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British Shorthair Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

British Shorthair Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

The British Shorthair is a type of domestic cat that has a distinctively stocky body and broad face.

The British Shorthair is a type of domestic cat that has a distinctively stocky body and broad face. One of the commonly distinguished British Shorthair traits is its grey-blue coat and orange eyes. The British Shorthair cutie can also be distinguished by its various patterns and colours.

History of the British Shorthair:

Did you know that the British Shorthair cat is one of the oldest domesticated cats in the world? During the first century AD, the Romans brought the British Shorthair munchkins to their campsites to keep them from getting attacked by mice and snakes. With time, the British Shorthair cat breed’s descendants were able to develop large and robust bodies with thick coats to better withstand the conditions in their native islands.

During the 19th century, selective breeding was carried out to develop the best possible British Shorthair. Some sources credit Harrison Weir with introducing the idea of standardizing the 'British Blue' breed. Others believe that a group of breeders was involved in the British Shorthair breeding process. The new British Shorthair feline breed was featured at the first cat show in 1871.

However, with the growing popularity of Persian and other long-haired breeds, the British Shorthair cat found itself diminishing in popularity by the First World War. This led to the mixing of Persian into the British Shorthair bloodlines, and the subsequent result was the British Longhair. Nonetheless, post-World War II, efforts were made to preserve the British Shorthair cat, and around 1970 the ACFA recognized the blue-coloured British Shorthair breed for the championship. Since then, the sweet-natured British Shorthair cat breed has resurfaced as a global favourite.

Characteristics of the British Shorthair cats are:

Key Pointers

  • Weight: 9-17 pounds
  • Height: 12-14 inches
  • Lifespan: 7-15 years
  • Coat: Thick and dense coat, found in a variety of colours and patterns. 


Friendliness - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ability to adapt - ⭐⭐⭐
Behaviour towards other pets - ⭐⭐⭐
Playfulness - ⭐⭐
Tendency to obesity – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall health - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Life expectancy – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Easy to train - ⭐⭐⭐
Advisable for first-time owners –

One star = Low/bad
Five stars = High/good

Physical Appearance:

The British Shorthair is known to be a powerful medium-sized cat with a muscular build, strong neck and jaw, and a broad chest. British Shorthair has a broad rounded face, orange eyes, and ears set wide apart. Another British Shorthair feline characteristics include the legs are well-developed, with round paws, and the tail is in proportion to the rest of the body. Additionally, the British Shorthair cat has a distinctive muzzle, and its coat is densely thick.


With a relatively long lifespan of 7 - 15 years, several British Shorthair cuties have been known to live up to 20 years of age. However, British Shorthair are prone to the following illnesses:

  • Polycystic kidney disease

    Detected through ultrasound or genetic testing methods, a cyst in the British Shorthair breed's kidney could lead to complete organ failure. While not much can be done in the way of treatment as there is no cure yet, several drugs and medications have shown significant progress in British Shorthair fur babies.

  • Cardiomyopathy

    Detected through ultrasound, ECG and X-ray, in case of cardiomyopathy, the heart muscles thicken. This limits the flow of blood and causes clots formation that can be combated through medication in the British Shorthair cat.

  • Hyperthyroidism

    Hyperthyroidism is a persistent issue in the British Shorthair breed affecting their metabolism. It can especially pose a severe risk to older British Shorthair cats, and the overproduction of the thyroid hormone may affect almost all organs. In cases of hyperthyroidism, surgery and medication would be required for your British Shorthair.

  • Cystitis:

    A tricky disease to cure, cystitis affects the British Shorthair fur kids’ urinary tract and also causes the urinary bladder to be inflamed. In order to treat British Shorthair cats with cystitis, you would have to keep your British Shorthair under a strict medical diet along with medication and also ensure your British Shorthair consumes plenty of water.


The British Shorthair cat is a dignified and clean breed. Being domestic cats, British Shorthair require minimal grooming. Owing to the lack of physical activity, British Shorthair grooming regimen comprises of taking basic care of their nails, toes, fur, and teeth. However, you must regularly brush your British Shorthair fur baby’s coat as this can be a good time to check the skin for any injury or problem.


The British Shorthair cat breed has an easy-going personality and is a great companion for people living alone or in large families. While British Shorthair cat habits make them enjoy playing, British Shorthair cat personality do not require constant attention or supervision and can be left alone for hours at an end. One of the British Shorthair habits is that they will bring a toy to a person if they are in a mood to play. Additionally, British Shorthair can entertain themselves and are very easy to live with.

British Shorthair Cat FAQ:

Do British Shorthair cats get along with other pets?

The British Shorthair cat breed is known for its gentleness and intelligence. The British Shorthair’s habits are friendly and playful, making them extremely good with children as well as other animals.

Are British Shorthair cats friendly?

A British shorthair cat breed has a very mild temperament. British Shorthair are affectionate and loyal cats and are great for first-time owners. Additionally, British Shorthair cat habits include they do not require much attention and do not prefer to be carried around.

How long do British Shorthair cats live?

Among other things, one British Shorthair characteristic is – they live for long. The normal lifespan of British Shorthair is 7-15 years and can stretch up to 20 years.

Are British Shorthair cats easy to groom?

Yes, British Shorthair do not require much grooming since they keep themselves clean. Basic grooming like regular brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning is enough to keep your British Shorthair cuties spick and span.

Do British Shorthair cats like to bathe?

Yes, as the British Shorthair cat breed is one of the few that loves the water. British Shorthair cat temperament is extremely playful, and they are very intelligent and love playing with anything moving. If you turn on the faucet, your British Shorthair will likely jump in to play with the flowing water. This is one defining British Shorthair cat trait.

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