17 American Shorthair Colors and Patterns (With Pictures)

17 American Shorthair Colors and Patterns (With Pictures)

The American Shorthair, renowned for its robust health and easy-going temperament, is a true symbol of the United States' melting pot heritage. Originally bred from cats that arrived with early settlers, these cats have evolved to become hearty, loving companions with a striking appearance. Characterized by their round faces, wide eyes, and medium to short dense coats, American Shorthairs come in a dazzling array of colors and patterns, each adding to the breed's charm. Not only are they admired for their physical attributes, but their adaptable and friendly nature makes them perfect pets for families, singles, and seniors alike. Known for their hunting prowess, they were once favored for keeping barns and homes free from rodents. Today, they enjoy the comfort of indoor living, offering companionship and affection to their human counterparts. The American Shorthair's blend of independence and affection ensures they fit into a wide range of households, making them one of the most beloved cat breeds across the country.

American Shorthair Characteristics
Feature Description
Face Shape Round with a full-cheeked appearance, contributing to a pleasant and open expression.
Eyes Large and wide, set well apart. Color can vary, often reflecting the coat color, but generally includes shades of gold, green, or blue.
Ears Medium in size, slightly rounded at the tips, not too far apart; set so they continue the outline of the face.
Mouth and Nose A well-defined muzzle that is not too long, with a medium-sized nose that fits the overall facial symmetry.
Fur Length Short to medium in length, providing a dense and plush feel.
Fur Thickness Thick and hard coat, designed to protect against environmental elements. The texture can vary slightly with color and pattern.

American Shorthair Colors and Patterns

Solid Colors

  • Black: Uniform, deep black with a glossy sheen. Eye color is usually gold or copper.


Differences between Bombay and British Black Cat

Bombay cats have a sharper face, which is an inverted triangle, and their eyes are generally bright yellow. The British cats we are familiar with have rounder faces than American cats, especially in males, and their eyes are orange-yellow.



  • White: Pure white with no shading. Eyes can be blue, gold, or odd-eyed.

White American Shorthair cat  American shorthair cat, American shorthair kitten, American shorthair

  • Blue (Gray): Even, solid blue-gray. Eye color tends to be gold or copper.


  • Cream: Light pastel cream without markings. Eyes are typically gold or copper.

 cream american shorthair

Tabby Patterns

  • Classic Tabby: Swirling patterns or a 'bullseye' on the side. Available in multiple colors.

American shorthair-cat tabby cat

  • Mackerel Tabby: Narrow stripes run parallel down the sides in various colors.

Mackerel Tabby America shorthaired

  • Spotted Tabby: Spots vary in size and shape, offering a 'wild' appearance.

Spotted Tabby American shorthaired cat

Calico and Bi-Colors

  • Calico: Predominantly white with patches of two other colors.

Calico american shorthair cat

  • Bi-Colors: Any solid colors combined with white, often in patterns like tuxedo, van, and harlequin.


  • Tortoiseshell: Intermingled black and orange patches, sometimes with white.

Tortoiseshell american shorthair cat

  • Blue-Cream: A dilute form of the tortoiseshell, with soft blue and cream patches.

Blue Cream american shorthair cat

Shaded and Smoke Colors

  • Silver Shaded: A silver undercoat with a black tipping giving a sparkling silver appearance.
  • Blue Shaded: Similar to silver shaded but with a blue undercoat and tipping.
  • Cameo (Red) Smoke: Undercoat is white with a red tipping giving a smoky appearance.
  • Black Smoke: Solid black with a white or silver undercoat visible when the fur is parted.

Silver and Golden Series

  • Chinchilla Silver: Very light silver with black tipping on the edges of the fur.
  • Shaded Silver/Golden: More tipping than chinchilla, giving a darker appearance; golden has a warm, apricot undercoat.


Each color and pattern of the American Shorthair not only adds to the physical beauty of the breed but also brings a unique charm and personality trait that cat lovers cherish.