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Abyssinian vs American Shorthair: Cat Breeds Comparison

Are you thinking about getting a new cat for your family but are torn between the Abyssinian and the American Shorthair? Keep reading to learn more about their similarities and differences.

While Abyssinian comes from Southeast Asia, American Shorthair has United States origin.

But honestly, breeds' origin doesn't reveal a lot about it, so please keep reading to learn more about these interesting breeds.

Although both breeds are very intelligent, it's important to consider their differences as well.

Here is some basic information about these breeds:

Abyssinian vs American Shorthair

Abyssinian
Length12 to 16 inches
Weight6 to 10 pounds
Overall Health
OriginSoutheast Asia
Life Span9 to 15 years
American Shorthair
Length12 to 15 inches
Weight7 to 12 pounds
Overall Health
OriginUnited States
Life Span15 to 20 years

Abyssinian vs American Shorthair Appearance

Abyssinians are longer.

Abyssinians have an average length of 12 to 16 inches and a weight of 6 to 10 pounds.

On the other side American Shorthairs, have a typical length of 12 to 15 inches and an average weight of 7 to 12 pounds.

Temperament

No doubt, each cat has its own temperament, but we'll try to make some generalizations and help you choose the breed that will fit

Affectionate with Family

Abyssinians and American Shorthairs are known as breeds with a medium need to be around people. They will meow at you when feeding time comes, and they will come to you for cuddles, but they will equally demand their time.

They may come to you when they want and it can be a matter of only a few minutes. They may also decide to spend an entire day on their spot.

For those who want an independent cat, these breeds are to be considered welcoming. To enable the balance they need, think about installing a cat window seat.

Kid-Friendly

Owning a feline and having a kid can be challenging but also so much rewarding. This is especially true if you get a Abyssinian or a American Shorthair because you will enjoy watching your kid growing with them together.

These breeds are major kids lovers, and describing them only as kid-friendly isn't enough.

Both breeds will monitor kids closely whenever you leave the room.

With so kid-friendly breeds around, your kid can easily learn how to behave around cats, and even how to train them. Treats can do wonders, even with cats.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Surprisingly, some cats are more than fond of strangers. They may not show their affection toward strangers like dogs do, but they have their share of showing friendliness toward strangers.

Cats will respond well to strangers when they feel safe. Both breeds will be polite, calm, and friendly toward strangers who treat them right.

In practice, this means that strangers who approach either Abyssinians or American Shorthairs may expect a friendly greeting.

If you don't mind having a cat who isn't scared of people, you may welcome these breeds into your home.

Just a word of caution: cats that are friendly with strangers and live in indoors on a terrace should have a safe area covered with a cat net. If you are a social butterfly with frequent visitors, both breeds will value the crowd.

Pet Friendly

Cats being generally friendly is one thing, but being friendly toward other pets is a completely different thing.

This trait must be taken into account if you've got another pet, so let's see do these breeds compare.

Abyssinians are generally more pet friendly than American Shorthairs.

Cats usually tolerate dogs because they are not so territorial beings as dogs are, but make sure that their introduction is done safely.

If you notice your feline moving away from pets, do not force them to mingle, or spend time together. As a general rule, cats and birds shouldn't be under the same roof.

Potential for Playfulness

If your future cat's playfulness is an important thing for you, be sure to read this carefully.

Let's get straight to the point:

Abyssinians are more playful, and they will require you to invest some time in keeping them entertained, otherwise they might get bored and eventully destructive.

American Shorthairs aren't described by feline lovers as a breed of high playfulness, so if you're looking for a more laid-back breed for your appartment, they might be a great choice.

General Health

A healthy diet, proper grooming, and exercise should keep your feline in top shape.

American Shorthairs are usually considered as a healthy and resilient breed and should reach their senior years without major issues, as long as you deal with responsible breeders and provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Unfortunately, the same doesn't stand for Abyssinians.

Their health is considered as average or below average, so if you decide to get a Abyssinian, be sure to choose a reputable breeder, known for breeding cats with good genetics.

Grooming

Cats are natural groomers. They may love to hide, get into small holes, and explore different scents, but they will do their best to clean themself afterward.

Owning a Abyssinian will be more demanding than owning a American Shorthair as they require more grooming.

But don't let this fret you. Each breed requires grooming (brushing, trimming nails, hair trimming and combining, shaving mats, etc), it's just a matter of how frequently you should groom them.

Shedding

Abyssinian and American Shorthair are known as breeds with a medium shedding amount.

They may shed more during the shedding season which occurs in spring and autumn.

As medium shedders, Abyssinian and American Shorthair should have weekly brushing sessions.

If you are on the lookout for a breed that sheds in a fair amount and won’t make you sneeze, you are on the right track.

Tendency to Vocalize

There are two types of cats: talkative, and silent.

But there are also two types of people: people who like talkative cats, and people who don't.

Therefore, you should consider this characteristic when you're choosing the perfect cat breed.

With Abyssinian, you will probably deal with a breed with a high tendency to be vocal, while American Shorthairs are often described as a breed with a medium tendency to vocalize.

Intelligence

It's a well-known fact that cats are among the most intelligent creatures alive. They are smart to react instinctively, fast to hunt, and smart to hide in a matter of seconds.

Intelligence is a factor to consider when getting a cat. If you want a super smart cat that can be trained but is also independent enough to learn on its own, both breeds are great to have around.

Did you know that cat intelligence is ranked on their sociability and willingness to interact with their owners?

These breeds are fast to interact, communicate, and demand a lot of your time and playtime to thrive.

The Final Word

We hope our Abyssinians vs American Shorthairs comparison helped you to choose the right breed for you.

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