British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is probably one of the best-known cat breeds in the world. It is one of the oldest recognized cat breeds, and they are the most popular cat breed in the UK. According to the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), 25% of all newborn kittens in the UK are precisely British Shorthairs. This undemanding companion cat is stunning, and here’s what all cat lovers should know about them.

British Shorthair


22–25 in

British Shorthair


8-20 lb

British Shorthair


Great Britain

British Shorthair

Life Expectancy:

12-17 years

Breed History

The British Shorthair breed is probably one of the oldest recognizable cat breeds in the world. They are ancient, and historians believe these cats date back to the first century AD. The breed developed naturally and was originally kept by the Romans. They had a lot of these cats because they were pretty effective at keeping their camps snake, rat, and mouse-free. After the Romans conquered Britain, they introduced this cat breed to the area. These cats became popular there and have been to this day.

Cat Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Amount of Shedding
Social Needs
Affection Level
Kid Friendly
Pet Friendly
General Health

The things that make these cats unique and recognizable are their attractive characteristics. They are broad, muscular, and agile, but those aren’t the main things cat owners focus on. Here are some of the most dominant characteristics of British Shorthair cats.


The first thing you will notice about these cats is their coat and color. Their coat is one of their defining characteristics. It is thick, but these cats don’t have an undercoat. The texture is more plushy than it is wooly. It is very soft, and cat owners praise it a lot.

british shorthair from above

Coat color

Another defining characteristic of British Shorthairs is their color. Certainly, the most recognizable is the “British Blue.” This is a term that describes grey-colored coats. However, this breed also comes in all colors and patterns, including chocolate, black, lilac, white, pointed, and tabby.


We have to mention the breed’s size because it is one of the most important characteristics of a single breed. British Shorthairs are considered large. They can reach a weight of 8 - 20 pounds and a length of 22 - 25 inches.

british shorthair resting


Cats within a breed should not only share physical characteristics; they should also have pretty similar temperaments. When looking at a British Shorthair, one word that comes to mind is - dignified. These cats are also tolerable, playful, and very affectionate towards their owners. These cats are not needy, and they don’t like being carried around. They will follow you around and settle near you when you stop. These cats are also reasonably intelligent, good with other pets, and very tolerable towards kids.

british shorthair looking up


If you want a British Shorthair, you might want to learn a bit more about their health. These cats are generally healthy, but like any other cat breed, they are prone to specific health issues. It is a good idea for you and your vet to keep an eye on early symptoms. Here are some of the potential health conditions British Shorthairs are prone to;

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - This is not exclusive to just this breed. It is a condition that causes the heart to thicken and enlarge.
  • Gingivitis - All cats can develop this condition. It is a gum disease that can be mild or severe.
  • Polycystic kidney disease - A genetic deformity that causes cyst development within the kidneys.

World Cat Finder Team

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Updated at20.12.2021.