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Choosing a Domestic Shorthair

By: J. Anne Helgren

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Personality

As varied as their multicolored exteriors, domestic shorthairs come in all types of temperaments. Since the ancestry of the domestic kitten is generally not known and (as a rule) they don't breed true as most purebreds do, it's difficult to predict what the cat will be like as an adult. It may be quiet or vocal, large or small, outgoing or withdrawn. While purebreds do have their own unique personalities, they are more likely to follow the pattern of their breed and therefore produce predictable offspring.

With the random-bred domestic shorthair, anything is possible. Generally, however, shorthairs are a bit more lively than their longhaired counterparts. If you were able to see the parents -- which is often difficult - their temperaments would give you an idea of what the kitten would be like as an adult. Remember, however, that a cat's temperament depends greatly on his early socialization and care. You need to spend time with your cat if you are to develop a close, loving relationship.

Grooming

This depends on the length, texture, and fullness of the coat, but generally domestic shorthairs need minimal grooming. Cats with short fur that lays flat on the body and possesses little downy undercoat need virtually none. If your cat has short fur that is dense and stands away from her body, she has a downy undercoat and will need to be groomed once or twice a week.

However, all cats can benefit from regular grooming. Grooming removes dead hair that can form hair balls in a cat's stomach (plus form a furry layer on your couch), gets rid of dead skin and dander, stimulates the skin, tones muscles, and encourages blood circulation. It is also a good opportunity to examine your cat for developing health problems and attend to them in their early stages when they are easier to treat.

For more information on the Domestic Shorthair breed, please see the article Selecting and Showing Your Domestic Shorthair.


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