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British Shorthair Cat Breed… Everything You Need to Know at Glance!

If you’re the type of person who enjoys having a cat “share” the couch with you or one who is entirely content spending a late Sunday afternoon in your lap while reading a book, then there is a perfect chance that the British Shorthair cat breed might the ideal cat breed for you! But it’s essential to remember deciding to become a pet owner is a critical decision, which is why we want to take a moment to discuss what it might be like to own a British Shorthair cat so that if you ever get a chance to own one of these cuddly little guys, you won’t be disappointed six months from now that you didn’t pick a different “type” of cat that might be better suited to your lifestyle.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

British Shorthair Cat Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales)

Size:  Medium to large

Weight:  9 to 12 pounds

Eyes:  Round (green, gold, blue, or mix-matched)

Shape of Head:  Round

Lifespan:  14 to 20 years

Origin of the British

While it is true that the British Shorthair cat was developed and “created” in Britain, the British Shorthair’s earliest ancestors were cats that were first from Egypt and brought to Britain by Roman soldiers. This is why the British Shorthair is considered one of the “oldest” cat breeds in Western Europe and why so many “Brits” have such an intense pride regarding this fabulous cat breed.

Because you see…

Throughout the centuries, cats haven’t always received the “credit” that they deserve as being “man’s best friend.” So, these guys had to “fend” for themselves for many centuries during their development. Fortunately, this all ended when, in the early 19th century, owning a cat in England became fashionable, so much so that even the Queen owned two Persian cats.

 And given…

How vast the British empire was back at this time, it should come as no surprise that many British citizens were taking advantage of this and using it to gain access to all sorts of wonderful “exotic” breeds. Which “Kickstarted” a local campaign within Britain to create and develop a genuinely British cat breed. Which is precisely what we have today in the British Shorthair cat breed.


Like many other domesticated animals in Western Europe during World War II, the British Shorthair cat was nearly whipped out, which is why many British Shorthair breeders chose to crossbreed their surviving Shorthairs with Persian cats to be able to replenish the British Shorthair breeding stock. This is why many “cat organizations,” including the American Cat Fanciers Association, were a “bit” hesitant to “officially” recognize the British Shorthair as an “official” breed. However, by 1980, the British Shorthair had achieved “championship” status, so we guess that’s no longer an issue nowadays!

Physical Characteristics

Now, regardless of what “kind” of British Shorthair you decide to adopt, you will find that your British Shorthair will resemble a “fluffy” ball. This is because almost every part of a British Shorthair is “fluffy” and round. Heck, they’re rounder in all areas; their heads are round, their bodies are round, their paws are round, and even their eyes are round. Yet, they don’t look fat! They typically have a “powerful” look with their broad chest and strong, thick legs. These guys look “comfortable” in their skin and don’t need to try and impress you by jumping all around the place!

This breed used to be a solid blue-gray, and many of the photos that you see online will be only of concrete blue-gray specimens, but in “real” life, breeders have developed the British Shorthair into a variety of different colors, including black, white, cream, red, blue, silver, and golden. They’re also available in various patterns, including the traditional solid coloring, tabby, and bicolor.

Personality and Temperament

We must be honest: the British Shorthair cat is one of our all-time favorite cat breeds. To us, they almost look like a walking pillow or stuffed animal that needs to be picked up and “squeezed” (in a friendly way)! That thick and dense fur screams…. “Hold me” and “pet me,” which is why this is one of our “go-to” cat breeds that we do like to recommend folks check out before deciding on any one particular cat breed to adopt.

British Shorthairs…

They are exceptionally tolerant cats, meaning they’ll put up with a lot. Whether that be a young child running around, another house pet, or many visitors to the home, in all of these situations, the British Shorthair will take things in stride. He won’t stress out, jump around the place, or “meow” incessantly. Instead, he’ll probably give you a look that will seem to say, “Really?” And then go about their business.

Now, if you’re…

Are you looking for a cat that will make you the center of their universe or one that will want to play with you all day and all night? Well then, the British Shorthair probably isn’t your cup of tea. But suppose you’re looking for a magnificent-looking creature that will be happy to share your home with you and take a nice nap when he is ready. In that case, we at IndulgeYourPet believe you would find it hard to find a better companion animal out there.

Potential Health Concerns

Whenever you decide to purchase or adopt a pedigree cat, you always run the risk that that cat breed may be at a higher risk for developing some heritable genetic disorder common for that particular breed. Fortunately, when it comes to the British Shorthair breed, while they are susceptible to developing hemophilia B, this is a medical condition that can be easily screened for and thus avoided when working with a reputable British Shorthair breeder who knows what they are doing and only breeds their cats responsibly.

Which brings us to…

The last topic we want to discuss when adopting any new pet is the importance of being a responsible pet owner. And because we all know how important it is to spay and neuter your animals and be sure they get all their vaccinations and immunizations, we want to focus on one other important thing to consider: pet insurance. Unless you have thousands of dollars in your bank account right now that can be immediately used to pay for any medical emergency for your new pet, as a responsible pet owner, you should consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for all your animals.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, of course not. But until you know what these “types” of policies will and won’t cover and until you know how much these “types” of policies cost, how will you know whether or not a pet insurance policy isn’t “right” for you?

For more information about who we “feel” currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies, we encourage you to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • someonechated October 5, 2020, 7:39 am

    TY for the help

  • Caleb M. October 26, 2020, 7:48 am

    Thank you, this helped alot I was thinking about getting one of these.

  • Mr. meow April 27, 2021, 11:36 am

    Meow will take your entire stock of these purrrrrrfect kitties.

  • Nat July 29, 2021, 6:40 pm

    These cats are such great companions! They really love humans and cuddling, this is my brother’s favourite cat breed and one of my favourites!

  • Jess November 25, 2022, 2:33 am

    I love how round these cats are. your description of thick and dense really gives a scrumptious feel to this purrrrrrrfect organism. I will definitely be purchasing one of these round and thick and dense just to give it a good squeeze and listen to it squeal, as it gently purrs for help in my lap ( 4 paws out of 5 lap cat so will be good at satisfying my needs) 😉 !!!!!!!!!

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