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British Shorthair

British Shorthair Cat Breed Profile

Weight 6.6-15.4 lb (3-7 kg)
Origin England
Color Black, brown, gray; multi-colored
Fur Short, thick
Lifespan 12-18 years
Personality Quiet, undemanding, calm, patient
Energy Cat Active
Playful Cat Playful
Independent Cat Independent
Meowing Cat Vocal
Shedding Cat Sheds

British Shorthair Photo: Tatiana Dorokhova/Shutterstock

British Shorthair Breed Characteristics

The British Shorthair is quiet, easy-going and even-tempered. A real “couch potato”. Playful? Not at all. While other cats will climb everywhere and explore everything (like the Bengal, Siamese and Abyssinian), the British Shorthair is more down to earth. It might be less active and playful but it does radiate coziness, relaxation, dependability and stability.

British Shorthair Personality and Temperament

It’s said that the British Shorthair cat is just as reserved with strangers as the British themselves. Of course, that’s just a cliché and should be taken in the best possible way. These cats don’t storm around pouncing on things, rather know how to behave politely and respect the personal space of anyone they don’t know so well.

As soon as these cats warm up to you, they open up a big heart and become incredibly loving and attached to their humans. They love following their owners around and taking a seat next to them.

Keeping Them Happy

Unlike other cats, the British Shorthair doesn’t need too much attention and is happy with its own company. They just need their space and especially appreciate humans that don’t constantly play with them or stroke them. British Shorthairs also don’t like being carried.

British Shorthair Photo: Rita Kochmarjova/Shutterstock

British Shorthair Pros and Cons


  • Easy going personality
  • Calm and quiet
  • Even-tempered
  • Independent
  • Can deal with any kind of situation


  • Not very playful

British Shorthair Appearance

The British Shorthair is a large cat with a round head, round paws and round eyes. Even the tips of their tails are round. They used to be called British Blues because their fur was always blue-gray. But you can now find them with black, blue (blue-gray), white, red, cream (beige), silver (gray), golden (yellow), cinnamon (brown) and fawn (light brown) fur.

British Shorthair History

The British Shorthair originally came to Great Britain with the Romans, where it helped to protect food from mice and other pests. During the Second World War, the breed was almost lost. It was rescued by mixing in Persians, Russian Blues and other cat breeds.

Did You Know?

Puss in Boots and the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland” are both British Shorthairs.

Comparable Breeds

British Shorthair Photo: Gutzemberg/Shutterstock

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