British Shorthair


The British Shorthair or British Shorthair is a breed of cat that descends from the cross between the cats brought to Britain by the Romans and the natives of the island. These cats are very well protected from the British climate by their double and waterproof coat.


Breed Origin:
Great Britain
Life Span:
14 - 20+ years
Average Weight:
7 - 12 lbs
Hair Quantity:
General Health:

Origin and History

The British Shorthair, one of the oldest English cat breeds, traces its lineage back to the domestic cats of Rome. These cats were brought to Britain by the Romans during their occupation, where they mixed with local European wildcats. Over centuries, this blend evolved into the robust, amiable British Shorthair we know today. The breed was officially recognized in the late 19th century, with breeding and showing becoming popular activities. Despite facing near extinction during World War II, dedicated breeding programs helped to preserve and revitalize the breed. Today, the British Shorthair is celebrated worldwide for its distinct appearance and endearing temperament.


British Shorthairs are known for their dense, plush coats, broad faces, and chunky builds. Their bodies are compact and well-muscled, with a sturdy bone structure that gives them a somewhat teddy bear-like appearance. They have large, round eyes that can be a range of colors, though the most iconic look is the deep copper or gold. However, eye color can vary with coat color.

One of the most distinguishing features of the British Shorthair is its wide range of coat colors and patterns. The most famous is the British Blue, with its solid grey-blue coat and orange eyes, but the breed comes in many colors and patterns, including black, white, cream, silver, and golden, as well as tabby, shaded, and bi-color.

Their heads are round with full cheeks and a short, broad nose. The ears are small to medium-sized, set wide apart and rounded at the tips, enhancing their good-natured expression.

Personality and Temperament

British Shorthairs are known for their calm, easygoing nature, and undemanding presence. They are affectionate but not overly needy, often preferring to sit beside you rather than on your lap. This breed is known for its intelligence and playful demeanor, enjoying interactive toys and games that stimulate their mind.

They are well-suited to indoor life, making excellent companions for single people, families, and the elderly alike. British Shorthairs tend to get along well with children and other pets due to their tolerant and serene disposition. They are quietly vocal, using soft chirps and meows to communicate with their human companions.


British Shorthairs are generally a healthy and hardy breed, but they are predisposed to certain genetic conditions. These can include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a common heart disease in cats, and polycystic kidney disease (PKD), although the latter is less common in this breed compared to others. Obesity can be a concern, as they have a propensity to gain weight, especially if their diet is not carefully managed and they do not get enough exercise.

Proper care, including regular veterinary checkups, a balanced diet, and adequate exercise, can help ensure a British Shorthair leads a long, healthy life, typically ranging between 12 to 20 years.

In summary, the British Shorthair is a beloved breed known for its charming, robust appearance and amiable, laid-back temperament, making it a favorite among cat lovers around the globe.

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