What breed is the Domestic Short Haired Cat?
A domestic short-haired cat is a feline of unknown breeds, they are of mixed ancestry and hence do not really belong to any specific cat breed on their own. (1.)
According to ancient feline DNA analysis of these kitties they are most likely to have descended from the African Wildcat (Felis Silvestris Lybica) which has it’s roots in hot Africa. (2.)
Though this particular short haired cat breed remains to be a non-pedigree cat, it is accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in the household pets category they have.
Household cats are judged not by their distinct physical characteristics and instead by their pleasing appearance, uniqueness, any unusual markings, and sweet dispositions as well.
It is thought that the Domestic Short Haired cats were first domesticated in Egypt around 2000 B. C.
Their other subsequent home was in the United States of America, where these types of cats were imported on the Mayflower itself on it’s voyage to North America to control the rodent population there.
They were a favorite to early settlers and considered very hardworking animals and great at catching their prey, being extremely useful during those times.
They were thus mainly reared as pets and barnyard cats intended to keep storage facilities free from rats, and as a result of that also keeping their human families disease free and healthy.
They proved to be amiable and inexpensive laborers in their own way.
All the little animals wanted in return for all their work was a good, warm place to sleep, love from their owners, and a good healthy meal.
The cats unique hunting skills are owed to the inherent property of an acute hearing and also their light-reflecting eyes which can see better in the dark than their prey most of the time.
These perfectly wonderful cats are commonly referred to as house cats, poly cats or an alley cat as well.
Also read: can cats see in the dark?
Domestic Short Haired cats come in all sizes, colors, patters and shapes possible really.
That is, staying within reasonable shapes and patterns and such of course..
The cats exhibit a wide range of physical characteristics from country to country or depending on where they live.
This wide range is because of the fact that they come from differing gene pools, for instance the cats in Asia are similar to a classic Siamese cat, while the American and European varieties have more of a thicker and heavier build to them.
That said, generally the male cats are a bit bigger than their female companions and have broader heads also.
On average, the weight range of a male(tom) is 15 lbs, while that of a female(queen) would be around 12 lbs.
The main coat colors of this cat breed are black, brown, white, cinnamon, fawn, grey or cream colored.
Other very rare but notable colors include tuxedo, color point, tricolor, tabby and tortoise shell colored fur which is impressive by itself.
The domestic short haired cats also come with beautiful and captivating eyes in multiple lovely colors.
The colors can vary from a shade of green to shades of brown and gold as well.
If you are in luck, your cat can have different eye colors for each eye!
Despite these differences, Domestic Short haired cats share some general similarities though such as their sturdy build with strong legs and round heads that have round eyes, and ears which are also rounded at the tips.
In addition to this, they have medium length tails.
This cat breed must however not be confused with their purebred, pedigree relative, the American Short-hair cat, because they in fact have the very same and similar muscular build to them.
Considering this, it can be easy to confuse the two with one another.
Because of their mixed ancestry, the Domestic Short hair cat breed can be smaller or larger depending on their genetic makeup, but technically they fall in the category for medium weight and height.
Health and Care
Domestic short haired cats are, when you compare them to some other domestic cat breeds with lower genetic diversity less likely to be affected by nasty genetic disorders and diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.
Now, this is not to say that they do not need a good healthy lifestyle, routine and regular wellness checks like all pets need as they can get sick just like any other cat can.
There is also a very interesting fact to know, but poly cats are known for their strong love for food and they often tend to overeat which can make them prone to obesity. (3.)
As a result, this little bad habit of theirs can predispose them to some conditions such as joint pains or back issues in the future.
So make sure your Domestic Short hair cat is not eating more than he needs to.
To avoid this, you must feed them adequately measured high quality food which was meant for their needs especially.
It would also be best for them if you feed them at regular set times instead of leaving the food out to be eaten at any time.
You should also make sure to keep a close eye on the number of times you give treats to your little friend because you don’t want to accidentally make it obese by doing this.
Cat treats often contain a lot of bad ingredients and unhealthy fats, making your previously slim cat grow fat before you even notice it happening.
In consideration of all the above factors, the average lifespan of these types of cats, the Domestic Short haired cat is around 10 – 15 years.
But, with the right diet and great care they can live up to 20 years, so remember to take good care of them, always.
Also read: how long do cats live?
Domestic Short hair cats generally require rather low maintenance because they groom themselves very well and efficiently.
They have short to medium hair length which makes their fur coats very easy to manage and easy to work with as well.
Regular brushing is still recommended though, because you will want to keep the fur healthy and free of any tangles just in case.
You also don’t want to see any excess cat hairs lying around the house, do you?
Brushing your cat once in a while is always a good habit to have, especially if you don’t like vacuum cleaning.
If you want to prolong the cat’s life, I recommend that you keep them indoors where they will be less likely to encounter any other hostile animals, or be in road accidents.
Keeping them indoors will also help you avoid any unexpected surprises and “presents” of bloody mangled up birds on your favorite pillow some time.
Any Domestic Short hair cat owner should remember that cat insurance is always the safest bet and if you have one it can help cover any possible veterinary costs in the future.
It can also in some cases help cover just the routine health checks your cat may need and things like that, so I definitely recommend getting one before it is too late.
You never know after all what might happen, especially if you have an outdoorsy cat.
Some of the most common pet health insurance claims for the Domestic Short haired cat include, hyperthyroidism, tummy upset, kidney disease, respiratory issues, vomiting or urinary conditions.
Life Expectancy of a Domestic Short Haired Cat
We all want our feline friend to stick around as long as possible because of their loving nature and companionship, right?
As mentioned earlier, there can be several factors that can determine the life expectancy itself.
These things include the environment, maintenance, health, and whether the cat has been neutered or sprayed as well.
Spraying or neutering a cat reduces the risk of it contracting a reproductive disease in it’s old age.
The average lifespan of cats can be up to 20 years if you just take great care of them and make sure they stay as healthy as possible.
The 2010 Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest known cat to have lived, a cat named Créme Puff who sadly passed away in 2005 in Texas at the age of 38 years old!
Though, the average lifespan for the Domestic Short Haired cat breed is 15.1 years.
According to some research done by the Catster Magazine, mixed breed cats such as the Domestic Short hair ones tend to often live much longer and are also more resilient than their purebred counterparts.
Gender-wise, the female cats outlive the male ones by one or two years maybe.
Similarly, stray cats live shorter than domestic cats while indoor cats live the longest of the bunch.
This is obviously because domesticated indoor cats live a much healthier and safer lifestyle, being fed regularly and not being exposed as much to possibly dangerous disease ridden wild animals.
They also have better access to clean water so are less likely to get sick as a result.
Outdoors cats also have the increased risk of getting into fights or accidents as a whole.
There are generally many more unpredictable variables that could cut short the life of a cat that is outside.
Of course though, cats that have the freedom to roam around in nature on their own can exercise naturally and less likely to become obese, so there are pros and cons to each lifestyle.
Cats need a lot of attention, healthy distractions and should be encouraged to exercise frequently so they won’t become unhealthy.
It takes a keen indoor cat owner to be sensitive to the needs of their feline and provide them with all of the above, which will make the cat live longer and be happier.
It is also paramount to note that cats don’t age in a manner equivalent to how we humans would.
If you want to find out your cat’s age in cat years, the best way to do so is using a formula commonly used by veterinarians, that is 4x+16.
x is the chronological age of your feline and this fun equation works for all cats aged two years or more.
According to a study by the Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine, a one year old cat is psychologically similar to a 16 year old human.
For every year afterwards, each cat year is worth 4 human years.
There are many ways a cat owner can keep a keen eye on their cat’s health and to boost the longevity or lifespan of their Domestic Short haired cat.
This is because as a pet owner you can not be of much help in ensuring your cat lives longer if you do not know the right signs to look out for to tell whether your cat has a valid shot at making it to their twenties.
A healthy aging cat, according to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery is defined as one that shows none of the DISHA pattern of signs.
By the way, DISHA stands for;
D= Disorientation, as in getting lost in familiar environments and unable to recognize family members
I= Inter actional changes between the pet owner and the pet, or they may get more clingy, distant and irritable.
S= sleep/wake disturbances- the animal might sleep more during daytime.
H= House-soiling, the cat may be peeing outside of it’s litter box suddenly where it wouldn’t normally pee.
A= Activity changes and anxiety, the cat would have decreased interest for play or repetitive behaviors such as licking itself.
A healthy aging cat will naturally exhibit diverse changes in their appearance, behavior and functionality.
The researchers maintain that the cat is supposed to maintain their ability to play and remain a healthy weight with no significant losses in body mass or body fat through aging.
Behavioral changes include altered sleep cycles, altered vocalizations and a reduced tolerance to stress.
Notable changes that a Domestic Short haired cat owner should be on the lookout for include lenticular sclerosis, which gives the pupil a cloudy blue-grey-white appearance. (4.)
Other symptoms of that are brittle thickened nails and decreased skin elasticity.
The cat’s teeth may also appear yellow, off-white or even glassy because their dental walls would have thickened by then.
Functionally, a healthy aging cat would change their activity patterns, decline in their sense of smell and hearing along side a decreased mobility.
A healthy aging Domestic Short haired cat’s fur could begin to thin, whiskers could turn black colored and it’s skin could get scaly with the reduced grooming.
Do Domestic Short Hair Cats Shed a Lot?
It can depend, yes they can shed their fur but they do it differently such that the amount of shed fur differs greatly by each cat.
In fact, all cats except for the hairless ones shed to some degree.
Short haired cats shed a percentage of their old hairs as well, only that the shedding will be less noticeable because their fur is so short.
Shedding is a natural, healthy process for your cat and it is meant to remove the dead hair which might otherwise cause a skin irritation for the animal.
Shedding the fur replenishes it and keeps it in top condition.
The Domestic Short hair breed has two major shedding yearly, once in spring and then in fall.
Factors that contribute and largely determine the amount of shedding include the type of hairs and fur the feline possesses, it’s age, grooming and diet as well.
Also read: cats that don’t shed a lot.
Non-matting cat fur doesn’t really tangle and it is easier to brush through most of the time.
A Domestic Short Hair cat with such a type of fur would most often than not be happy with being groomed gently as brushing won’t be painful or difficult for it at all.
This brings us to the next point to the effect that the more times the cat is groomed, the less the amount of fur they will shed and vice-versa.
Brushing every day is most preferable, but it all depends on the needs of the cat and how long it’s fur is.
Twice a week is a good number to strive for and your cat will thank you for it.
Also, try to keep the little guy from excessively grooming himself so that you will have the opportunity to deal with the fur yourself.
You can do this by distracting your cat with it’s favorite toy or a treat even.
To make your little friend love grooming and the regular fur brushing, you can get a grooming glove to help remove the old fur that is ready to be shed away.
In case you are looking for some cat that wouldn’t shed so much, you could ask the people working at the cat shelter to point out the cats that enjoy being brushed or don’t loose too much fur.
Get your cat high quality brushes even though they can be a bit expensive, it is worth it.
It would be worth investing in a cat brush as it is not an item you need to buy every day and they can last for a long period of time as well.
You can teach your little kitty to love being brushed by you regularly.
Subsequently, to control shedding effectively, you can also opt for de shedding treatment for your cat.
All you have to do is give him or her a warm bath, do a de shedding treatment and then carefully dry your cat again.
Read: how to bathe a cat.
When it comes to fur type, long haired cats are notorious for leaving hairs all over the place and they require more frequent grooming.
To protect yourself and your furniture from any lingering hairs of your Domestic Short hair cat, you can use a slipcover or a blanket as well over things as it is easy to wash blankets.
The hairs of this breed can be hard to pick up for they are so thin and short in length which can be frustrating.
You also should vacuum your apartment or home regularly and get yourself a great lint brush to brush any fur off your clothes and furniture.
Have one of these in all the places your little cat likes to visit and sleep on, so you can easily clean up those places such as your car or bed.
In addition to this, keep in mind that healthy foods improve the over all quality of your cat’s fur, and a healthy diet will make your pet shed less and it will also gain a more lustrous, shiny and soft coat.
Look for good food rich in omega 3 and 6 which softens the fur and skin, making it shed less.
Stress is also a factor that can make your cat shed more.
There are many possible stress inducers such as a change in environment when it comes to felines.
Health issues or a doctors appointment can also cause this.
The Domestic Short hair owner must be keen on ensuring that their kitty is not stressed and feels comfortable and secure in the home.
Are Domestic Short Haired Cats Friendly?
Domestic Short haired cats are loved all over the world for their loving nature and personality.
Just as their appearances can vary, they can have varying personalities just like we humans do but they are generally very playful and friendly.
They are considered to be working cats because of their well toned endurance skills such as leaping and balancing.
Their perfect hunting instinct is also accurately reflected in their playful and fun personality.
These types of cats make amazing playmates not only for people, but also for dogs or other similar pets.
The other most common personality traits in these cats are:
- being affectionate
- or any of the above…
It will all depend on the mood you catch them in, and it is a common sight to see a Domestic Short haired cat cuddled up and purring next to their human or even in their lap while they are trying to work.
This cat breed has a strong sense of their surroundings and would know when is the best time to curl up on the nearest lap for a nice nap.
It is important that they have some safe place which is indoors preferably where they can monitor the birds and the world around them safely, cats really do love high places because they make them feel secure and in control.
Since they have a mostly outgoing personality, they will need a distraction or some fun activity to act as an outlet for their expressive energy as a hunter cat breed.
This can range from the use of high cat trees, toys and jingly bells, or just an empty box in which they can play hide and seek in for fun.
A scratching post to trim their claws on is also a must, especially if you want to keep your sofa looking pretty.
If you like comics, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that there are some well known Domestic Short haired cat celebrities on the big screen and as cultural icons.
Felix the Cat is a cartoon sensation created during the silent film era.
Sylvester, is a Looney Toon character famous for chasing the little Tweety Bird Figaro.
He first made an appearance in the Pinocchio movie by Disney actually.
Other famous felines worth mentioning are Didga and Venus which many adore.
Domestic Short Haired cats make wonderful family pets, which is why they are often referred to as “house cats”.
These animals are a great choice for any first time cat owners or beginners as they are incredibly easy to manage and good to be around.
They really do bring to life one of my favorite quotes by Charles Dickens: “what greater gift is there than the love of a cat”
So, the Domestic Short Haired cat naturally falls out to be lovable and the perfect selection for anyone looking for a good playmate and companion at home.
They also have great adapting skills and blend in well with new families.
Because of this, inexperienced cat owners can get a shot at raring one of these beauties.
Good luck with your cat.