The Intriguing History of the Black American Shorthair Cat

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black american shorthair

When it comes to black cats there are many breeds…

One of the most common is the Black American Shorthair. My Mini Panther is a black cat community created by me and the star of the show is our boy called Coco.

We believe that Coco is a black American Shorthair due to the shape and size of his body and his piercing yellow eyes. There is a chance that he could be a British Shorthair which is a very similar breed.

The American Shorthair has proven to be a very popular breed due to its family-orientated nature but a lot of this breed’s popularity comes from it’s hunting ability.

The medium-sized American Shorthair is powerful, heavy-boned, and muscular giving it useful qualities to owners of the past and present as you are about to find out…

black american shorthair

The History

Now let’s have a look at a few key points in history that have defined the Black American Shorthair’s very existence.

  • 1904: The first recorded breeding of the American Shorthair took place with one of the parents being a British Shorthair.
  • 1906: The Cat Fancier Association officially named the breed the “Domestic Shorthair”.
  • 1966: The breed officially became known as the “American Shorthair” to make the breed more easily distinguishable.
  • Kentucky breeder Nikki Horner successfully bred an American Shorthair with a female Burmese to create a Bombay cat. The Bombay is known for its panther-like looks and striking orange eyes.
  • The origins of the American Shorthair come from Europe and arrived on American soil by ship, much like many people that settled in America.
  • Due to selective breeding, the American Shorthair is tough, healthy, and strong due to the desire to use them as working cats.
  • With American Shorthairs living mostly outdoors, their coats were cultivated to keep them warm and withstand the elements.
  • American Shorthairs were used on ships and farms mainly for their ability to keep the rodent populations down. They make excellent hunters!

My final thoughts

When researching for this blog post on the Black American Shorthair my mind was taken back to a time when people were traveling across the seas in search of prosperity.

Every person on board the ships had a role to play in making the journey as safe and as pleasant as possible.

I can picture black cats chasing mice and rats and also being petted by people.

Our boy Coco is so intelligent and loving as well as being efficient at catching insects big and small and I can easily imagine him being a valuable member on board a ship.


It seems to me that many people are confusing the American/British Shorthair with the Bombay cat online.

I can see clear differences between the breeds and the main differences are the shape of the body and head, the closeness of the fur, and the eye color.

To people who aren’t into cats they may appear to be ‘just a black cat’ but to me and a small number of others online, it’s quite easy to see which breed you are looking at.

I’ve seen YouTube videos labeled as “Black Bombay Cat” and the cat is clearly not that breed.

Hopefully, this blog will clear up any confusion, and together we can learn a lot more about these wonderful cats.

I once read that the most common color of the domestic cat is black so for me it’s a huge disservice to the domestic cat to not define the breeds properly.

I will continue to research this particular breed and I’ll add info to this blog post as I find it…

While you are here, why not read an article on 12 Fascinating Black Cat Breeds Explained…

Have you joined the My Mini Panther black cat community on Facebook?

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Lee Harris

I'm a Brit living in the sunny Canary Islands with my beautiful wife and my wonderful black cat called Coco. I love to blog, build businesses, look after my body, and enjoy nature...

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