Scottish Fold Vs British Shorthair [Similarities & Differences]

When it comes to cats, there are a ton of different breeds to choose from. Each breed has its own unique set of characteristics that make it special. So what are the differences between the Scottish Fold and British Shorthair cats? Let’s compare these two popular cat breeds and help you decide which is best for you!

The Scottish Fold and British Shorthair possess many similar features that make them challenging to differentiate. Despite this, they are two very separate breeds with their own history, characteristics, and personalities.

We’ll examine why the breeds are often confused and how you can tell them apart through this article. Then, we’ll compare the similarities and differences and examine the traits that make each breed stand out as unique.

What Is The Key Difference Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

The easiest way to tell the difference between a Scottish Fold and a British Shorthair is to look at their ears. The Scottish Fold is famous for and named after its folded ears. These ears give their rounded face an owl-like appearance.

While the British Shorthair also possesses a rounded face, its ears stand out, giving it an appearance more closely resembling a teddy bear.

Key Characteristics: Scottish Fold Vs. British Shorthair?

Scottish FoldBritish Shorthair
Height8-10 inches12-14 inches
WeightFemale: 6-9 pounds
Male: 9-13 pounds
7-17 pounds
Life Expectancy11-14 years15-20 years
Grooming NeedsModerate SheddingMinimum Shedding
Coat LengthShort or LongShort
TemperamentHighly sociable and playful,
affectionate, calm
Shy cats who make a perfect
lap pet, gentle and patient
Color VariationsBi-color body patterns


What Are The Similarities Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

The Scottish Fold and the British Shorthair are two of the world’s most popular and beloved cats. These two unique cat breeds possess charming personalities and a fun, cuddly nature. In addition, both species have rounded heads, faces, and ears, giving them a similar facial profile.

What Are The Differences Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

The Scottish Fold is higher maintenance in terms of grooming as it has a moderate shedding level compared to the British shorthair’s low shedding rate.

Though the temperament and personality of these cats can be pretty similar, the Scottish Fold is likely to be more confident and playful compared to the shy and gentle nature of the British Shorthair.

Both cats carry the risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but the Scottish Fold is more likely to develop degenerative joint disease, while the British Shorthair is prone to gingivitis.

The Scottish Fold will hit your bank account harder than the British Shorthair in terms of price. The latter is a popular breed available on the US market for around $250 – $700. In contrast, the Scottish Fold is rare and carries a hefty price tag of anything between $500 and $3,000.

What Are The Physical Differences Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

The Scottish Fold has a rounded shape with a round head, face, eyes, and paws, though its most defining feature is its folded ears. It’s these ears that give the Scottish Fold an owlish look.

Unlike the Shorthair, Scottish Folds are available with various coat lengths; people often call the long-haired version the Highland Fold. In addition, Scottish Folds are available in almost every color and pattern, from lilac to chocolate.

The British Shorthair possesses a chunky but muscular body. Like the Scottish Fold, they have a pronounced roundness to every part of their body, particularly highlighted in the face, paws, and eyes. Their short legs add to the stocky appearance of this breed.

The trademark color of a British Shorthair is a blue-grey shade, but they are available in many other colors, such as black, white, cream, or tabby.

What Are The Historical Differences Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

The Scottish Fold is a relatively new breed, first appearing in Scotland in the 1960s when a cat called Susie was born with folded ears. The cause of her folded ears was a naturally occurring gene abnormality that affected her ears’ cartilage.

People thought this lop-eared look was adorable and began breeding Susie to produce more cats with this unique trait. Though homozygous cats (those with a double set of the abnormal gene) can experience a wide range of health issues, including early-onset arthritis, ethical breeding can minimize these risks.

Heterozygous cats (such as Susie) who only carry a single abnormal gene can lead a pretty ordinary and healthy life.

The British Shorthair is a far older breed, the result of attempting to create a pedigree breed from the genes of the British domestic cat. The standard domestic shorthair is the descendant of Egyptian and European wildcats that accompanied the Romans and sailed over to British shores.

These domestic cats proved to be the perfect cats for breeding, and when people began to cross them with the Russian Blue, they created the first real British Shorthair pedigree. This British Shorthair possesses thick blue-grey fur and copper-colored eyes.

The first-ever cat show included an exhibition of the British Shorthair, set during the reign of Queen Victoria. Sadly, World War 2 wiped out many British Shorthairs, but with the efforts of dedicated breeders, they soon regained popularity.

What Are The Differences In Personality Between A Scottish Fold And A British Shorthair?

Both breeds have a calm disposition, but the Scottish Fold is more cuddly and playful than the British Shorthair. The Scottish Fold is far more dependent on human attention and can become upset if you leave it alone for too long.

The Scottish Fold has a playful nature and loves to engage in various games with their humans. They are more active than the British Shorthair and will not need the same encouragement to get up and run around.

One of the key personality traits of the British Shorthair is that it is a highly independent cat breed. That being said, Shorthairs are still extremely affectionate and enjoy sitting with their owners and seeing what they’re up to. 

They are a sedate breed, potentially developing lazy traits as they age.

A British Shorthair possesses a strong, steady personality, which means it avoids drama and would rather walk away than attack if provoked. As a result, this cat does not act out destructively and will rarely spray or claw your furniture.

Which Makes A Better Pet: A Scottish Fold Or A British Shorthair?

Scottish Folds are playful cats who love lots of attention and cuddles from their owners. They don’t handle isolation as well as the British Shorthair, so an outgoing family is a better home for this breed.

British Shorthairs are independent cats who are easy to look after and are an excellent choice for families. However, they are less likely to interact with toys or games than other cats, so they may not be the best pet for young children who want to play with them.

The British shorthair enjoys spending time alongside its family rather than having many cuddles or strokes. The British Shorthair is the perfect cat if you’re looking for a lovable, independent, and gentle pet.

Final Thoughts

Though people often confuse the Scottish Fold and British Shorthair, they are two distinct breeds with their personalities and characteristics.

The Scottish Fold is a unique, playful, affectionate companion, while the British shorthair is a relaxed, gentle, and independent pet. Both breeds are charming and lovable and will bring joy to their forever home. 

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