Care and Health

What You Need to Know About American Shorthair Health

The American Shorthair is generally healthy, but one health issue that can affect the breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle. An echocardiogram can confirm whether a cat has HCM. Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM. American Shorthairs that will be bred should be screened for HCM, and cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. Do not buy a kitten whose parents have not been tested for this disease.

The Basics of American Shorthair Grooming

Brush the American Shorthair weekly with a stainless steel comb or a rubber curry brush to keep his thick coat shiny and healthy. The rest is basic care: aside from regular ear cleaning, trim his nails as needed, usually every 10 days to two weeks.

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