How to Groom An American Shorthair Cat

Reviewed by Grooming Expert: Clarissa Stevenson, CFMG

Table of Contents

Dody Type: Cobby

Coat Type and Length: Short

Coat Texture: The American Shorthair has a dense, short coat that is smooth to the touch. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making it a popular choice for families.

american shorthair cat

If you’re a proud owner of an American Shorthair cat, you know how important it is to keep them looking and feeling their best. Grooming your furry friend not only helps maintain their appearance but also promotes good health and hygiene. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to groom your American Shorthair cat like a pro. From brushing their coat to trimming their nails, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!


American Shorthair Cat Characteristics

The American Shorthair cat is a medium-sized breed with a muscular build and a short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They are known for their friendly and easy-going personalities, making them great family pets.

American Shorthairs are also intelligent and adaptable, making them easy to train and adjust to new environments.

They are generally healthy and low-maintenance cats, but regular grooming is still important to keep their coat shiny and healthy.

Overall, the American Shorthair is a beloved breed that is both beautiful and affectionate.


Essential Grooming Tools for American Shorthair Cats

To groom your American Shorthair Cat properly, you’ll need the following:

Grooming ToolDescriptionPrice
Slicker brushRemoves loose hair, untangles minor mats, and keeps the coat shiny$10 – $20
Grooming glovesSoftly detaches shedding hair while delivering a calming massage$10 – $25
Nail clippersHelps you clip your cat’s claws safely to avoid excessive growth and potential harm to itself and other cats/humans$5 – $15
Ear cleanerCleans and removes debris from the ear to prevent infections$8 – $15
Cotton ballsAllow for precise application of ear cleaning solutions and enable reaching the nooks and crannies of the cat’s ears without causing discomfort$1 – $5
ToothbrushCleans your cat’s teeth to prevent dental issues and maintain oral health$3 – $10
ToothpasteToothpaste designed for cats helps to effectively remove plaque and tartar buildup, promoting healthier teeth and gums.$5 – $10
ShampooCat shampoos are specially formulated to maintain the natural pH balance of a cat’s skin, which helps to prevent skin irritations, dryness, and itching$3 – $12

Let’s begin grooming our cats!


Step-by-Step Guide to Grooming Your American Shorthair Cat

Brushing Your Cat

Brushing Frequency: Brush your American Shorthair once or twice a week

Technique: Use the slicker brush or grooming mitt and brush in the direction of hair growth.

Bathe your American Shorthair occasionally to help control shedding.

Bathing your American Shorthair Cat

cat bathing tips

  1. Bathing an American Shorthair is a breeze! These cats have short, dense coats that don’t require much maintenance.
  2. Start by brushing their coat to remove any loose fur or debris.
  3. Fill a sink or bathtub with warm water and add a small amount of cat shampoo.
  4. Gently wet your cat’s coat and lather up the shampoo, being careful to avoid their face and ears.
  5. Rinse thoroughly and wrap your cat in a towel to dry.

American Shorthairs are known for their easy-going personalities, so they should tolerate the bath without too much fuss.

How Often Should I Bathe My American Shorthair Cat?

You should bathe your American Shorthair cat only when necessary, such as if they get into something dirty or smelly, as they are generally good at grooming themselves.

How to Trim the Nails of an American Shorthair

trimming an american curl cat's nails

  • Gather your supplies: cat nail clippers, styptic powder (in case of bleeding), and treats.
  • Find a comfortable spot for your cat, such as a table or your lap.
  • Hold your cat’s paw gently but firmly and press on the pad to extend the nail.
  • Use the clippers to trim the tip of the nail, being careful not to cut the quick (the pink part inside the nail).
  • If you accidentally cut the quick and your cat starts bleeding, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
  • Repeat with the other paws, giving your cat a treat after each paw is done.
  • Recommended frequency of clipping: once every 2-3 weeks.

Remember, trimming your American Shorthair’s nails regularly will help prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort or even injury. Happy grooming!

How to Clean the Ears of an American Shorthair

cleaning cat ears

Gather your supplies: cotton balls or pads, ear cleaning solution (made specifically for cats), and a towel.

Hold your cat securely and gently lift one ear flap to expose the ear canal.

Squeeze a few drops of the ear cleaning solution into the ear canal. Be careful not to insert the dropper too far into the ear.

Massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds to help the solution work its way into the ear canal.

Let your cat shake their head to help loosen any debris or wax.

Use a cotton ball or pad to gently wipe away any debris or excess solution from the ear flap and surrounding area.

Repeat on the other ear.

Watch out for any signs of discomfort or pain, such as your cat pulling away or vocalizing. If you notice any of these signs, stop immediately and consult with your veterinarian.

Avoid using cotton swabs or inserting anything into the ear canal, as this can cause injury or damage to the ear.

How to Brush the Teeth of an American Shorthair

  1. Start by getting your American Shorthair comfortable with having their mouth touched. Gently lift their lip and give them a treat or praise.
  2. Once they are comfortable, introduce a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for cats. Let them sniff and taste the toothpaste.
  3. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and brush in a circular motion. Focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth.
  4. Be gentle and patient. If your American Shorthair becomes agitated, take a break and try again later.
  5. Brush their teeth at least twice a week to maintain good oral hygiene.

Recommended Frequency: Twice a week.

Preventing and Addressing Common Coat Issues

We’re pretty much done with the grooming process. However, we still need to talk about some potential issues:

Fleas and Ticks

Watch out for signs of flea infestation such as excessive scratching, biting, or licking.

To prevent fleas and ticks, regularly groom your cat with a flea comb and use a flea-preventative medication recommended by your veterinarian.

Matted Fur

American Shorthairs are low-maintenance cats, but they can still develop mats in their fur. Regular brushing with a slicker brush can prevent mats from forming, but if they do occur, use a mat splitter or scissors to carefully cut them out.

Allergies and Skin Irritations

American Shorthairs are generally low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, but they can still experience skin irritation from allergies or parasites. Regular brushing and flea prevention can help prevent these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grooming American Shorthair Cats

How Often Should I Brush My American Shorthair Cat?

You should brush your American Shorthair cat at least once a week to keep their coat healthy and shiny. However, during shedding season, it’s recommended to brush them more frequently, up to two to three times a week, to prevent hairballs and matting.

Can I Use Human Shampoo on My American Shorthair Cat?

You should not use human shampoo on your American Shorthair cat. Human shampoo is formulated for human hair and can be too harsh for your cat’s delicate skin. It can strip their fur of natural oils and cause dryness, itching, and irritation. Instead, use a cat-specific shampoo that is gentle and pH-balanced for their skin.