American Shorthair vs. British Shorthair

These Shorthair cousins confuse many cat-buyers out of their wits – deciding which one of these pets you want to get can become quite a baffling affair!

American Shorthair vs, British Shorthair? American Shorthair and British Shorthair are astoundingly similar cats in terms of their demeanor and character. They both have thick and muscular bodies, round eyes, and lovable personalities. They even have similar lifespans! They have, however, a few striking differences as well in terms of their personality which sets them apart.

Indulge in this furry guide of these two fluffballs to find out which one of these cousins suits you better.

Comparison Guide

TraitsBritish ShorthairAmerican Shorthair
ColourSolid Grey Fur with amber eyesComes in 80 different colors and patterns
Height (adult)12 to 14 inches13 to 14 inches
Weight (adult)9 to 17 pounds6 to 15 pounds
Price$1500 to $2000$500 to $1000
DiseasesHave a risk of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and hemophilia BHave a risk of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
GroomingWeekly combing and Nail trimmingWeekly combing and Nail trimming

Shorthair versus British Shorthair: Your Ultimate Guide

The British Shorthair is your average “Britisher” :

It is quiet with occasional spurts of excited activity, likes to stay undisturbed but isn’t devoid of love and affection – this cat is as loyal as it gets.

And then there is its cousin, the American Shorthair.

American Shorthair cat is truly American, here’s why:

It likes company, and it likes to party, it is energetic, friendly and wants constant attention.

Personality: British Shorthair versus American Shorthair

A British Shorthair cat is your happy-go-lucky rather quiet and dignified companion who occasionally surprises you with random spurts of excitement and crazed activity.

There’s more:

British Shorthair loves your attention but doesn’t demand it; it likes being on its own.

Bottom line:

They don’t need constant stimulation, and they don’t get bored a lot, they can keep themselves busy in their own fluffy heads.

Then there’s the bubbly American Shorthair.

American Shorthair is a crazy ball of excitement, always running high on energy.

While they can remain satisfied being on their own, American Shorthair does enjoy the attention.

And worry not, it will let you know when it wants your attention!

It will smother you with little love-bites and kisses when it demands your attention.

There’s more:

American Shorthair, unlike its British cousin, enjoys interactive play and constant stimulation.

How active are they? British Shorthair vs American Shorthair

Here’s what you need to know about a British Shorthair’s nature:

They are laid-back, calm, and unperturbed.

A British Shorthair is not precisely an active cat. So, expect your British Shorthair to lounge around as a solid blob at its own favorite spot on the floor.

Make no mistake; this is a very smart cat:

British Shorthairs enjoy interactive games and toys. They are very fast learners. British Shorthair cats enjoy puzzles and games based on rewards. Playtime for this cat is pretty easy to arrange – it will entertain its own self!

American Shorthair, on the other hand?

Be prepared to find it on the refrigerator, below the tables, up and around the furniture, on your bed – it will wake up, run around the house and choose a new spot every other hour! An American Shorthair enjoys and craves attention.

As an American Shorthair owner, you must be mindful of one thing:

You need to take some time out for your pet. You will have to schedule playtime on a regular basis where your cat can interact and play with you.

American Shorthair is not too demanding, though. It will be completely satisfied with its schedules playtime. The rest of the day it will keep to itself, it won’t be depressed either if left alone at the house.

Friendliness and Affection: British Shorthair vs American Shorthair

A British Shorthair is an easy-going pet, and it is rarely hyperactive. If you are not at home for the major part of the day, your British Shorthair cat won’t really mind – it loves having alone time.

One thing that you need to know:

British Shorthair cats hate being picked up.

It’d rather stay put solidly on the floor on its favorite spot.


This doesn’t mean that it is not affectionate. True, this cat is not your average “lap cat,” but it is very loving (and lovable!).Not to mention extremely intelligent and calm.

Once you bond with your British Shorthair cat, it will thrive in your company. It will even follow you around the house when it is in the mood for some attention.

It gets better:

British Shorthair cats get along pretty well with children.

They also get along with other pets, including dogs, rabbits, rodents, and even birds.


British Shorthair is a very calm cat breed.

It rarely ever retaliates. If something disturbing happens, it will absent itself from the situation – you can hardly ever get a strong reaction from this cat.

American Shorthair, on the other hand, is your true cuddle buddy. Your American Shorthair will bond with each and every member of the family; it will hang around them, run all around the house, and demand their share of attention.


American Shorthair loves attention, craves attention but is never clingy. It can keep itself busy if it’s left alone – no need for constant attention!


You will have to schedule regular interactive playtime for your American Shorthair as it tends to get depressed if left alone for long stretches of time. American Shorthair gets along pretty well with other pets except for rodents.

They hunt rodents!

This goes back to their origin. American Shorthair cats used to serve as hunters of rodents and insects for their masters. So your cat is a cuddly, loving creature which will rid your basement of rodents and insects!

Quick facts about British Shorthairs

  • Romans brought Egyptian domestic cats to Great Britain when they invaded it, centuries ago. These Egyptian cats interbred with the local European wildcats to make a new breed- the British Shorthairs.
  • They have relatively low exercise needs, just play regular games with them to keep them in shape.
  • They don’t need your constant attention.
  • They are pretty calm and placid.
  • They enjoy intellectually stimulating games.
  • They have fairly low grooming needs as well – just brush them once every week, and you will be good to go!
  • They like hunting; you might find them hunting down a rodent or two once in a while.
  • British Shorthair doesn’t have any major health problems.
  • They are often referred to as the Cheshire Cat for their goofy smiles.

Quick facts about American Shorthairs

  • The American Shorthair are said to be the descendants of European cats who were brought to America by early settlers.
  • They used to serve as the “protector” cats of cargoes – they would protect valuables from rodents.
  • They are very affectionate physically, unlike British Shorthairs.
  • They are quite social as well – they will get along with all the family members and pets.
  • They don’t like being left alone all the time, but they won’t get clingy either.
  • They are natural hunters – they enjoy hunting games and toys like the fishing-pole toy.
  • They are also quite smart and can be trained too!

Related Questions

What is the difference between American Shorthair and British Shorthair?

American Shorthairs and British Shorthairs are quite similar in some aspects.

Both of these cat breeds are quite intelligent, affectionate, and calm.


These cats have certain stark differences as well. For starters, British Shorthair is smaller; it is more chubbier and rather well-built. American Shorthairs are not as compact as the British Shorthairs. Their coat colors also vary. British Shorthairs usually have a solid silvery-blue coat color while American Shorthairs come in a variety of 80 different coat colors and patterns.

In regard to their temperament, British Shorthair is a little less affectionate than the American Shorthair. American Shorthairs classify as lap-cats while British Shorthairs do not.

How heavy should a British Shorthair be?

On average, a full-grown British Shorthair male should have a body weight no less than 9 pounds. The maximum weight of a British Shorthair male is 17 pounds, If your male British Shorthair starts exceeding 17 pounds, you should give more attention to its exercise needs.


A British Shorthair female has a weight range of 7 to 12 pounds. Make sure your cat’s weight doesn’t fluctuate drastically.

If your cat is highly underweight or overweight, you should get it checked by its vet.

At what age is a British Shorthair fully grown?

It takes a British Shorthair approximately three years to grow fully. Some British Shorthairs even take up to five years for their complete growth.


Most of the growing business is dealt with in the first 12 months of age.

After that, your British Shorthair will continue to grow subtly for three to five years. British Shorthairs are not exactly large cats.


They are not dainty either.

They classify as a medium-sized cat of an average height of 13 to 14 inches.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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