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  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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American Shorthair vs European Shorthair: 5 Key Differences!

American Shorthair vs European Shorthair

Two breeds of cats, both friendly and energetic, both robust, both cute and sweet, both of which we know as the shorthair, one American and one European. 

So what makes them different? That is what this article will talk about; the American shorthair vs European shorthair. 

Read on, and you will see some small differences that the two cats have amidst all the similarities to decide on the one that would be good for you. 

American Shorthair Vs European Shorthair: Quick Overview

FeatureAmerican ShorthairEuropean Shorthair
Size8-10 inches9-11 inches
Weight8-12 lbs10-15 lbs
CoatShort, thick, and denseShort, glossy and springy
ColorsWide range of colors and patternsMostly tabby, solid, or bicolor
PersonalityFriendly, easy-going, and adaptableAffectionate, intelligent, and independent
Lifespan15-20 years12-15 years
Health IssuesHypertrophic cardiomyopathy, obesity, and dental issuesPolycystic kidney disease, brachycephalic syndrome, or respiratory distress syndrome
Activity LevelModerateModerate
Grooming NeedsMinimal grooming neededMinimal grooming needed

Both American Shorthair and European Shorthair are great pets and have many similarities. However, they also have some differences.

The 5 Key Differences Between American And European Shorthair

American Shorthairs and European Shorthairs may look similar at first glance, but they have several key differences that set them apart. Here are the five key differences between American and European Shorthair cats:

  1. Face: American Shorthairs have a round face, while European Shorthairs have an elongated one.
  2. Coat: European Shorthairs also have longer, denser coats compared to American Shorthairs.
  3. Size: European Shorthairs are slightly larger and heavier, weighing 10-15 pounds and growing to about 9-11 inches. On the other hand, American Shorthairs grow about 8-10 inches and weigh about 8-12 pounds.
  4. Personality: American Shorthairs are known for their friendly and easy-going personalities, while some European Shorthairs can be more reserved and independent.
  5. Popularity: American Shorthairs are among the most popular cat breeds, but European Shorthairs are not as popular.

Hold on; there’s more that you should know about them, so keep reading to find out all the fascinating information about these cute similar-looking cats.

American Shorthair: A Closer Look!

Angry American shorthair close up shot

It’s always good to start from the very beginning, and that said, let’s begin by having a look at the American shorthair, right from where it came to its availability today. 

History and Origin

The American Shorthair is a cat that hails from America. Why else would you call it the American shorthair? However, while it is a native of the United States, the cat is known to have its origin in Europe. 

How did they end up in America? This breed of cats was thought to have been brought to the United States by European settlers in the 16th century. They were carried on ships to serve as mousers and help the pilgrims store their food for the entire time on the ship. 

The cats were released when the journey was over, and they soon multiplied and spread across the continent, becoming a part of the American landscape.

Since then, the American Shorthair has become a popular breed in the United States and has been recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association since 1906.

Physical Characteristics

With the American shorthair, you won’t see a lot of hair. As the name suggests, the breed of cat comes with short hair and a thin coat, which makes them much easier to maintain. 

Speaking of coats, an interesting fact about the American Shorthair breed is that there are about 80 different coat patterns recognized.

While a female may come with a medium size, the male American shorthair is comparatively larger, weighing about 12 pounds (four pounds more than the average female American shorthair).

Irrespective of the gender, the cat is robust and muscular, with heavy bones and a rounded appearance, giving one the impression of a mini cat wrestler with her broad chest and strong jaws. 

Must Read: Are Stray Cats Friendly?

Temperament and Personality

Personality-wise, this cat is easygoing and adaptable and won’t always make a fuss at the drop of a hat, as some cats do. 

They are loyal and love their owners, the kind of cat that will wait for you to come home from work, standing there at the door to welcome you with a loud purr. 

They are loving and will day choose to be curled up in your lap. Yet at the same time, they love to play and can keep themselves occupied too. 

Health and Care

This cat is not just easy to get along with but easy to maintain too, grooming and keeping himself to reduce your work, as the owner in the process, so all you have to do is offer your bit of help. 

You may have to clip their nails once a month and brush their teeth a couple of times a week and not do anything major apart from things like these. 

He has a coat that, though short, will need to be brushed regularly. 

Training and Exercise

This is a cat that loves play, and more so, interactive play, which means that if you are a cat owner, you should have the time to spare and give him company when he comes to play. 

Although, this does not mean that she is going to create a tantrum when left alone. The American shorthair knows how to find her entertainment, and if so unsuccessful in finding a toy, she will merely laze in the sun. 

In other words, this is one quiet companion that does take much to be trained and conditioned. 

Popularity and Availability

It was in the year 1904 when this cat was first known to have been bred. It was bred from one of the British shorthairs and was known then as the domestic shorthair. 

Today, the American shorthair is one of the most popular cats in the US, all thanks to their lovable, friendly, and sweet personality that makes them a good addition to any American family. 

And they are easily available, too, from breeders, pet shelters, and animal rescue homes, so you can easily get one for yourself and your family. 

European Shorthair: A Closer Look!

European shorthair clos up pgoto

It’s now the turn of the cat’s faraway cousin from another continent, and that said, you are going to read the same about the European shorthair. Ready?

History and Origin

European shorthair is known to have its origin in Rome, Italy, where it played an important role in helping the people in ancient times keep their homes (and their barns) safe from vermin with their knack for hunting. 

It was a time when the Roman invaders were traveling all through Europe, and the European shorthair proved to be an invaluable pet that they would take along as it would help protect their supplies from rodents and pests. 

Eventually, the breed evolved naturally, and now it’s pretty popular in Europe, but it’s rare everywhere else.

Physical Characteristics

The European shorthair can weigh about eight to fifteen pounds. It depends on how well you feed him. 

Being a shorthair, this one, too, comes with a robust body, though males weigh slightly more than females. Unlike American Shorthairs that come with a round face, this one has a slightly elongated face.

Coming to the fur, be prepared to see a lot of it, for the European shorthair, unlike what the name would suggest, has dense coats of long hair. 

No, these cats are not hypoallergenic, which means if you are an allergy sufferer, here is something for you to be careful about and beware of. 

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Temperament and Personality

The European shorthair is an affectionate, lovable, and friendly cat breed. They love spending time with their family, which in other words, is you, and will get along with your kids too. 

Coming to kids, the European shorthair is not choosy and shows no partiality like some cat breeds. He gets along with kids of all ages. 

However, be a little sympathetic with them when you have a guest. These cats can indeed be very shy with newcomers, so don’t force yourself on them. 

It will take time, so go slow in breaking the ice, and they will soon get there. See, he is a cat that can easily adapt to new environments and won’t make a fuss about being carried anywhere. 

Health and Care

Caring for a European shorthair is easy. This is because he will help you out as he knows how to take care of himself and will do it wonderfully. 

While you may have to do a little bit, like trimming their claws and brushing their teeth, they will cooperate with you and even do their bit by way of self-grooming, so you don’t have much cause for worry. 

Coming to their diet, make sure that you feed him food that is high in protein, for he is going to need it. Do not give him foods that are high in fat. He does not need it. 

Training and Exercise

If you are adopting a European shorthair, make sure that you have lots of time to spare to play with him. 

This is one intelligent cat that is going to need some exercise to stay occupied mentally. 

In addition to that, the European shorthair can tend to gain a lot of weight if not exercised regularly, which wouldn’t be good for the cat or you, as this is not something you would want to see. 

Popularity and Availability

If you were to compare this to the American shorthair, you could say that it is slightly harder to find. This is because the European shorthair is more of a new breed, which has, till today, not been that well-recognized. 

And the American shorthair is more popular than other breeds, making it easier to get ahold of in pet stores or from breeders. Also, they are less expensive than other breeds, which makes them an attractive option for people looking for a new pet.

European Shorthair Diet Vs. American Shorthair Diet

cat food

There are more similarities than differences here as both breeds of cats need to be fed food of high quality, and if you can, on the advice of the vet. 

Both cats are prone to getting fat and obese, which means you shouldn’t be feeding them food that comes with a lot of fat.

Both cats must not be overfed but be given just the right diet, which should be nutritious food, especially those that are rich in protein, along with some fruit and vegetables. 

European Shorthair Price Vs. American Shorthair Price

Again, when it comes to the price, there is little difference between the American shorthair and the European shorthair cat. 

To buy an American shorthair, you would most probably have to spend an amount of about $500 to $800, though sometimes this can go up to $1000 or even $1500. 

And the same holds in the case of the European shorthair, which has a similar price. 

Which Is Better, American Shorthair Or British Shorthair?

American shorthair vs European shorthair: Photo Of Cats Sleeping Together

American shorthair and European shorthair are pretty much the same, so the choice that you make will not make much of a difference too. 

Both of them live for about 15 years, need just about 30 minutes of exercise a day, are easy to maintain and groom, and, most importantly, are sweet, friendly, and loving. 

If maintenance and fur are your cause of worry, then go for the American shorthair, for this cat truly lives up to its name, coming with short hair, so you won’t have much of a problem there.

Frequently Asked Questions

You sure would have a few questions on your mind that you want to clear, and so here’s hoping to answer some of them before you leave. 

Q1. Is American Shorthair The Same As Domestic Shorthair?

Ans: No, the American shorthair is not the same as the domestic shorthair though the two names are often used interchangeably. See, the latter comes from an unknown lineage, unlike the American shorthair that you read all about here.

Q2. Are American Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic?

Ans: In reality, it is hard to find a cat that is hypoallergenic, so don’t expect the American shorthair either to get there. In other words, they are going to pose small problems with your allergies, though this can be controlled with the right care.

Q3. Are European Shorthair Cats Hypoallergenic?

Ans: As seen above, sadly, no. The European shorthair is not hypoallergenic, which means that those with allergies will have to take some preventive measures and care.

Q4. Are American Shorthair Cats Friendly?

Ans: Yes, as seen above, this is a friendly and lovable cat, and this nature is not just directed towards their owners but also other children and pets, which includes other cats. So, if you are a cat lover, he won’t be a jealous nuisance to the other cats around.

Q5. How Long Do European Shorthair Cats Live?

Ans: This is a cat that lives for an average of 14-20 years, which means your pet is here to stay with you for at least a decade or two if you are lucky, but more importantly, if you care right for him.

Q6. How Long Do American Shorthair Cats Live?

Ans: Now, the American shorthair is another cat with a similar lifespan, though just a little longer. The cat has a lifespan of about 15 to 17 years, which means he will stay with you for about a decade and a half, which should be good enough.

Closing Thoughts: American Shorthair Vs European Shorthair

How about you? Which one sounds better to you, the European or the American shorthair? 

Now that you know there’s not much difference between the two, at least in terms of some of the most important aspects, you have nothing much to worry about, do you?

If you get your hands on an American shorthair, go for it. If you get your hands on a European, that is good too, except for the little bit of combing you have to do.


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.