Cat Breeds

British Shorthair Advantage and Challenges


  • British Shorthairs are good indoor cats and are very suitable for apartment living
  • British Shorthairs are easygoing and good with family members, kids and pets
  • Most British Shorthairs are very quiet, softspoken and love to laze around


  • British Shorthairs can be lazy and prone to becoming overweight
  • Most British Shorthairs prefer to be pat rather than picked up

British Shorthair Physical Characteristics


  • Medium large to very large


  • Shorthair


  • Over 100 colors and combinations, including the most popular “British Blue”
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British Shorthair Personality

With the British Shorthair's short plush coat resembling deep pile carpeting, this big teddy bear of a cat is easy to love and even easier to groom. Loved for its distinctive built-in “smile” (caused by the look of its rounded whisker pads), the British Shorthair was the original inspiration for Alicein Wonderland’s permanently smiling Cheshire Cat.

Easygoing and calm, the British Shorthair is the perfect pet for anyone wanting a cat that isn’t needy for attention, yet is still loyal and affectionate with its human friends. The British Shorthair doesn’t want to cuddle, preferring to be near you but not on you – the British Shorthair enjoys your company but usually not your lap. A notorious floor potato, the British Shorthair isn’t crazy about jumping and is not particularly known for speed.

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British Shorthair History and General Information

History and Origin

The British Shorthair, probably the oldest English breed of cat, was first introduced to Britainby the ancient Romans. The British Shorthair is a sturdy, no-nonsense cat and quickly made itself useful as a working household animal, valued for its physical strength and hunting ability. But it wasn’t long before the British Shorthair became equally prized for its loyalty, sweetness and easygoing nature.

In 1871, the British Shorthair was shown as the first English breed in the first CrystalPalacecat show. Known at first as the ‘British Blue’ due to the breed’s original color, this popular cat became available in a wide variety of colors under the name British Shorthair by the 1950’s. Still a comparatively rare cat in the United States, the British Shorthair was recognized for championship competition in the USby CFA in 1980.

Grooming requirements

The British Shorthair, with its short, dense “carpet pile” coat requires next to no grooming, as the cat can easily look after it itself. At most, a gentle brushing or combing once a week is all that the British Shorthair needs.

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British Shorthair Health

Health Ailments

Generally, the British Shorthair is a hardy breed with few health problems, not surprising since the breed developed from strong domestic stock. The British Shorthair can live a long, healthy life with proper care and plenty of TLC. However, a few genetic weaknesses are known in the British Shorthair including a serious heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathySelecting a qualified breeder or buying from a reputable pet store will help ensure that your British Shorthair will be free of hereditary purebred ailments. Maintaining your British Shorthair's proper weight and grooming requirements will also help insure its good health, along with regular checkups at the vet.

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British Shorthair Community

Your British Shorthair

Send us pictures and stories about your British Shorthair.

British Shorthair Discussion Group

Get tips from other British Shorthair lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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