Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.

British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a medium to large sized, compact, chunky cat, known for their attractive features and thick, plush fur. 

Short coupled and robust, the British Shorthair is instantly recognisable by their rounded face and large round eyes, giving this cat an adorable expression and bags of character. 

The need-to-know
  • Great for first-time cat owners
  • Quiet and sedate cat
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Sociable and dependent cat
  • Slightly talkative cat
  • Average build cat breed
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Great family cat
  • Can be regularly left for a few hours
  • Great for a relaxed home
Generally healthy breed

The British Shorthair cat breed can be prone to: 
- Polycystic kidney disease which is an inherited condition where cysts form in the kidneys. This affects kidney function and can eventually lead to kidney failure. 
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a disease were the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick which means the heart cannot beat effectively. 
- British Shorthair autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome which is a serious condition where an abnormally large amount of immune cells are produced which leads to organ enlargement, anaemia and general illness. 

Testing available:
- DNA testing for British Shorthair autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome which tests whether or not a cat has the potential to be affected by this condition. 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 - 17 years
Weight:  3 - 7.7kg
Colours:  Comes in solid colours, with or without white markings, tabby patterns, and Siamese patterns, but the most recognisable is the blue with striking orange eyes. 

Ratings

Family-friendly: 2/5
Playfulness: 2/5
Intelligence: 3/5
Tendency to Vocalise:  4/5
Likes Other Pets: 5/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5
Woman is holding her pet - British Shorthair cat

Personality

Affectionate, playful and loyal, the British Shorthair is a very companionable cat with family and close friends, although like many cats they may take a little time to warm up to strangers. A relatively quiet cat, and surprisingly gregarious, the British Shorthair gets on well in multi-cat households and will befriend other household pets too, particularly cat-friendly dogs. 

British Shorthair cat is having a nap on the sofa

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Rome

Likely to be the first selectively bred cat breed, despite its name, the British Shorthair traces its roots back to Rome, and the cats brought here with the Romans, as mousers, ratters, and probably sneaky stowaways! Cats brought by Roman invaders would have had to be tough, clever, weather-proof and hardy, to survive the journey and to breed with the native wildcats! Once on British soil they made themselves at home and eventually began to be selectively bred for their rounded and appealing appearance and affectionate nature. First recorded as the British Shorthair in 1870, the breed has been popular ever since. 

Finding a cat

Two cats sitting on a sofa with a red cushion
Finding a pet
Is this the right breed for you?
All cats have their own unique personality! Try our Cat Breed Selector tool and find out which cat breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle.
Two cats lying on the sofa
Finding a pet
Thinking about getting a cat?
What breed would you like? Can you handle the challenges of a cheeky kitten, or would a calmer senior cat suit your lifestyle more?
Cat laying on the red pillow
Finding a pet
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree kitten, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Find out what to look for in a kitten breeder with this guide.
Cat laying in woman's arms
Finding a pet
Bringing your cat home
While you're waiting for the big day you may need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort our before you welcome your new arrival.
Cat looking at the owner
Adoption
It's incredibly fulfilling to adopt a cat from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. It often means offering them a second chance at life. There are many cats waiting for a loving family and their forever home, but what can you expect from the process?
Ginger kitten sitting on woman's shoulder
Kitten advice
Everything you need to know
Getting a new kitten is incredibly exciting for all the family, but it can be quite scary for your new arrival. Find out how to deal with everything from behaviour to health questions with our expert kitten advice.
Cat laying in bed
Finding a pet
Cat facts you need to know
18% of households in the UK own a cat, but there's still so much that we don't know about them. From the unusual way they walk, to how big the largest cat is, we bet you haven't heard some of these fun facts!