Bombay vs American Shorthair Cat

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

bombay vs american shorthair cat

Having a new family member is always exciting, especially when they have four legs, lush fur, and long whiskers. However, we must not rush in picking a breed as doing so goes beyond choosing the coat colors.

This article will show you the differences between a Bombay vs American Shorthair cat to help you decide which one is well-suited and whether your home can take care of the feline.

Differences Between Bombay and American Shorthair Cats

Both a Bombay black cat and an American Shorthair are great feline companions. For one, they are both loving and affectionate to their humans. However, a difference is that Bombay doesn’t like being left alone for too long compared to Shorthairs, who are more independent.

To give you an overview of their unique characteristics, we created a table summarizing their traits.

American Shorthair Cat Bombay Cat
Weight 6 to 15 lbs 8 to 15 lbs
Length 12 to 15 inches 13 to 20 inches
Coat Color Black, bluish-gray, white, cream, silver, cameo, orange, or chinchilla Black (sometimes with a white spot on the chest)
Eye Color Copper, gold, hazel, green, or blue (sometimes with heterochromia) Green, copper, or gold
Facial Features Round face, wide and round eyes Round face, round and medium-sized eyes, defined jaws, and broad ears
Personality Friendly, intelligent, good with children and other pets, and independent Talkative, can be trained, affectionate, loves playing the leader, and needs company
Lifespan 15 to 20 years 12 to 18 years

1. Size (Weight and Length)


The cat sizes of these breeds don’t vary much with each other. American Shorthairs can weigh 6 to 15 pounds, while Bombay cats can be from 8 to 15 pounds. Males are typically heavier than females, too.

Both are prone to obesity mainly because of American Shorthair’s laid-back nature and Bombay’s muscular breed, which shows even the tiniest weight gain. Therefore, controlling food intake and exercise are essential for their health.

In terms of length, American Shorthairs can grow 12 to 15 inches long, and Bombays reach lengths between 13 to 20 inches.

2. Coat Color


Regarding the color of their coat, the breed standard for Bombay cats is pure black. Their entire body is black (fur, nose, and paws). However, there are some with a white spot on the chest due to recessive Burmese genes.

On the other hand, American Shorthairs are more diverse in colors, ranging from black, bluish-gray, white, cream, silver, cameo, orange, and chinchilla. They also come in extensive patterns like solid color, bicolor, calico, tabby, shaded, tortoiseshell, and smoke.

To make the selection easier, silver and brown tabby American Shorthairs are the most popular kind.

There are American Shorthairs with a solid black coat that is similar to that of the Bombays. In fact, Bombay cats are Burmese and black American Shorthair mix, so they are closely related to each other.

You can usually spot the difference through the panther-like appearance of Bombay cats and their satin-like fur compared with a Black American Short hair. Determining other characteristics, such as eye color and facial features, also helps, which we listed in the next sections.

3. Eye Color

The eyes of Bombay cats are either green for British-originating ones and copper or gold for the American kind.

For American Shorthairs, it can be copper, gold, hazel, green, and blue. They may also have heterochromia, where one eye has a different color than the other.

4. Facial Features

Aside from the color of their eyes and coat, let’s explore both of the breeds’ facial features. While they are not much different, you’ll see what sets them apart.

American Shorthairs are described as “endearing” because of their round face together with their wide and round eyes.

Bombays also have a round face, but their jaws are defined and their ears are broad with round-shaped tips. They are bred to appear like the Indian black panther, but they also look sweet with their round and medium-sized eyes.

5. Personality


American Shorthairs and Bombays are curious, friendly, affectionate, and accepting of people. They are highly social and compatible in a household with children. Both breeds also get along with other pets when they are introduced properly.

The difference? Bombays love being the group’s leader. They are also easily trained with games and tricks, and they prefer playing them with you. Bombays are less independent cats, so you can’t leave them alone for too long, or separation anxiety will develop.

On the contrary, American Shorthairs are more independent and appreciative of their solitude. They are intelligent and they can play with themselves when bored. When it comes to conversations, they are less talkative than Bombays.

6. Lifespan

American Shorthairs can live 15 to 20 years while Bombay cats typically live between 12 to 18 years.


In choosing between a Bombay vs American Shorthair Cat, the most important thing to know is both of these breeds are accepting of humans and animals at home.

When it comes to physical characteristics, Shorthairs have more coat colors and patterns compared to Bombay’s signature black fur. While they can be of the same weight, Bombays are longer in length which contributes to their panther-like appearance.

Finally, American Shorthairs live between 15 to 20 years, and Bombay cats reach 12 to 18 years, so it’s essential to take care of their overall health.

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