Photo by suzalayne

British Shorthair - Breed Profile:

Origin: Great Britain
Colors: Variety
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Shorthair
Grooming: Weekly
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Low
Attention Requirement: Low
Overall: Easy to handle

Breed video: British Shorthair

The British Shorthair cat is a very old breed with an over 100-year history. Now it is one of the most popular cat breeds in the UK.

Physical characteristics

British Shorthair cats are large and sturdy; they have a cobby build with broad shoulders and chest. Their short muscular legs have round paws. Their head is round as well, and it is recognizable by chubby cheeks. The tail is broad at the base and rounded at the tip; it is plush but not fluffy. The widely set eyes are large and round. Males are larger than females, and for British Shorthairs this size difference is more prominent than for other breeds. Males can be distinguished from females by prominent cheek jowls. Males weigh 5 to 10 kg; females weigh up to 5-7 kg.


British Shorthairs have an easy-going and stable character. They are intelligent and may even learn some small tricks. They are nearly ideal for living in an apartment because they are adaptable and have a perfect ability to live as indoor cats only. However, they will enjoy outdoors and hunting, too. They do not demand too much attention, but they will beyond doubt let you know when they feel like playing or being petted because they enjoy it. British Shorthairs are not very vocal; they have rather quiet meows. They are not hyperactive; sometimes they will prefer to sit near you rather than on you because they like to keep all four paws on the ground. They will with pleasure supervise household activities lying on a comfortable perch or just on the floor. They also tend to follow you from room to room to have a look at what is going on around.
British Shorthairs come in a variety of colours, but the most popular one is blue with yellow eyes. Photo by suzalayne

This all makes these cats excellent for owners who need to work much. Apparently, this is what made them so populat in the UK. British Shorthairs are content just to laze around while you are absent. Company of another cat with a similar temperament is desirable but it is not desperately needed. Usually, these cats are good with dogs, children, and older people.

Coat and grooming

British Shorthairs have a short, dense coat. It is plush and comes in a variety of colours: self, tabby, tortoiseshell, bi-colour, smoke, tipped and colourpointed. The most popular colour is blue (with yellow eyes), which even resulted in having a breed name of its own: the British Blue. But British Shorthairs can also be black, white, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon or fawn.
These cats do not require much grooming since their fur neither tangles nor knots. Nonetheless, occasional brushing is preferable, especially when the cat is shedding, as some hairballs may occur during this period.


When neutered or kept indoors only, British Shorthairs can be prone to obesity. Taking care of their diet should prevent this.
The typical lifespan of these cats is 14 to 20 years.