Scottish Fold Vs British Shorthair

The Scottish Fold and the British Shorthair may have comparable traits, but they are two totally different breeds. One distinct feature that is easily recognizable is the difference in body shape.

The Scottish Fold has folded ears and longer legs compared to that of the British Shorthair which is bred to be short and stocky.


Scottish Fold

The Scottish Folds we are familiar with today date back to 1961. The first one was found at a farm in Scotland. This cat had folds in its ears and when she gave birth to two kittens, they had folds in their ears as well.

A neighbor by the name of William Ross adopted one of these kittens and registered the breed with the Governing Council of the cat Fancy in 1966.

He had the help of a geneticist to breed these cats and produced seventy-six kittens in three years. Forty-two of the kittens had folded ears, while the remaining had straight ears. 

British Shorthair

British shorthair cats are well known in the United Kingdom, but most likely didn’t originate from there. The Romans imported them from Egypt and used these cats to protect their homes and camps from rodents, insects, and snakes.

When the Romans invaded Britain 2000 years ago, they took these cats with them, and some of them eventually stayed there. Today’s British shorthair cats don’t look like they do today.

Their fur color ranges from brown to pale yellow and they have different shades on their faces, legs and tail. When these cats landed in Europe, they crossed with European wildcats, which changed the appearance we see in British shorthair cats today.

ACFA recognized this variety with its blue color in 1970, and it is still the most common color in the United Kingdom and the United States.

British Shorthair – Wikipedia


Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold has a life expectancy of fifteen years, and like the British Shorthair is prone to polycystic kidney disease and cardiomyopathy.

They are also known to acquire a painful degenerative joint disease called osteochondrodysplasia. This affects the normal growth of bone and cartilage throughout the body and causes the folded ears in this breed.

This disease stems from a genetic mutation, and although there is no cure, there are some treatments such as anti-inflammatories to help manage the pain.

Radiation therapy is used in severe cases, which kills off painful nerve fibers within the joint. Cats that have two genes, one from each parent that causes this disease, may not be bred any longer.

Some signs and symptoms of osteochondrodysplasia are:

  • Limp
  • Stiff
  • Short limbs
  • Short tails
  • Short splayed feet

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair has a life expectancy of fourteen to twenty years and is prone to a few health conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, cardiomyopathy, cataracts and hemophilia.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

A thickening of the left ventricle causes this disease within the heart, limiting the amount of blood flow. This disease can be maintained with medication and routine checks with a veterinarian.

Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Lethargy
  • Labored breathing
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Paralysis of the hind legs

Polycystic kidney disease

This disease is inherited through genetics and is represented by fluid-filled cysts which develop in the kidneys. A veterinarian may suggest surgery if the disease progresses. This condition can be maintained with medications and a proper diet.

Some symptoms of polycystic kidney disease are:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lethargy
  • Weight Loss
  • Seizures
  • Loss of body movement
  • Vomiting


If not caught early, cataracts can lead to blindness in the British Shorthair. This usually occurs in older cats and is characterised by a cloudy lens in the eye. Treatment for cataracts is surgery.

Some signs and symptoms are:

  • Bumping into objects at night because of poor night vision
  • White-greyish appearance of one or both eyes
  • Reluctance to jump


Because of this breed’s characteristics of being a large inactive cat, gaining weight can be detrimental to its health. Weight gain can exacerbate a lot of health concerns, some of which are listed below.

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Fatty liver
  • Heart problems


Scottish Fold

This breed develops into a medium size cat, with males weighing between nine and thirteen pounds, and females between six and nine pounds. Their bodies are rounded with short legs.

British Shorthair

This breed will mature into a large cat with an oversized chest and thick legs. Their tails are round at the top and grow to medium length. They don’t fully develop until they are three years old, which is slower than most cat breeds. Males weigh between 9 and 17 pounds, while females weigh between 7 and 12 pounds.

Coat Color

Scottish Fold

This breed can have either long or short hair, and their thick, soft coats come in many colors including white.

British Shorthair

The one coat of the British Shorthair is short and dense, with a wavy appearance and a soft, luxurious texture. British blue is the most common color, but other colors (such as black, white, lavender, silver and chocolate) have also been developed.

Eye Color Of The Scottish Fold Vs The British Shorthair

The eye color of both breeds depends on the color of their coat and the amount of pigment found in the iris. For the British Shorthair, the most common color is amber and a golden-amber is most often found with the Scottish Fold.


Scottish Fold

Scottish Folds are calm, affectionate cats with a playful personality and a high level of intelligence. They enjoy the outdoors and get depressed easily when left alone. As with most cats, each one has their own unique personality but for these cats they are known to have a stubborn quality.

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a smooth, sweet-nature feline whose intention is to satisfy their owners. Despite the fact that they are not as lively contrasted with different varieties, they will endure a ton of action. These felines hate being picked up and would prefer to remain on the floor by their owner’s feet than on their laps. They are tranquil felines and show a great deal of tolerance.

Final Thought

These two breeds share some of the same characteristics and traits, but with the distinct fold of the Scottish Folds ears, short legs and smaller body size compared to that of the British Shorthair, it is relatively easy to tell them apart. 

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