Cat Lovers guide to the Domestic Shorthair

Everything you need to know about domestic shorthair cats

When it comes to cats, the domestic shorthair cat is perhaps the most popular in households around the world. In fact, nearly 95% of cats in the United States are considered domestic shorthairs.

They are intelligent, affectionate cats, adapt well to homes, and have characteristics that make them unique. Here we will tell you everything you need to know about these friendly cats.


Origin of the domestic shorthair cat

They are also known as “moggie”, “mutt” "house cats," and "alley cats," although these names often have a negative connotation so they are better known as “domestic shorthair cats”.

A domestic shorthair cat is a cat of mixed ancestry, so it does not belong to any cat breed. They are a mixture of different breeds, so they come in different colors and shapes and the only thing they have in common is the short fur.

These cats are believed to have been domesticated in the Middle East at the time when humans developed agriculture and are probably the most genuine of the feline breeds.

The domestic shorthair cat is the direct descendant of the first cats that were domesticated in ancient Egypt. Since then, the cat has spread everywhere.

They spread throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but were not known in the Americas or Australia until European explorers brought them there.

Domestic shorthair cats are different from other breeds recognized by registries such as the British shorthair, the American shorthair, and other standardized breeds with "shorthair" names.


Physical characteristics

Size: 22-25 cm with males tending to be larger than females.

Weight: 3 - 4 kg

Eyes: large, round, slightly oblique. They can be blue, green, amber, or hazel.

Coat: Its coat is short, shiny, dense, and without an undercoat in harmony with the dominant genetic base it has.

These felines come in colors ranging from solid colors such as white, black, orange, brown, or gray to bicolor, tabby, calico, and tortoiseshell.

Life expectancy: between 12 and 18 years.

These cats are medium to large, with an elongated, robust and muscular body and equally muscular legs. They have a rounded head with a well-defined muzzle, large round eyes, and medium-sized erect ears with rounded tips.

Independent and capable of taking care of themselves, the common cat developed a morphology similar to that of the wild cat, which corresponds to a medium-sized, agile, and strong animal.


The character of the domestic shorthair cat

Their temperament can vary a lot due to their crossbreeding, they can be calm and docile, more active and vocal, affectionate, and with a great capacity of adaptation.

They are not usually aggressive; on the contrary, they are quite sociable. They are playful when young and enjoy the company of children and other pets.

They are usually attached to their owners, showing their gratitude when they see fit. However, they prefer to go outside if they have the opportunity.

These cats are intelligent and good hunters, as they still have predatory instincts for rodents, birds, and fish, whether they are pets or not. It is best to keep those animals safe from your cat.

Although they are not bred as show cats, some mixed breed cats actually participate in cat shows that have "Household Pets" divisions that are not purebred.


Domestic Shorthair Cat Care

Domestic shorthair cats are easy to care for, they only need the typical care needed by any other cat, and due to their coat and physical characteristics, they only need a few minutes of grooming per week.

  • They only need to be brushed from time to time to remove loose hair. The brush you use should have rubber bristles.
  • They will need to play and chase toys. You should spend time each day actively playing with your cat.
  • Cats generally do not need baths, but you can do it once a month or when your cat is really dirty, as they are generally very clean animals.
  • He will need a scratching post to file his nails, also take a look at the pads of the paws and between the toes, to make sure they are nice and clean.
  • A healthy cat's nose should always be moist and clean. You can easily remove nasal secretions with a compress or with tissues and warm water.
  • Check his ears regularly, if they are dirty, smelly, red, or irritated, contact your veterinarian.



It is necessary to take care of their feeding according to their nutritional needs given by their age, health condition, sizes, type of coat, etc.

A wet food diet is often considered best, as it contains a higher percentage of water approximately 80%, and more lean proteins, but you can combine it with dry food.

Discuss your cat's needs with your veterinarian, especially if your cat has diabetes, is obese, or is elderly. And control your cat's food portions to avoid being overweight.

Daily exercises to avoid overweight and mental stimulation are vital for their development, And always keep clean, fresh water within reach, preferably in stainless steel or aluminum troughs.


The health of the domestic shorthair cat

The domestic cat usually has few health problems and may even live longer. Being a breed that has had no human intervention. You are opting for a cat that looks and behaves as nature intended and without any genetic problem.

However, they are not immune to the most common cat diseases such as diabetes, upper respiratory infections, feline immunodeficiency virus, skin disorders, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, feline leukemia virus, and cancer.

Therefore, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian at least once a year for a general check-up and to keep the vaccines up to date to prevent common and serious problems.


Adopt a domestic shorthair.

You will find many of these wonderful mixed cats in shelters waiting for a loving home. If you are thinking about getting a cat, consider visiting a local shelter to find your new feline friend.

By adopting a domestic shorthair cat, you are choosing to have a cat that is unique not only in his color pattern but also in his personality.