ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

British Shorthair

Height: 12 – 14 inches
Weight: 8 – 17 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 20 years
Colors: Blue, White, Black, Cream, Tabby, Torti, Bi-Color, Calico
Suitable for: Single people or families, with or without other pets
Temperament: Calm, Independent, Affectionate, Easygoing, Smart

The British Shorthair is believed to be Britain’s oldest domestic cat and is thought to have its origins in ancient Rome’s domestic cats. When the Romans invaded Great Britain, they brought their cats with them in an effort to protect their food from rodents. When the Romans left, they also left their cats behind, and the British Shorthair has gone on to be one of the most popular family cats today.

The British Shorthair has a distinctive round head with chubby cheeks and big round eyes. They tend to have very thick and plush coats of fur famous for their blue color but also comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. The British Shorthair tends to be a medium to large cat with a very sturdy and stocky body and shorter tails with a rounded tip.

cat face divider 2

British Shorthair Kittens – Before You Buy…

British Shorthair kittens_Eric Isselee_shutterstock
Image Credit: Eric Isseelee, Shutterstock
British Shorthair Singapore (infographic)
Graphic via https://blog.petloverscentre.com/

The British Shorthair is a calm cat that doesn’t spend much time running and playing, but they are trainable thanks to their intelligence. They have a long lifespan if they are properly taken care of and are a healthy breed. They enjoy spending time with everyone in the family, even including all pets, provided they are cat friendly.

What’s the Price of British Shorthair Kittens?

The average price for a British Shorthair might range from $1,000 to $2,500, but some of the rarer colors, such as the Golden British Shorthair, might be more expensive, so you can expect to pay closer to $3,000. Be sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder by checking their credentials and asking a lot of questions.

You want to ensure that your new kitten will arrive home in good health and having spent the appropriate amount of time with his mother and siblings. In general, kittens are typically weaned by 8 to 10 weeks of age and are usually ready to leave their mothers by 12 to 13 weeks of age. Behavioral and health issues can result if a kitten is taken from his mother too early.

You can also consider adopting an adult British Shorthair from a rescue group. This may cost anywhere from $100 to $500, but you’ll be giving an unwanted cat a new chance at a better life.

3 cat face divider

3 Little-Known Facts About the British Shorthair

1. The British Shorthair is thought to be the model for the Cheshire Cat.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll features the Cheshire Cat, famous for his smile. It is believed that the Cheshire Cat was inspired by the British Shorthair, just minus the purple tabby coloring.

2. The British Shorthair and Longhair are essentially the same.

The British Shorthair was just called the Shorthair for a long time and was one of the first varieties of domestic cats that were developed. During World War I, Persians were bred with the Shorthair, which gives us the British Longhair, recognized separately by TICA (The International Cat Association) in 2009. They are identical in every way except for the length of fur.

3. The British Shorthair is a “well-rounded” cat.

They seem to be round in almost every way. They have rounded ears, tail, paws, as well as round eyes in a round head and with round cheeks.

British Shorthair pedigreed kitten with blue gray fur_PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek_shutterstock
Image Credit: Michal-Bednarek, Shutterstock


yarn ball divider

Temperament & Intelligence of the British Shorthair

They are generally calm cats that are affectionate but prefer not to be carried around. British Shorthairs are slower to mature than other cats as they don’t reach their full adult size until they are approximately 3 years old. They aren’t particularly chatty cats, and they tend to be easygoing and adaptable.

British Shorthairs are intelligent cats, and they get along with all family members, regardless of size or if they are human or another animal. While they are very loving and sweet cats, they are also quite independent and can amuse themselves when left alone. British Shorthairs are not known to be terribly active cats but will occasionally get the “zoomies” like any other cat.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The British Shorthair is a perfect cat for a family. They are affectionate and patient and get along very well with children of all ages. However, do keep in mind that because they do not like to be carried, all members of the family should be taught to respect this.

British Shorthair
Image Credit: uschi2807, Pixabay

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The British Shorthair gets along very well with other pets, as long as any dogs in the household are cat-friendly and don’t resort to playing roughly with him. It’s important to provide your cat with places he can escape to if he’s feeling threatened or overwhelmed; typically, a high shelf will do. The British Shorthair has been known to live comfortably with all kinds of pets, including birds and rabbits.

3 cat divider

Things to Know When Owning a British Shorthair:

Food & Diet Requirements

When you bring your British Shorthair home, the breeder or rescue group will usually send a small amount of the food your new cat has been eating home with you. Some cats might experience digestive upset if you switch their food too suddenly, so if you want to introduce your cat to a new food, do so slowly.

You’ll want to feed him high-quality cat food, and you can follow the guidelines on the back of the food bag that can help you to determine how much you should feed your cat every day. The British Shorthair is prone to obesity because he’s not a very active cat, so be aware of this potential issue and consult your vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s weight.

Another consideration for your cat’s health is to provide him with an appropriate source of water. Many cats are prone to kidney problems, so canned food is one way of adding extra moisture to your cat’s diet. You could also consider giving your cat a cat fountain as another way to keep him well hydrated, which can help prevent kidney disease.

Exercise 🐈

It’s important to get your British Shorthair to play every day to help prevent obesity. These sedentary cats will also need play to keep mentally stimulated, which can be partly accomplished with a variety of toys. A bored cat tends to be a destructive cat, so spend some time exercising your British Shorthair, and he’ll thank you for it.

Training 🧶

Training can definitely be accomplished with the British Shorthair thanks to his easygoing nature and intelligence. You might even be able to train him to play fetch, which will also help him get more exercise.

British Shorthair
Image Credit: uschi2807, Pixabay

Grooming ✂️

The British Shorthair does not require very much grooming, thanks to his short coat. His coat is very thick and plush, but brushing him once a week should prevent any mats from forming. During the regular shedding seasons of fall and spring, you might need to brush him a little more frequently to keep up with the excess fur.

Other than brushing your British Shorthair, you’ll also need to trim his claws, and you need to consider brushing his teeth. You can also give him dental treats if he doesn’t seem to appreciate the toothbrush. Be sure to provide him with a good cat scratcher that he can go to town on instead of your furniture.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The British Shorthair is a healthy cat with very few health issues.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

Your vet will run a heart test to check for HCM and his teeth for any dental problems and can help if your cat has issues with his weight

cat paw divider

Male vs. Female

The male British Shorthair tends to weigh a little more than the female. Males generally weigh about 9 to 17 pounds and females 7 to 12 pounds.

In terms of personality, it is thought that the male British Shorthair is a more easygoing and affectionate cat whereas the female might be a little more serious and expect everyone to be on their best behavior. However, how your cat was raised and how long he spent time with his mother will be a large factor in his personality as an adult cat.

Spaying or neutering your cat is another major difference between males and females. If you leave your male unneutered, he’ll be prone to wandering off and spraying. Leaving a female unspayed will result in her going into heat, which can include her attempting to run away and just being generally uncomfortable. Spaying and neutering your British Shorthair will ensure a happier cat and will help prevent unwanted behavioral issues.

cat + line divider

Final Thoughts

The British Shorthair is a beautiful cat that will be a welcome companion to add to your family. He accepts all creatures and humans, great and small, and has the kind of independence that will help those who need to work every day. He’s affectionate without being needy and playful without being bonkers. The British Shorthair might just be the family cat you’ve always been looking for.

thematic break

Featured Image: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek, Shutterstock