lips and chin the same color as coat. Nose leather and Paw pads: brick red. Eye color: gold.

CREAM: one level shade of buff cream without markings. Sound to the roots. Lighter shades preferred. Nose leather and Paw pads: pink. Eye color: gold.

CHINCHILLA SILVER: undercoat pure white. Coat on back, flanks, head, and tail sufficiently tipped with black to give the characteristic sparkling silver appearance. Legs may be slightly shaded with tipping. Chin and ear tufts, stomach and chest, pure white. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with black. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black. Eye color: green.

SHADED SILVER: undercoat white with a mantle of black tipping shading down from sides, face, and tail from dark on the ridge to white on the chin, chest, stomach, and under the tail. Legs to be the same tone as the face. The general effect to be much darker than a chinchilla. Rims of eyes, lips, and nose outlined with black. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black. Eye color: green.

SHELL CAMEO (Red Chinchilla): undercoat white, the coat on back, flanks, head, and tail to be sufficiently tipped with red to give the characteristic sparkling appearance. Face and legs may be very slightly shaded with tipping. Chin, ear tufts, stomach, and chest white. Nose leather, Rims of eyes, and Paw pads: rose. Eye color: gold.

SHADED CAMEO (Red Shaded): undercoat white with a mantle of red tipping shading down the sides, face, and tail from dark on the ridge to white on the chin, chest, stomach, and under the tail. Legs to be the same tone as face. The general effect to be much redder than the shell cameo. Nose leather, Rims of eyes, and Paw pads: rose. Eye color: gold.

BLACK SMOKE: white undercoat, deeply tipped with black. Cat in repose appears black. In motion the white undercoat is clearly apparent. Points and mask black with narrow band of white at base of hairs next to skin which may be seen only when fur is parted. Nose leather and Paw pads: black. Eye color: green, hazel, gold; green preferred.

BLUE SMOKE: white undercoat, deeply tipped with blue. Cat in repose appears blue. In motion the white undercoat is clearly apparent. Points and mask blue, with narrow band of white at base of hairs next to skin which may be seen only when fur is parted. Nose leather and Paw pads: blue. Eye color: gold.

CAMEO SMOKE (Red Smoke): white undercoat, deeply tipped with red. Cat in repose appears red. In motion the white undercoat is clearly apparent. Points and mask red with narrow band of white at base of hairs next to skin which may be seen only when fur is parted. Nose leather, Rims of eyes, and Paw pads: rose. Eye color: gold.

TORTOISESHELL SMOKE: white undercoat deeply tipped with black with clearly defined, unbrindled patches of red and cream tipped hairs as in the pattern of the tortoiseshell. Cat in repose appears tortoiseshell. In motion the white undercoat is clearly apparent. Face and ears tortoiseshell pattern with narrow band of white at the base of the hairs next to the skin which may be seen only when fur is parted. White ear tufts. Blaze of red or cream tipping on face is desirable. Eye color: gold.

BLUE CHINCHILLA SILVER: undercoat pure white. Coat on back, flanks and tail sufficiently tipped with blue to give the characteristic sparkling silver appearance. Legs may be slightly shaded with tipping. Chin and ear tufts, stomach and chest, pure white. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with blue. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: blue or old rose. Eye color: green.

BLUE SHADED SILVER: undercoat white with a mantle of blue tipping shading down from sides, face and tail from dark on the ridge to white on the chin, chest, stomach and under the tail. Legs to be the same tone as the face. The general effect to be much darker than a blue chinchilla. Rims of eyes, lips and nose outlined with blue. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: old rose or blue. Eye color: green.

CREAM SHELL CAMEO (Cream Chinchilla): undercoat white, the coat on back, flanks, head and tail to be sufficiently tipped with cream to give the characteristic sparkling appearance. Face and legs may be very slightly shaded with tipping. Chin, ear tufts, stomach and legs white: Nose leather, rims of eyes and paw pads: pink. Eye color: gold.

CREAM SHADED CAMEO (Cream Shaded): undercoat white with a mantle of cream tipping shading down the sides, face and tail from dark on the ridge to white on the chin, chest, stomach, and under the tail. Legs to be the same tone as face. The general effect to be much more cream than the cream shell cameo. Nose leather, rims of eyes, and paw pads: pink. Eye color: gold.

BLUE CREAM SMOKE: white undercoat deeply tipped with blue with clearly defined, unbrindled patches of cream tipped hairs as in the pattern of the blue cream. Cat in repose appears blue cream. In motion, the white is clearly apparent. Face and ears blue cream pattern with narrow band at the base of the hairs next to the skin which may be seen only when the fur is parted. White ear tufts. Blaze of cream tipping on face is desirable. Eye color: gold.

SMOKE AND WHITE (including vans): White with unbrindled portions which have a white undercoat deeply tipped in color (black, blue, red, cream, tortoiseshell, cameo). The cat in repose appears white and black (white & blue, white & red etc.), in motion the white undercoat may be apparent. As a preferred minimum, the cat should have white feet, legs, undersides, chest and muzzle. An inverted “V” blaze is desirable.

BLACK SMOKE AND WHITE: white with portions of black smoke. Eye color: green, hazel, gold; green preferred.

BLUE SMOKE AND WHITE: white with portions of blue smoke. Eye color: gold.

TORTOISESHELL SMOKE AND WHITE: white with portions of tortoiseshell smoke. Eye color: gold.

SHELL CAMEO AND WHITE: white with portions of shell cameo. Eye color: gold.

SHADED CAMEO AND WHITE: white with portions of shaded cameo. Eye color: gold.

SMOKE CAMEO AND WHITE: white with portions of smoke cameo. Eye color: gold.

CLASSIC TABBY PATTERN: markings dense, clearly defined, and broad. Legs evenly barred with bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Tail evenly ringed. Several unbroken necklaces on neck and upper chest, the more the better. Frown marks on forehead form an intricate letter “M.” Unbroken line runs back from outer corner of eye. Swirls on cheeks. Vertical lines over back of head extend to shoulder markings which are in the shape of a butterfly with both upper and lower wings distinctly outlined and marked with dots inside outline. Back markings consist of a vertical line down the spine from butterfly to tail with a vertical stripe paralleling it on each side, the three stripes well separated by stripes of the ground color. Large solid blotch on each side to be encircled by one or more unbroken rings. Side markings should be the same on both sides. Double vertical rows of buttons on chest and stomach. Hocks: to be the same color as markings.

MACKEREL TABBY PATTERN: markings dense, clearly defined, and all narrow pencillings. Legs evenly barred with narrow bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Tail barred. Necklaces on neck and chest distinct, like so many chains. Head barred with an “M” on the forehead. Unbroken lines running back from the eyes. Lines running down the head to meet the shoulders. Spine lines run together to form a narrow saddle. Narrow pencillings run around body. Hocks: to be the same color as markings.

TICKED TABBY PATTERN: overall appearance is a cat without obvious markings on the body and with distinct tabby striping on the head, neck, legs and tail. The hair shafts on the body should be ticked with various shades of the marking color. Marking colors (stripes), ground colors and eye colors are the same as for the classic and mackerel tabby patterns. When viewed from above, the body is free from obvious spots, stripes or blotches, except for darker dorsal shading. The lighter underside may show tabby markings. Cat must have at least one distinct necklace. Hocks are the same color as the tabby marking color.

PATCHED TABBY PATTERN: a patched tabby (torbie) (classic, mackerel or ticked) is an established silver, brown, or blue tabby with patches of red and/or cream.

BROWN PATCHED TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color brilliant coppery brown with classic, mackerel or ticked tabby markings of dense black with patches of red and/or cream clearly defined on both body and extremities; a blaze of red and/or cream on face is desirable. Lips and chin the same shade as the rings around the eyes. Eye color: gold or hazel; shades of gold preferred.

BLUE PATCHED TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color, including lips and chin, pale bluish ivory with classic, mackerel or ticked tabby markings of very deep blue affording a good contrast with ground color. Patches of cream clearly defined on both body and extremities; a blaze of cream on the face is desirable. Warm fawn overtones or patina over the whole. Eye color: gold.

SILVER PATCHED TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): undercoat white, ground color, including lips and chin, pale silver with classic, mackerel or ticked tabby markings of dense black with patches of red and/or cream clearly defined on both body and extremities. A blaze of red and/or cream on the face is desirable. Eye color: gold, green or hazel.

BLUE SILVER PATCHED TABBY (Pewter Patched Tabby) (classic, mackerel or ticked): undercoat white, ground color, including lips and chin, pale, clear bluish silver with classic, mackerel or ticked tabby markings of deep blue with patches of cream clearly defined on both body and extremities. A blaze of cream on the face is desirable. Eye color: green or hazel.

SILVER TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color, including lips and chin, pale, clear silver. Markings dense black. The silver tabby genetically is a shaded cat expressing the agouti pattern, therefore the undercoat should be white. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black. Eye color: green to hazel; green preferred.

BLUE SILVER TABBY (Pewter Tabby) (classic, mackerel or ticked): undercoat white, ground color, including lips and chin, pale, clear bluish silver. Markings sound blue. Nose leather: blue or old rose trimmed with blue. Paw pads: blue. Eye color: green or hazel.

RED TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color red. Markings deep rich red. Lips and chin to match the color around the eyes. Nose leather and Paw pads: brick red. Eye color: gold.

BROWN TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color brilliant coppery brown. Markings dense black. Lips and chin the same shade as the rings around the eyes. Back of legs black from paw to heel. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black or brown. Eye color: gold or hazel; shades of gold preferred.

BLUE TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color, including lips and chin, pale bluish ivory. Markings a very deep blue affording a good contrast with ground color. Warm fawn overtones or patina over the whole. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: rose. Eye color: gold.

CREAM TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color, including lips and chin, very pale cream. Markings of buff or cream sufficiently darker than the ground color to afford good contrast but remaining within the dilute color range. Nose leather and Paw pads: pink. Eye color: gold.

CAMEO TABBY (classic, mackerel or ticked): ground color off-white. Markings red. The cameo tabby genetically is a shaded cat expressing the agouti pattern, therefore the undercoat should be white. Nose leather and Paw pads: rose. Eye color: gold.

CREAM CAMEO TABBY (Dilute Cameo) (classic, mackerel or ticked): undercoat white, ground color off white. Markings cream. Nose leather and paw pads: pink. Eye color: gold.

TABBY AND WHITE (including vans)*: white with colored portions, the colored portions conform to the currently established tabby classes; classic, mackerel or ticked. As a preferred minimum, the cat should have white feet, legs, undersides, chest and muzzle. An inverted “V” blaze is desirable.

SILVER TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of silver tabby Eye color: gold, green or hazel.

SILVER PATCHED TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of silver patched tabby. Eye color: gold, green or hazel.

CAMEO TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of cameo tabby. Eye color: gold.

BROWN TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked) white with portions of brown tabby. Eye color: gold or hazel; shades of gold preferred.

BROWN PATCHED TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of brown patched tabby. Eye color: gold or hazel; shades of gold preferred.

BLUE TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of blue tabby. Eye color: gold.

BLUE PATCHED TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of blue patched tabby and white. Eye color: gold.

RED TABBY AND WHITE: (classic, mackerel or ticked) white with portions of red tabby. Eye color: gold.

CREAM TABBY AND WHITE (classic, mackerel or ticked): white with portions of cream tabby. Eye color: gold.

SHADED SILVER & WHITE: white with portions of Shaded Silver. Eye color: green.

CHINCHILLA SILVER & WHITE: white with portions of Chinchilla Silver. Eye color: green.

SHADED CALICO & WHITE: white with portions of Shaded Calico. Eye color: green or gold.

DILUTE SHADED CALICO & WHITE: white with portions of Dilute Shaded Calico. Eye color: green or gold.

BLUE SHADED SILVER & WHITE: white with portions of Blue Shaded Silver. Eye color: green or gold.

TORTOISESHELL: black with patches of red or softly intermingled areas of red on both body and extremities. Presence of several shades of red acceptable. Nose leather and paw pads: black and/or brick red. Eye color: gold.

CHINCHILLA SHADED TORTOISESHELL (shell tortoiseshell): undercoat pure white. Coat on back, flanks, head and tail sufficiently tipped with black and well-defined patches of red and/or cream as in the pattern of the tortoiseshell to give the characteristic sparkling appearance. The cat is in appearance a chinchilla silver with patches of red tipping. Blaze of cream or red tipping desirable. Eye color: green or gold.

SHADED TORTOISESHELL: undercoat white. Mantle of black tipping and clearly defined patches of red and cream tipped hairs as in the pattern of the tortoiseshell. Blaze of red or cream tipping on face is desirable. Eye color: green or gold.

DILUTE CHINCHILLA TORTOISESHELL (Dilute Shell Tortoiseshell): undercoat pure white. Coat on back, flanks, head and tail sufficiently tipped with blue and well-defined patches of cream as in the pattern of the blue cream to give the characteristic sparkling appearance. The cat is in appearance a dilute chinchilla silver with patches of cream tipping. Blaze of cream tipping desirable. Eye color: green or gold.

DILUTE SHADED TORTOISESHELL: undercoat white. Mantle of blue tipping and clearly defined patches of cream tipped hairs as in the pattern of the blue cream. Blaze of cream tipping on face is desirable. Eye color: green or gold.

CALICO: white with distinct patches of black and red. White predominant on underparts. Tabby markings are allowed in the red patches. Eye color: gold.

DILUTE CALICO: white with distinct patches of blue and cream. Tabby markings are allowed in the cream patches. Eye color: gold.

BLUE-CREAM: blue with patches of cream or softly intermingled areas of cream on both body and extremities. Presence of several shades of cream acceptable. Nose leather and paw pads: blue and/or pink. Eye color: gold.

BI-COLOR: white with unbrindled portions of black, white with unbrindled portions of blue, white with unbrindled portions of red, or white with unbrindled portions of cream. Eye color: gold.

VAN BI-COLOR: black and white, red and white, blue and white, or cream and white. White cat with color confined to the extremities; head, tail, and legs. One or two small colored patches on body allowable.

VAN CALICO: white cat with unbrindled patches of black and red confined to the extremities; head, tail, and legs. One or two small colored patches on body allowable.

VAN DILUTE CALICO: white cat with unbrindled patches of blue and cream confined to the extremities; head, tail, and legs. One or two small colored patches on body allowable.

*VAN is the term for a cat who is white with the additional colored portions confined to the head, tail and legs. One or two small portions of color on the body are allowable.


The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.

American Shorthair Color Class Numbers

Blue-Eyed White07000701
Gold-Eyed White07020703
Odd-Eyed White07040705
Blue07060707
Black07080709
Red07100711
Cream07140715
Chinchilla Silver07300731
Shaded Silver07320733
Black Smoke07340735
Blue Smoke07380739
Dilute Shaded
(Blue Chinchilla Silver, Blue Shaded Silver, Cream Shell Cameo, Cream Shaded Cameo, Blue Cream Smoke)
07280729
Silver Tabby07360737
Silver Mackerel Tabby0736M0737M
Silver Patched Tabby (torbie)
(classic, mackerel)
0785
Blue-Silver Tabby
(classic, mackerel)
70687069
Blue-Silver Patched Tabby (torbie)
(classic, mackerel)
7037
Red Tabby07400741
Red Mackerel Tabby0740M0741M
Brown Tabby07440745
Brown Mackerel Tabby0744M0745M
Brown Patched Tabby (torbie)
(classic, mackerel)
0787
Blue Tabby07520753
Blue Mackerel Tabby0752M0753M
Blue Patched Tabby (torbie)
(classic, mackerel)
0789
Cream Tabby07540755
Cream Mackerel Tabby0754M0755M
Shell Cameo07600761
Shaded Cameo07620763
Smoke Cameo07640765
Tortoiseshell Smoke0725
Cameo Tabby07660767
Cameo Mackerel Tabby0766M0767M
Cream Cameo Tabby
(classic, mackerel)
70667067
Ticked Tabby/Ticked Tabby and White (including vans)
(Silver, Brown, Blue, Red, Cream, Blue Silver, Cameo, Cream Cameo ticked tabby colors, including patched patterns, and ticked tabby with white)
70887089
Tabby & White (including Vans)
(Silver, Brown, Blue, Red, Cameo, Cream [tabby colors in mackerel or classic and, where applicable, patched patterns])
70727073
Smoke & White (including Vans)
(Black Smoke & White, Blue Smoke & White, Tortoiseshell Smoke & White)
70247025
Shaded and White (including Vans)
(Shaded Silver & White, Chinchilla Silver & White, Shaded Calico, Dilute Shaded Calico, Blue Shaded Silver & White, Shaded Cameo & White, Shell Cameo & White)
70267027
Bi-Color and Van Bi-Color
(Red & White, Blue & White, Cream & White, Black & White)
07700771
Tortoiseshell0747
Calico and Van Calico
Calico (White with Black & Red) or Dilute Calico and Van Dilute Calico (White with Blue & Cream)
0749
Blue-Cream0751
Shaded Parti-Color
(Chinchilla Tortoiseshell, Shaded Tortoiseshell, Dilute Chinchilla Tortoiseshell, Dilute Shaded Tortoiseshell)
0723
AOV07980799

American Shorthair allowable outcross breeds: none

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