Breed Tips

How Much Does an American Shorthair Cost in 2024?

The American Shorthair can cost $500-$1500 to own.1 But before making the decision to buy one, it's necessary to have a little brief about the breed and a breakdown of the costs. We are here to help you with just that! Keep reading to find out more about the breed.

Characteristics of an American Shorthair

  • Adult weight: 11 to 15 lbs (males); 6 to 12 lbs (females)

  • Adult height: 12 - 15 in.

  • Origin – United States

  • Life expectancy: 15 – 20 years

The American Shorthair is a medium-sized muscular-looking breed. They often have a silver body with black tabby markings on it. They have a round head with prominent cheekbones. One could say their eyes are large, round, and almost twinkly. They also have a coat that is dense and soft. This breed is known to be friendly and they do great with families and kids.

However, don’t be mistaken into thinking that they like to laze around. This breed is playful and loves to explore things. They are said to have descended from European cats and were brought to North America by early settlers. Currently, they are known to be the sixth most popular pedigreed cat breed, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association.2

What is the Price of an American Shorthair?

Before making the decision of owning a pet, it’s very important to know the breed’s needs and temperament. Now that you have a brief idea about the breed, let’s go over the costs involved.

Adoption or Buying: $500 – $1500

The price of an American Shorthair depends on multiple factors including breeder, bloodline, age, color, and markings of the cat. If you choose to purchase your American Shorthair from a breeder, you can expect the to pay between $500-$1500.1 Show Quality cats with distinct features may be priced at a higher price.

Adopting an American Shorthair may be more budget friendly then getting one from a breeder. The best part is that you also provide a loving home to a cat in need. Typically, adoption fees help cover the cost of the initial vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and other expenses related to the wellbeing of the cat. If your adopting your American Shorthair, check out our cat adoption checklist!

Monthly Costs for an American Shorthair Kitten

Diets: $15-$30

The American Shorthair is a cat breed that needs a good, balanced diet an a watchful eye to help ensure they do not become overweight, as they’re prone.2 Even though they have a long lifespan, it’s necessary to provide a high quality diet that nourishes their muscular stature. The diet should be high in protein, moderate in fats, and low in carbohydrates. The monthly cost of feeding an American Shorthair can range from $15 to $30 which includes dry kibble and/or wet canned food.

Grooming: $30-$100

The American Shorthair is a comparatively low-maintenance cat breed due to low shedding. It’s still important to groom your cat regularly to help keep their coats looking healthy, and nails trimmed. A weekly grooming session, bathing them once in a few months, and regular tooth brushing or dental toys are recommended. Various cost estimates of grooming supplies include:

Brush: $5 to $20

Cat Clippers: $5 to $15

Cat Shampoo (for smooth fur): $5 to $15

Ear Cleaning Supplies: $5 to $15

Dental Care (Toothbrush, Dental Treats): $10 to $30

Medical Costs: $100-$200

The initial years are often more expensive in terms of medical care for most kittens. It’s recommended you take your cat to the vet 3-4 times in the first year for routine check-ups which would cost you around $70-$150 per visit, depending on the type of facility you choose. After the first year, the load on your wallet will likely reduce. Most cats will only need one vet visit a year, after their first year, given that your cat does not have any unexpected accidents or illnesses.

Like all breeds, American Shorthair’s are prone to develop health conditions during their lifetime.3 A few of these conditions and their related on-average treatment costs are as follows:

Insurance: $100-$400

It’s a good idea to get your furry pets a pet insurance plan. Most pet insurance plans help cover the eligible vet expenses for your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. On average, the monthly premium for kittens can range between $10-$30. It’s best to consult with your vet and choose the type of coverage that is most suitable for your pet.

One-time Costs for an American Shorthair

Initial Costs: $250-$600

Small cat = small space, small toys, small bed and a small food and water bowl. Some other items that you could need are a crate, collars, poop bag and scooper, litter, and a first aid kit. All of these could cost you around $200-$400, depending on the items you choose for your pet.

It’s a good idea to add an additional $50-$200 to your initial expense budget. This can help you replace chewed through toys or scratch posts. Neutering or spaying your pet is also recommended. Costs of the surgery can vary depending on the facility and location.

Microchipping: $60-$80

As important as any medical expense, a microchip can help others identify your cat in case it gets lost. On average, the cost of microchip implantation along with registration will be in the range of $60-$80.

Vaccines: $100-$150

Vaccinations are important as they help protect your cat against major preventable illnesses. Core vaccinations for your kitten include feline distemper (panleukopenia), feline viral rhinotracheitis (feline herpes virus 1), calicivirus, and rabies. These may cost you in the range of $100-$150. Some lifestyle vaccines are optional, including feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV).4 This could cost you $25-$30 per dose. Heartworm and flea prevention are recommended and can cost an extra $100 – $200 for the year.

Miscellaneous: $100-$150

It’s a good idea to keep some extra money aside in case of additional expenses, be it treats, toys, supplies. At times, you may need to hire a cat sitter. We recommend keeping around $100-$150 per year for such expenses.

Lifetime Cost of an American Shorthair

Let’s add up the costs! Starting with $600-$1200 for adoption/buying + annual food costs of $100-$300 + $100-$150 for grooming + $100-$200 for routine vet visits + $400 for insurance + $300 for initial set up + $60 microchipping + $150 for vaccines and $100 for miscellaneous costs, at an average lifespan of 15 years,2 our lifetime cost estimation is around $20,000-$25,000. Medical expenses resulting from unexpected accidents or illnesses are not included in this estimate.

How Can Spot Pet Insurance Help?

Spot pet insurance plans offer a wide variety of coverages, from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot cat insurance plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with Spot Pet Insurance to learn more!


The American Shorthair cat is affectionate and playful and can keep themselves entertained without your presence. This makes them great for a household with a single parent as they are not completely dependent on people.2 The American Shorthair may be a muscular cat breed developed to hunt rodents throughout cold winters, but don’t you worry! They can be great cuddle buddies and will lie in your lap for hours.

Happy Parenting to you and lots of love to your American Shorthair!


  1. “American Shorthair Cat,” Cats,, accessed Dec. 19, 2024.

  2. “American Shorthair,” The Spruce Pets,, July 25, 2022.

  3. “American Shorthair,” Pet MD,, Aug. 21, 2024.

  4. “Recommendations for New Kitten Owners,” VCA Animal Hospitals,, accessed Dec. 19, 2024.

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