American Shorthairs vs British Shorthairs—these two cats are close cousins who baffle many cat lovers. Due to their similar appearance and temperament, people have a hard time distinguishing one from the other.
How are these cat breeds different from one another? Our American Shorthair and British Shorthair comparison guide will walk you through their similarities as well as their differences.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: Are These Two Breeds Related?
The British Shorthair and American Shorthair breeds are somehow close relatives since they share nearly the same origins.
After some time, some of the offspring of these felines travelled with sailors to the United States. Later on, they were called American Shorthaired cats. The progeny who stayed in the British Isles are the felines we now know as British Shorthaired cats.
These 2 robust cats were both skilled mousers who helped in dwindling the rat population. The American Shorthair cat began as a skilled mouser in ships and later on in homes. On the other hand, the British Shorthair cat mainly hunted rodents in barns and houses.
Is American Shorthair the same as Domestic Shorthair?
The answer to this question is no; they are not the same. The American Shorthair is considered a purebred cat, whilst the Domestic Shorthair is not a breed. It is a term used to describe mixed-breed domestic cats.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: What Are Their Differences in Appearance?
American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs have many physical differences that distinguish them from each other. For instance, the American Shorthair is smaller than her British counterpart.
An adult American Shorthair typically weighs around 4–6 kilos (11–15 pounds). On the other hand, a full-grown British Shorthair weighs around 4–7 kilos (9–17 pounds).
Both cat breeds have robust and sturdy builds. However, British Shorthair cats possess chunkier bodies than American Shorthair cats.
They also have a unique teddy bear appearance, with their round head, large round eyes, thick coat, and a wide smile. The breed is believed to be the inspiration behind the Cheshire Cat character in Alice in Wonderland.
Another disparity between these 2 breeds is their coat colors. The American Shorthair cat has a wide variation of coat colors and patterns. In fact, the breed has over 80 color and pattern combinations, from black and blue to golden brown and chinchilla.
But the American Shorthair is more known for her remarkable silver coat with bold black marking. Thus, this cat breed is dubbed as the Silver Tabby.
The British Shorthair breed has a lighter color compared to her American variant. She is popular for her solid grey-blue coat, hence earning her the name British Blue. However, she can come in other coat colors too, including red, cream, and tortoiseshell.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: Which Breed Is More Affectionate?
American Shorthairs tend to be more loving and affectionate than British Shorthairs. They are certified lap cats, so they love receiving attention. But their love for human interaction doesn’t mean that they are needy feline companions.
American Shorthair cats can be left at home without worrying if they will agonise over their owner’s absence. So long as these energetic felines are provided with lots of toys, these energetic felines will keep themselves busy and entertained.
British Shorthair cats, on the other hand, are much like their American counterpart. They don’t have problems being left alone and will find ways to keep themselves occupied.
Compared to their American cousins, British Shorthairs are less active. They would rather relax in their favourite spot in the house than play and run around.
Moreover, British Shorthairs are more independent and less showy with their affection. As they are not lap cats, they do not enjoy being picked up and handled by people.
British Shorthair cats prefer to bond with their human companions on their own terms and at a distance. Thus, owning one would mean letting her decide when to spend quality time with you.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: Which Breed Is Child-Friendly?
American Shorthair and British Shorthair cats are great with children because they are very laid-back and patient. Unlike other cat breeds, they do not get peeved quickly with their small humans’ noisiness or mischief.
If the rowdiness of children does become overwhelming, these Shorthair cats won’t resort to aggression. Instead, they will walk away and look for a quiet place where they can have a moment of peace.
The British and American Shorthair breeds may be incredibly tolerant of children’s playfulness, but care should still be taken. Rough handling such as ear or tail pulling by children can hurt the cat and discourage her from bonding with them.
For this reason, teach the children in your household, especially younger ones, to be gentle and respectful when interacting with their feline friend.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: Are They Great with Other Pets?
The American Shorthair and the British Shorthair breeds have immeasurable patience not only for humans but also for dogs. Their tolerance for Fido’s playfulness and antics makes them a good choice if you plan to care for a cat and a pooch together.
To establish a successful relationship between both pets, the 2 should be properly socialised at a young age. This process will make them comfortable with each other and the other animals around them.
Introducing your Shorthair cat to new dogs should be done with utmost care. Be sure to choose cat-friendly pooches to interact with her. Avoid letting your feline near dogs with unstable temperaments as it can lead to disastrous results wherein she may get hurt or injured.
Keep in mind that American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs were originally bred to be mousers. Over time, they have retained the strong instinct to get rid of small animals.
Thus, the American Shorthairs and the British Shorthairs are not the best pets to own if you already have small pets, such as hamsters, gerbils, and rats, at home.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: How Long Can They Live?
Both the American Shorthair and the British Shorthair have long lifespans and can live up to 12–15 years if well-cared-for. Some of these cats can even reach the golden age of 20.
The American Shorthair and British Shorthair breeds are prone to a few health problems despite being hardy and healthy felines.
One of the major health concerns is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This heart disease causes the abnormal enlargement of the heart muscle.
Minor problems, particularly hip dysplasia and obesity, are common in American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs.
Choosing a health-screened Shorthair kitten from a reputable breeder will ensure that she will be less susceptible to diseases.
However, having a healthy feline companion doesn’t mean that she is completely protected from various diseases. Therefore, you should also be diligent in keeping up with regular vet check-ups of your kitten.
Doing so will help you detect health problems during their early stages. This will prompt early diagnosis and treatment, which will give your cat a better chance of recovering and returning to living a normal life.
American Shorthair vs British Shorthair: Which Cat Breed Is for You?
The American Shorthair and the British Shorthair are both charming and lovely cats. Calm and friendly, they will fit right in most cat-loving homes. Deliberating which of the 2 breeds you should get boils down to your preference in a feline companion.
If you enjoy having an affectionate lap cat with lots of energy, the American Shorthair breed is for you. But if you prefer to own a more relaxed feline companion, then the British Shorthair cat might just be a perfect choice.
The American Shorthair and the British Shorthair breeds are child-friendly and dog-friendly, but keep in mind that they have a long history as mousers. It is best to find another cat breed if you own small pets to avoid any heartbreaking accidents.