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How Big Do British Shorthairs Get? (Growth & Weight Chart)

The British Shorthair is a sturdy cat with a strong, compact build. They have a dense but short coat. Some people may mistake them for Domestic Shorthair cats, but British Shorthairs are pedigreed cats with a well-established breed standard. They are generally healthy cats, and they’re loved for their loyalty and relaxed nature.

It’s important to understand the expected growth rate and adult size of a British Shorthair before bringing one home so you can effectively track your cat’s growth and development. Let’s check out the details below.

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Facts About British Shorthairs

  • British Shorthair cats are the number one most popular cat in the entire United Kingdom. They’ve held this status for over 20 years, starting in 2001.
  • The British Shorthair is considered to likely be the oldest cat breed in England. Their ancestry goes all the way back to the cats that lived in ancient Rome.
  • Before the British Shorthair breed was established, the stray cats that lived in the UK were essentially British Shorthairs. As people began to take these cats in, they were highly prized for their hunting abilities. They made excellent ratters and mousers, helping people to protect their food and investments. It wasn’t until 1980 that these cats were accepted as a breed.
  • This breed is exceptionally healthy, with no breed-specific diseases known within the British Shorthair breed.
  • Although the most popular cat in the UK, they are still considered a minority breed within the breeds registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
british shorthair cat sitting outdoor
Image Credit: Piqsels

British Shorthair Growth & Weight Chart

British Shorthairs are medium to large-sized cats, with most reaching 22–25 inches in length. Males tend to be considerably larger than females, with the largest females coming in at about 5 pounds less than the largest males.

There are some British Shorthair cats that can be above 17 pounds and be a healthy weight, but it’s uncommon and these cats are typically out of the breed standard.

Age Weight Range
3 months 3–3.9 pounds
4 months 4.1–4.6 pounds
6 months 5.5–5.9 pounds
10 months 6.6–7 pounds
12 months 7–7.7 pounds
18 months 7–12 pounds
24 months 7–17 pounds

When Do British Shorthairs Stop Growing?

This breed typically grows up until around 3 years of age, with some taking as long as 5 years. They may reach their full adult height and weight before 3 years, though. The growth through 3 years refers to a variety of factors, like the growth and development of bones and organs. It is possible that an 18-month-old British Shorthair can be at its full adult size.

In general, reputable breeders don’t start breeding British Shorthairs until they are at least 3 years of age and proven through showings as exceptional representations of the breed.

British shorthair cat Silver chocolate color yellow eyes
Image Credit: lowpower225, Shutterstock

Factors Affecting the Size of British Shorthairs

There are multiple factors that will impact the final adult size of a British Shorthair cat. Genetics plays a major role, but nutrition and exercise can also impact the size of a cat. The number of kittens in a litter can impact the adult size of all of the cats in the litter, with smaller litters generally resulting in larger adult cats.

Spaying and neutering, and the age at which the procedure was performed, can impact the adult size of a cat by limiting their sex hormones at a young age. However, these procedures are extremely important, and it can be difficult for the average person to manage an intact cat. Even with spaying and neutering, male cats are usually larger than females.

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

There isn’t one specific food that is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight for a cat, but most veterinarians recommend foods from WSAVA-compliant brands, like Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina.

The most important aspects of maintaining a cat at a healthy body weight are high protein foods that contain an appropriate balance of fat and carbohydrates and provide an appropriate number of calories for the age and weight of your cat. Your cat’s vet can help you determine how much your cat needs to eat.

It’s generally advised to feed your cat wet food, either as part or all of their diet. Wet foods support hydration and can help to reduce the risk of problems with the urinary tract. They are also usually more palatable to picky cats than kibble. For kittens, senior cats, and cats with dental problems, wet food can be much easier to eat than kibble.

british shorthair
Image Credit: FotoMirta, Shutterstock

How to Measure Your British Shorthairs

The best way to get an accurate weight on your cat is to weigh them on a scale that is made for small things, like a baby scale. Scales made for people and larger animals are unlikely to give you an accurate weight measurement for your cat, especially if they are less than 20 pounds. If you don’t have a good scale for this, your cat’s vet can weigh your cat between visits.

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British Shorthairs are medium to large cats with stocky bodies. As an adult, a British Shorthair can be between 7–17 pounds if they are at a healthy weight. It’s unusual for a British Shorthair over 17 pounds to be at a healthy body weight. These cats can be up to 25 inches in length when they are full grown between 3–5 years of age.

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels