Casting defects as well as sharp notches can serve as initial points for fatigue cracks under cyclic loading. On the contrary, the cyclic material crack resistance counteracts to crack propagation. Hence, an incipient crack can arrest completely, even though a constant cyclic load is applied. Considering a short propagating crack, the local stress intensity factor, which represents the crack growth driving force, increases due to the crack extension, yet crack arrest may occur. Such an arresting of growing cracks can be traced back to an increase of the materials resistance in terms of crack closure effects. This paper deals with the evaluation of the cyclic short crack behaviour and the assessment of non-propagating cracks for cast aluminium and cast steel in terms of the Frost diagram. At first, single edge notched bending specimens are machined out of both cast materials and investigated in regard to their fracture mechanical short and long crack growth behaviour under varying stress ratios. Moreover, the data is analysed in terms of the short crack resistance (R-curve) and the subsequent long crack growth behaviour. Secondly, detectable surface porosity defects, regarding the aluminium material, and sharp surface notches, as in case of cast steel, are investigated by a linear elastic finite-element simulation to evaluate the local stress concentration factors numerically. Finally, Frost diagrams are set up for both materials and well approved by the detected non-propagating cracks. A final comparison of the investigated fatigue test data points and the Frost diagrams reveals a sound agreement validating the applicability of the presented approach.