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Scottish Fold vs British Shorthair: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)


Mar 30, 2023
Scottish Fold vs British Shorthair - Featured Image


Scottish Fold vs British Shorthair - Featured Image

Your hunt for the right cat has been narrowed down to the Scottish Fold and the British Shorthair. But how are you supposed to decide between these two darling kittens? The Scottish Fold is an affectionate, social cat without a demanding attitude. Their appearance is unique with their folded ears, which gives them an adorable edge.

As for the British Shorthair, it is one of the most-recognized cat breeds. They are beloved for their soft, plushy coats and great personalities. Both the Scottish Fold and the British Shorthair make excellent companions. If you have difficulty choosing which one is right for your family, there’s no need to stress. We’ll look at the cats’ similarities and differences in this article to help you determine which is ideal for you.


Visual Differences

Scottish Fold vs British Shorthair - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – Scottish Fold (Lina Kolt, Pexels) | Right – British Shorthair (Данил Сидоров, Pexels)

At a Glance

Scottish Fold

  • Average height (adult): 8–10 inches 
  • Average weight (adult): 6–13 pounds
  • Lifespan: 11–14 years
  • Exercise: 30 minutes each day
  • Grooming needs: Minimal
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent yet occasionally stubborn 

British Shorthair

  • Average height (adult): 12–14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 7–17 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15–20 years
  • Exercise: 30 minutes each day 
  • Grooming needs: Minimal
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often, but has a high prey drive (small pets not recommended)
  • Trainability: Intelligent and loyal


Scottish Fold Overview

Scottish Fold Kitten
Image Credit: Pixabay

Personality / Character

The Scottish Fold may be hard to beat if you’re looking for an easygoing yet affectionate cat. They adore their families but also appreciate their personal space. While they will be eager to socialize and hang around you, they won’t demand to sit in your lap when you walk through the door.

Scottish Folds are often described as sweet, calm, and intelligent. They love human companionship and are incredibly loyal to their families. Though they can be extroverted at times, they tend to be quiet.

They love to be showered with affection, but they are just as content sitting on the couch with you. They also do well with other pets if they are introduced properly.

Enrichment Needs

Scottish Folds can thrive in all sorts of environments. Whether you live in a one-room apartment or a large home, the cat will be content. Still, the Scottish Fold will require certain amenities to keep busy.

Like any cat, they will require the basics: scratching posts, perches, hiding places, and toys. However, the Scottish Fold is an intelligent cat that may need a little extra to remain mentally stimulated. Interactive or puzzle toys are perfect for entertaining a Scottish Fold.

On the other hand, Scottish Folds are not particularly active compared to other breeds. They need daily exercise but enjoy relaxing in a window or on the couch.

silver chinchilla Scottish fold playing toy
Image Credit: schlyx, Shutterstock


A weekly combing is enough to keep the Sottish Fold’s coat in good shape. For Scottish Folds with longer fur, the brushing will need to be more frequent. As with any breed, you must trim your cat’s nails and keep up with dental care. Since the Scottish Fold has a unique ear structure, it is important that you regularly check for earwax buildup and ear infections.

Health & Care

Scottish Folds are prone to a few health complications. The folded-ear look is due to a genetic defect that alters the cartilage, which can lead to irregularities. This is known as osteochondrodysplasia1, which causes lameness, hindered mobility, and chronic pain.

Other conditions that the Scottish Fold may be predisposed to include polycystic kidney disease2, a condition in which cysts displace the tissues of the kidney, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy3, a disease where the muscle in the heart is thickened.

Since Scottish Folds are not very active, they are also prone to obesity. Monitoring your Scottish Fold’s diet and activity levels will be important for maintaining a healthy weight.

scottish fold cat using a scratching post covered with sisal fabric
Image Credit: Julija Sh, Shutterstock

Suitable for:

The Scottish Fold is an affectionate, friendly cat. It is an excellent companion for children, families, and seniors due to its sweet disposition. It is also a great companion for families with multiple pets in the household. Although it tolerates being alone, it does not appreciate being left behind for long periods, so extremely busy families may not be the right choice for this cat.


British Shorthair Overview

british shorthair kitten
Image Credit: Alisa Kolesnikova, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

The British Shorthair is another cat with a great temperament. It is active yet not exhausting, affectionate but not demanding, and intelligent without being too mischievous. By all accounts, the British Shorthair is an incredibly balanced, well-mannered cat.

It loves socializing and is happy to befriend other household pets. At the same time, the British Shorthair also requires some private time and may not be willing to indulge in as much affection as the Scottish Fold. British Shorthairs will treat everyone in the household as a great friend as long as they are socialized and introduced properly.

Enrichment Needs

Much like the Scottish Fold, the British Shorthair can thrive in various environments. As long as the cat has the basics, it will be content. Interactive toys may interest the British Shorthair but may be less entertaining than they are to Scottish Folds. British Shorthairs don’t misbehave often, so you won’t have to worry about them getting into anything while you are away.

British Shorthair
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay


British Shorthairs require about as much grooming as the Scottish Fold, which isn’t much. A weekly brushing will be enough to remove the loose hairs from their coat and keep them from shedding. Typically, the British Shorthair is an excellent self-groomer. You must regularly trim the cat’s nails, clean its teeth, and check its ears.

Health & Care

The British Shorthair has a remarkable lifespan; they can live up to 20 years. They tend to be healthy, although they are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and obesity, much like the Scottish Fold. Like many breeds, they may also be at risk of urinary tract or kidney issues.

British Shorthair cat wearing e-collar
Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, Shutterstock

Suitable for:

The British Shorthair is a great companion for children, families, and seniors due to its pleasant temperament. This breed is also friendly with other pets, assuming all the animals have been properly introduced and socialized. Their balanced personality makes them a great choice for first-time cat owners; they are also easy to train. However, they have a strong prey drive, so smaller pets are not recommended.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

Depending on what you want in a feline companion, the Scottish Fold or the British Shorthair could be the perfect fit. The Scottish Fold may be a better choice if you are looking for an extroverted, unique-looking cat. While the British Shorthair is also affectionate, it prefers more alone time than the Scottish Fold.

For a cat with fewer health issues and a longer lifespan, consider the British Shorthair. Still, both of these breeds make excellent companions. They are the perfect fit for families with children or other pets and have friendly dispositions and fun personalities. Ultimately, it’s impossible to go wrong with either of these choices.

Featured Image Credit: Top – Scottish Fold (hannadarzy, Shutterstock) | Bottom – British Shorthair (Павел Карсаков, Pexels)

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