Domestic Shorthair cats are not a specific breed but rather a mix of various breeds with diverse characteristics. They are also known as moggies, house shorthairs, or DSH for short. In this article, we will provide you with information and tips on caring for a Domestic Shorthair cat, from their physical appearance and personality to their health and nutrition.
|6 to 15 pounds
|12 to 18 inches
|Any color or combination of colors
|Any pattern or combination of patterns
|Any color or combination of colors
|Playful, affectionate, social, intelligent, independent, hardy
|15 to 20 years
|Good with Kids
|Good with Pets
|Yes, with proper introduction and socialization
|Mixed ancestry from various breeds and locations
History of the Domestic Shorthair Cat
Domestic Shorthair cats have one of the longest and most fascinating histories that date back to ancient times. They were believed to be domesticated in Egypt around 2000 BC, where they were revered as sacred animals and worshipped as gods. They also served as pest controllers and companions for humans.
Domestic Shorthairs spread across the world through trade and migration and adapted to different climates and cultures. They arrived in America with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620, where they continued to help with rodent problems on ships and farms. Today, they are the most common type of cat in the US, accounting for about 95% of all cats.
Domestic Shorthair cats come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and statures, depending on their genetic makeup. They are typically medium-sized and muscular, with short, sleek coats that can be any color or pattern imaginable. Some common colors and patterns include black, white, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, bicolor, and more. They also have round heads with paws, eyes, and ears that are proportionate to their bodies. Their eyes can be green, blue, gold, hazel, or any combination thereof.
Domestic Shorthair cats also have diverse personalities that can vary from one cat to another. However, some general traits that they share are playfulness, affectionateness, socialness, intelligence, independence, and hardiness. They are not aggressive by nature and get along well with children, seniors, and other pets, as long as they are properly introduced and socialized.
They are also considered working cats because they have excellent hunting instincts and agility skills. They enjoy playing with toys, chasing bugs, and exploring their surroundings.
Common Health Issues
Domestic Shorthair cats are generally healthy and have few genetic health problems due to their diverse gene pool. However, they can still be affected by some common health issues that may affect any cat, such as dental disease, obesity, urinary tract infections, fleas, worms, etc. To prevent or treat these issues, taking your cat to the vet regularly for check-ups, vaccinations, dental care, spaying/neutering, etc., is important. You should also monitor your cat’s weight, appetite, water intake, urination, defecation, and behavior for any signs of illness or discomfort.
Domestic Shorthair Cat Lifespan
The average lifespan of a Domestic Shorthair cat is around 15 to 20 years, which is longer than most purebred cats. To extend the lifespan and quality of life of your cat, you should provide them with a safe and comfortable indoor environment, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and lots of love and attention.
Domestic Shorthair cats are easy to groom and maintain due to their short coats. They do not need frequent bathing or brushing unless they get dirty or have mats or tangles in their fur. However, brushing your cat’s coat once or twice a week is still a good idea to remove loose hair and dirt and distribute natural oils. This will also help reduce shedding and hairballs. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a rubber curry comb to gently groom your cat’s coat and make it shiny and smooth.
Your cat’s nails will need trimming every two to four weeks to prevent them from growing too long or sharp and causing injury or damage. You can use a pair of nail clippers designed for cats or use human nail clippers if you don’t have any. Be careful not to cut too close to the quick, which is the pink part of the nail where the blood vessels and nerves are. If you accidentally cut the quick, don’t panic. Just apply some styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
You should also clean your cat’s ears and eyes every week or as needed. Use a cotton ball, a soft cloth moistened with warm water, or a special ear cleaner for cats. Gently wipe the inside of your cat’s ears and around its eyes to remove any dirt or discharge. Don’t use cotton swabs or anything that could damage your cat’s ears or eyes.
You may also need to bathe your cat occasionally if they get very dirty or have a skin condition that requires it. Use a mild shampoo made for cats and rinse well with warm water. Dry your cat with a towel and keep them warm until they are completely dry.
Diet and Nutrition
Domestic Shorthair cats have moderate energy levels and need a balanced diet to stay healthy and fit. They should eat high-quality dry or wet food that meets their nutritional needs and preferences. You can also give them some human foods as treats or supplements, such as cooked meat, eggs, cheese, or vegetables. However, avoid foods that are toxic or harmful to cats, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, alcohol, etc.
The amount of food you should feed your cat depends on their age, weight, activity level, and health condition. A general rule of thumb is to feed your cat about 20 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, a 10-pound cat would need about 200 calories per day. You can divide this amount into two or three meals per day or leave some dry food out for free feeding. However, make sure you measure your cat’s portions and don’t overfeed them.
To prevent or manage obesity in your cat, you should also provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. You can play with your cat using toys, lasers, feathers, etc., or provide them with scratching posts, cat trees, window perches, etc., to keep them active and entertained. You should also monitor your cat’s weight regularly and consult your vet if you notice any changes.
Training and Behavior
Domestic Shorthair cats are smart and trainable with positive reinforcement and patience. You can teach your cat some basic commands or tricks using treats or toys as rewards. For example, you can teach your cat to sit, stay, come, high five, fetch, etc., by using a clicker or a marker word (such as “yes” or “good”) to mark the desired behavior and then give them a treat or toy. You can also use a lure (such as a treat or toy) to guide your cat into the position you want them to do.
Some common behavior problems that may occur in your cat are scratching furniture, spraying urine, biting or scratching people or other pets, etc. These problems are usually caused by stress, boredom, lack of socialization, or territorial issues. To prevent or correct these problems, you should use redirections or deterrents such as scratching posts, spray bottles, clickers, etc. You should also provide your cat with a safe, enriching environment that meets its physical and emotional needs.
For example, you can give your cat multiple litter boxes in different locations, provide them with hiding places and vertical spaces, play with them regularly, and spay/neuter them to reduce hormonal behaviors.
Where to Buy a Domestic Shorthair Cat
Because this cat is a mixed or generalized group of cat breeds, you can find them commonly at a shelter or rescue. Many adorable and loving cats are waiting for their forever homes at a rescue near you.
Domestic Shorthair cats are wonderful companions that can bring joy and happiness to any home. They are easy to care for, adaptable to any environment, and full of personality. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and have diverse characteristics that make them unique. They are also generally healthy and have few genetic health problems. They are smart and trainable with positive reinforcement and patience. They are also playful and affectionate and can get along well with children, seniors, and other pets.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about these amazing cats. Thank you for reading!
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Q: How long do domestic shorthairs live?
A: The average lifespan of a domestic shorthair cat is around 15 to 20 years, which is longer than most purebred cats. However, this can vary depending on the individual cat’s health, diet, lifestyle, and genetics. To extend the lifespan and quality of life of your cat, you should provide them with a safe and comfortable indoor environment, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and regular vet care.
Q: Are domestic shorthairs hypoallergenic?
A: No, domestic shorthairs are not hypoallergenic. In fact, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat. All cats produce allergens in their saliva, urine, and dander (dead skin cells), which can trigger allergic reactions in some people. However, some cats may produce fewer allergens than others or shed less hair and dander, which can reduce exposure to allergens. Domestic shorthairs have short coats that shed moderately, so they may not be the best choice for people with severe cat allergies.
Q: How big do domestic shorthairs get?
A: Domestic shorthairs vary greatly in size and weight depending on their genetic makeup. They are typically medium-sized and muscular, with males weighing 11 to 15 pounds and females weighing 8 to 12 pounds. However, some domestic shorthairs may be smaller or larger than these averages. You should monitor your cat’s weight regularly and consult your vet if you notice any changes.
Q: Do domestic shorthairs shed?
A: Yes, domestic shorthairs shed their hair throughout the year, especially during seasonal changes. They have short coats that are easy to groom and maintain, but they still need regular brushing to remove loose hair and dirt and reduce shedding and hairballs. You should brush your cat’s coat once or twice a week with a soft-bristled brush or a rubber curry comb. You should also vacuum your furniture and carpets frequently to remove any hair and dander.
Q: What is a domestic shorthair?
A: A domestic shorthair is a type of cat that is not a specific breed but rather a mix of various breeds with diverse characteristics. They are also known as moggies, house shorthairs, or DSH for short. Depending on their genetic makeup, they come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and statures. They also have diverse personalities that can vary from one cat to another. However, some general traits that they share are playfulness, affectionateness, socialness, intelligence, independence, and hardiness. They are the most common type of cat in the US, accounting for about 95% of all cats.