One breed hails from France, while the other was developed across the Channel in England, but the Chartreux and the British Shorthair are still similar in many ways. Both breeds were originally developed as hunters but now spend most of their time at home with their beloved humans. They’re quiet, affectionate, and loyal, and the Chartreux and the British Shorthair both make wonderful pets, but which one is right for you? In this article, you’ll learn details about these two breeds and how they differ as you consider whether the Chartreux or the British Shorthair might be the ideal feline for your family.
At a Glance
The Chartreux is a quiet, calm breed by nature. They prefer consistent routines at home but are also quite adaptable. Chartreux cats are known to be good travelers because they generally adjust to new locations without fuss. Although they are friendly to the whole family, a Chartreux typically chooses one person as their special favorite and bonds with them. Like a dog, they may even follow their owner around the house. The Chartreux is not a vocal breed, and they prefer to avoid conflict, making them a good fit for multi-pet households.
The Chartreux is an intelligent feline that generally learns quickly. They’ve even been known to teach themselves how to open doors, among other human tasks. These cats are usually easy to train using positive reinforcement and clicker-training techniques. Most of them enjoy food, and treat rewards are quite motivational.
Health & Care
The Chartreux is typically healthy without common inherited health issues. Although playful, they are not generally very active cats, especially as adults. Because of this, obesity can be a concern. Chartreux owners will need to monitor their cat’s food intake carefully. Many Chartreux cats also have sensitive stomachs and don’t do well with frequent diet changes.
Chartreux cats are excellent hunters, but as we mentioned, they are not overly energetic by nature. They need daily playtime but are usually okay with short sessions. Focus on toys and play that allow the Chartreux to use their hunting instincts. Because of their intelligence, Chartreux cats need mental and physical stimulation each day. Consider purchasing puzzle toys or other brain games to entertain the clever feline.
The Chartreux has a double coat and sheds regularly. Because they are short-haired, weekly brushing is usually enough to keep their coats healthy. However, Chartreux cats shed more heavily in the spring and may need to be brushed 2-3 times per week at those times. Besides brushing, the Chartreux will need regular nail trims, ear checks and cleaning as needed, and preventative dental care.
The Chartreux is suitable for various environments and family types. Because they are calm and quiet, the breed is a good choice for older pet owners and those living in apartments. They’re also an excellent choice for solo pet owners because they bond closely with their humans and can travel with them if needed. Although they like to avoid chaos, the Chartreux is mellow and adaptable, so they also fit into busy family life with kids and other pets.
British Shorthair Overview
British Shorthairs are calm, affectionate, “teddy bear” cats. They are loyal kitties that bond closely with all members of the household. Although quiet and loving, British Shorthairs are playful but not demanding and are happy to entertain themselves if necessary. Because of their calm, adaptable nature, they generally get along with other family pets. They love attention but don’t insist on it like some other breeds. British Shorthairs are easy to care for and a true joy to live with, which helps explain why they’re one of the most popular purebred cats in the world.
Like the Chartreux, British Shorthairs are an intelligent breed. Their calm personality and love for their humans also make them easy to train. Clicker training and positive, reward-based teaching methods will be most effective for this breed. Just be careful not to feed too many treats during training without decreasing their diet intake to keep their daily calories balanced.
Health & Care
British Shorthair cats typically don’t suffer from many inherited health conditions. Because they are naturally stocky cats who aren’t very active, they can quickly become overweight. Make sure to support their back and rear legs when picking them up. British Shorthairs don’t love being picked up anyway but prefer to cuddle in your lap.
Like the Chartreux, British Shorthairs aren’t the most energetic cats. They like to play but usually only in short bursts. British Shorthairs are good at entertaining themselves but will appreciate the chance to bond with their owners during playtime. The breed typically doesn’t demand attention but will find someone or something to play with when they’re in the mood for it.
British Shorthair cats have a thick double coat developed to protect them from the rainy weather in their native England. They shed, and heavier shedding typically occurs during seasonal changes. Daily brushing is recommended, especially during the spring. Nail trims, ear inspections and cleaning, and regular dental care should also be part of a British Shorthairs grooming routine.
Adaptable British Shorthair cats are well-suited to all types of living situations. Their quiet, affectionate nature makes them ideal companions for the elderly or anyone who lives alone. They get along with other pets and tolerate busy family life well also. Since they’re undemanding and easy to care for, British Shorthairs can fit in just about anywhere.
How Are These Breeds Different?
After reading our overview of these cats, you might be thinking they sound more alike than they do different, which is fair. The Chartreux and the British Shorthair are alike in many ways, but there are still some specific differences if you look closely.
Physically, the British Shorthair is typically bigger and stockier than the Chartreux. They’re also available in more coat colors, although blue is most associated with the breed. However, Chartreux cats only come in blue as the breed standard.
Regarding personality, the Chartreux tends to be a bit more “dog-like” than the British Shorthair. They bond closest with one person and prefer set routines. British Shorthairs are generally more open with their affection and tolerant of unpredictable daily life.
The Chartreux is still relatively rare, especially in the United States, and may be hard to find. British Shorthairs are among the world’s top 10 most popular breeds. The British Shorthair may be the better choice if you don’t have the patience to sit on the kitten waiting list of a Chartreux breeder.
Which Breed Is Right for You?
The Chartreux and the British Shorthair are similar in physical appearance and personality. Both breeds are adaptable enough to match most living situations and are perfect choices for people who are away from home frequently. The British Shorthair may be slightly better suited for hectic households because the Chartreux prefers less chaos and more routine.
You’re likely to have an easier time finding a British Shorthair breeder. Before adding any pet to your family, even one as mellow as these two cats, ensure you’re prepared for the expense and time commitment.
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Featured Image Credit: Top – Chartreux (Eric Isselee, Shutterstock) | Bottom – British Shorthair (Данил Сидоров, Pexels)