35+ American Shorthair Colors & Patterns [Best Pictures]

Ever wondered what colors the American Shorthair comes in? You’re not alone. This guide will give you all the information you need. The American Shorthair is one of the most beloved cat breeds in the world. Their friendly, playful, and mellow nature makes them an excellent pet for many homes. The American Shorthair comes in many colors and patterns, so there’s something for everyone.

American Shorthair colors

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at all the colors that the American Shorthair can have. The list of possible colorations is quite long, so sit back, relax, and let’s get into it. If you’re only interested in a particular color of American Shorthair and don’t want to read through the whole list please refer to the table of contents.

25 American Shorthair colors.

White

white american shorthair

The white American Shorthair has, as the name suggests, a pure glistening white coat. Their nose leather and paw pads are pink and they have deep blue or golden eyes. It’s also possible for white American Shorthairs to have heterochromia, meaning they have one blue eye and one white eye.

Black

Black American shorthairs have a dense, coal-black coat that is sound from the roots to the tip of the fur. In order for an American Shorthair to be classified as black, their coat needs to be free from any tinge of rust on the tips and they should not have a smokey undercoat Their nose and paw leather should be black, while their eyes are a beautiful golden color.

Blue

Blue American Shorthairs have a coat that closely resembles grey but has a blue tint to it. In order for an American Shorthair to be truly blue their coat needs to have one level tone from the tip of their tail to their nose. Their nose leather and paw pads should also be blue and their eyes are gold.

Red

The red American Shorthair has a coat that’s beautiful, deep, rich, and clear red. Oftentimes, people mistake the Red American Shorthair for being orange because of how closely their coat resembles that color. While it’s true that their coat looks more orange than red to most people, they’re officially classified as red.

In order for an American shorthair to be classified as truly red, their coat needs to be without shading or marking. Unfortunately, that’s very rare. The lips and the chin of the cat should be the same color as the coat and their nose leather and paw pads should have a brick red color. Their eye color is gold.

Cream

Cream American Shorthairs have a coat that’s a little darker than white American Shorthairs. Their coat should have a cream color all the way to the root, with lighter shades of cream being preferred in cat shows. Their nose leather and paw pads are pink, and they have beautiful golden eyes to finish it off.

Chinchilla Silver

Chinchilla Silver Shorthairs have an undercoat that’s pure white, with their coat on the back, flanks, head, and tail being tipped with black to give a color-defining, sparkling, silver appearance. Their legs can be slightly shaded, but their chin and ear tufts, as well as their stomach and chest, should be pure white. The rims of their eyes, lips, and nose should be outlined with black. Their nose leather should be a brick red color, and their paw pads are black. They have green eyes.

Shaded Silver

The shaded silver American shorthair has a lot in common with the chinchilla silver shorthair. The primary difference is that the shaded silver has black tipping down from the sides, face, and tail. The general effect of their coat is much darker than that of the chinchilla silver. They also have brick-red nose leather, black paw pads, and green eyes.

Shaded Cameo

The shaded cameo American shorthair is also referred to as Red Shaded. They have a white undercoat with a mantle of red tipping down their sides, face, and tail. Their nose leather, rims of their eyes, and paw pads are all rose in color and their eyes are gold.

Shell Cameo

The shell cameo American Shorthair, also known as the Red Chinchilla has a white undercoat with its coat on the back, head, flanks, and tail being tipped with red to give a sparkling appearance. Their chin, ear tufts, chest, and stomach are white. They have brick-red nose leather and black paw pads with beautiful green eyes.

Black Smoke

black smoke american shorthair

The black smoke American Shorthair has a white undercoat that’s deeply tipped with black. The interesting thing about this coloration is that the cat appears to be black while sitting still, but when it’s on the move the white undercoat can be clearly seen, giving them a very unique and beautiful appearance. They have black nose leather and paw pads and can have green, hazel, or gold eyes.

Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke American Shorthairs have a white undercoat that’s deeply tipped with blue. While the Blue Smoke Cat is sitting still their coat appears blue; when they start moving their beautiful white undercoat becomes visible. These cats have blue nose leather and paw pads and their eyes are gold.

Cameo Smoke (Red Smoke)

Cameo Smoke American Shorthairs are also known as Red Smoke. Just like the other smoke variants, they have a white undercoat with colored tips, in this case, the tips are red. When the Cameo Smoke Shorthair sits still their coat appears red but when they’re moving the white undercoat becomes visible.

Tortoiseshell smoke

The tortoiseshell smoke color in American Shorthairs is defined as having a white undercoat, deeply tipped with black. In addition, they have clearly defined patches of red and cream-tipped hairs in a tortoiseshell pattern. When the cat sits still they appear to have a tortoiseshell color; while on the move their white undercoat becomes clearly visible.

Blue Chinchilla Silver

Blue Chinchilla Silver American Shorthairs have an undercoat that’s pure white. Their backs, flanks, and tails are tipped with blue to give a sparkling silver appearance. Their nose leather is an old rose while their paw pas are blue or old rose and their eyes are green. It’s a combination of the aforementioned blue and chinchilla silver color.

Blue Shaded Silver

Blue shaded silver American Shorthairs are characterized by their white undercoat with blue tipping down from the sides, face, and tail. The chin, stomach, chest, and underside of the tail of this cat are white. This color is a combination of shaded silver and blue.

The cat has nose leather that’s an old rose in color. Their paw pads are old rose or blue and their eyes are a beautiful green color.

Cream Shell Cameo (Cream Chinchilla)

The Cream Shell Cameo coloration is sometimes referred to as Cream Chinchilla. It is a combination of Cream and Shell cameo. An American Shorthair with this color has a white undercoat with their coat on the back, flanks, head, and tail being tipped with cream. They have pink nose leather, paw pads, and eye rims. Their eyes are gold.

Cream Shaded Cameo

The Cream Shaded Cameo color is a combination of Cream and Shaded Cameo. These cats have a white undercoat with a mantle of cream tipping down their sides, tail, and face. These cats are much more cream in color than the aforementioned Cream Shell Cameo.

They have pink eye rims, paw pads, and nose leather. Their eyes are gold.

Blue Cream Smoke

Blue cream smoke American shorthairs have a white undercoat that’s deeply tipped with blue. They have defined patches of cream-tipped fur. When the cat sits still their coat appears to be cream blue but when they start moving you can clearly see their white undercoat. They have golden eyes.

Black Smoke and White

Black Smoke and White American Shorthairs are a combination of Black smoke and white. They have green, hazel, or golden eyes. In cat shows, green eyes are preferred for this color.

Blue Smoke and White

Blue Smoke and White Shorthairs have a color combination of blue smoke and white. Their eyes are gold.

Tortoiseshell Smoke and White

These cats have a coat that’s a combination of tortoiseshell smoke and white. Their eyes are gold.

Shell Cameo and White

These cats are white with parts of their coat being the previously described shell cameo. Their eyes are gold.

Shaded Cameo and White

The Shaded Cameo and white American Shorthairs are primarily white with a portion of their coat being the previously described shaded cameo. These cats have golden eyes.

Smoke Cameo and White

Smoke Cameo and White shorthairs have a coat that’s white with parts of their coat being a smoke cameo. They have golden eyes.

Blue-Cream

Blue-cream American shorthairs have a blue coat with patches of cream spread throughout their body. They have golden eyes.

Tabby Pattern

tabby american shorthair

There are many different color combinations for tabby patterns in American Shorthairs. To start, let’s take a look at the different tabby patterns that American Shorthairs can have. Below you’ll find a handy chart that goes over the tabby patterns with a short description of what they look like:

PatternShort description
Classic TabbyDense markings, clearly defined and broad. Frown marks on the forehead form an “M” shape. Body markings are thick curving bands in a whirled or swirled pattern with a distinctive mark on each side of the body resembling a bullseye.
Mackerel TabbyNarrow stripes that run parallel down the sides, ideally non-broken lines and evenly spaced. They branch out from a single stripe that runs along the top of the shorthair’s back, down its spine, resembling a mackerel skeleton, hence the name.
Ticked TabbyNo obvious markings on the body, distinct tabby striping on the head, neck, legs, and tail.
Patched TabbyAlso known as “torbie”. silver, brown, or blue tabby with patches of red or cream.

Now that you know the tabby patterns, here are the tabby color combinations that American Shorthairs can have.

  • Brown Patched Tabby
  • Blue Patched Tabby
  • Silver Patched Tabby
  • Blue Silver Patched Tabby
  • Silver Tabby
  • Blue Silver Tabby
  • Red Tabby
  • Brown Tabby
  • Blue Tabby
  • Cream Tabby
  • Cameo Tabby
  • Cream Cameo Tabby
A silver tabby American shorthair.

In addition, all these tabbies can also have white in their coat. They are then known by their Tabby name & white. For example, an American Shorthair with a white coat that’s partly brown tabby is known as a Brown Tabby & White.

Tortoiseshell pattern

tortoiseshell american shorthair

The Tortoiseshell American Shorthair is black with patches of red. They have black or brick red nose leather and paw pads. Their eyes are gold. There are several different kinds of tortoiseshell. You can find them in the table below.

Color/patternDescription
Chinchilla Shaded TortoiseshellLooks like the chinchilla silver described earlier with patches of red tipping. Green or gold eyes
Shaded TortoiseshellWhite undercoat with a mantle of blacked tipping. They have clearly defined patches of red and cream-tipped hairs in the tortoiseshell pattern. Green or gold eyes.
Dilute Chinchilla TortoiseshellLooks like a dilute version of the chinchilla silver (dilute means that the colors are less intense, brown instead of black, cream instead of white, etc) but has patches of cream tipping.
Dilute Shaded TortoiseshellWhite undercoat with a mantle of blue tipping. They have clearly defined patches of red and cream-tipped hair in a tortoiseshell pattern. Green or gold eyes.

Calico

Calico American Shorthairs are white with distinct patches of black and red in their fur. The white is primarily located on the bottom of their body. They have golden eyes. An interesting fact about calico American Shorthairs is that they’re almost exclusively females because XX chromosomes are necessary for this pattern to occur.

Dilute calicos also exist. These have patches of blue and cream instead of patches of black and red.

a dilute calico American shorthair

Van Pattern

The Van Pattern is a bi-color pattern; meaning the cat is white with colored portions of fur. Most of these colored portions of fur are restricted to the extremities (head, legs, and tail), one or two colored portions on the body are acceptable.

There are 3 different types of Van American Shorthairs:

  • Van Bi-color (white cat with red, black, blue, or cream patches on extremities)
  • Van Calico (white cat with black and red patches on extremities)
  • Van Dilute Calico (white cat with patches of blue and cream on extremities)

Conclusion

So, now you know everything there is to know about American Shorthair colors and patterns! I hope this guide was informative and that you learned a lot. Which is your favorite color and pattern? Mine is the black-smoke American Shorthair.

If you read this guide because you’re preparing to buy an American Shorthair I hope it helped you make an informed decision on what color appeals to you most.

Jesse A.