Shorthaired Cat VS Longhaired Cat: Pros & Cons of Both

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It's hard to believe our cats are 11 years old! We got them as kittens, so we have had them for most of their lives. One is a Shorthair Siamese mix and the other was labeled as a Snowshoe but is most likely just a Longhair. They were both barn cats and after going through getting them fixed and taking care of ear mites, we are set on adopting any future pets (which is why both our dogs are rescues). 

We learned from owning both that shorthair and longhair cats have some differences. Here are some pros and cons of each one, but please note this is our experience with our cats. Your experience with your cats may be different and that's okay!

Shorthaired Cats Pros & Cons

One pro is that shorthaired cats do not need as much brushing as their longhaired counterparts. Once or twice a week should be fine. However. even though their hair is short, they still shed! It might just be our cat, but if you pick him up for even a second, you will instantly be covered in little white cat hairs. Other sites claim longhaired cats shed more, but that is not true in our case.

Another pro is that shorthairs are not picky about litter boxes. Our shorthair was fine with covered litter boxes and uncovered litter boxes. His main issue was he liked to dig and spray litter everywhere! Since our longhaired refused covered, we had to make sure we got litter boxes with high walls so the litter would stay in the box.  

One final, minor con, is that shorthaired cats are not as fluffy. Their fur is still soft and they still make great snugglers.

Longhaired Cats Pros & Cons

Sadly, the only pro I can come up with for having a longhaired cat is that they are soft and fluffy. This is really only an upside if your fluffy cat is up for snuggling. Ours happens to be a little more aloof unless she's hungry, so she does not have much going for her other than being cute. 

Okay, so there is a second pro, but it may only apply to our cat and it is less shedding. Other sites claim longhaired cats shed more, which is a shocker for me as ours does not shed at all. Even when we were not brushing daily, she hardly shed compared to our shorthair, leading to our first con. 

Longhaired cats should be brushed daily. I will be honest. We did not brush our long-haired cat daily in the past and she did end up with some mats. Nothing major. I was able to work them out with my fingers are snip them with scissors. I have gotten better at brushing her since then more often. While daily is recommended, I would say missing a day or two here and there is not a crime, but definitely make sure you are brushing them often to avoid matting!

Another con is that longhaired cats are notoriously picky about litter boxes. Ours will not use a covered litter box and if it is too dirty, she will poop outside the box. It might be a symptom of her IBD, but longhaired cats can have longer hair on their paws (toe tuffs) and around their butts. It simply could be she just doesn't want her hair to get dirty. 

Daily litter box cleanings as well as using a big, spacious, uncovered, litter box may help. Another option is to groom your cat and trim the fur around its paws and butt. 

Finally, if you have allergies, a longhaired cat may not be for you as they have to groom themselves more, which results in more saliva and dander. 

Which is Better?

After reading the above, it's probably clear that shorthaired cats are the winner, at least for us. We love our longhaired, but she is just too high maintenance for our lifestyle and in the future, we will stick with shorthaired cats. 

However, I don't think either breed is better when it comes to their personalities. Our shorthair is a bit strange in that he requires a bit more attention than normal cats. He is a real snuggler and super friendly to any stranger that will pet him. Our longhaired cat is your typical cat. She only will snuggle on her terms and keeps to herself most of the day. She used to run and hide from strangers, but not she will stay in the same room.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which cat is for you! This is just from our experience of owning both.