The British Shorthair

One of the most popular breeds of cats today is the British Shorthair. Its origin is, as the name implies, from Great Britain.

However, the Romans brought the cat to Britain around 2,000 years ago.The animal spread over the centuries and at the end of the 19th century, the breed was presented for the first time at a cat exhibition in the Crystal Palace in London. In the USA, however, the breed was recognized only in 1980.

During the two world wars, the breeding stock of the British short hair was substantially reduced, to help keep the breed alive breeders began to increase numbers of the breed by crossbreeding with Carthusian cats.

British Shorthair
British Shorthair close up


This cross-breeding caused many similar traits between the two so much so that in 1970 both breeds were temporarily grouped, but after Breeders’ protests. This regulation was lifted only a few years later.

Even today, the British short hair is often mistakenly referred to as the Carthusian, although the breeds now differ significantly. The intercrossed Carthusian cats made the physique of the British Shorthair appear mainly, short and squat.

The British short hair is of the muscular and sturdy build; the legs are rather stout and short, the tail is shorter compared to other breeds.

In addition to the British short hair, there is also the British long hair. It is a semi-blanch hair version of the British Shorthair. Despite optical differences, the same character traits and characteristics are attributed to both varieties.


One of the characteristics of the British Shorthair is their eye color, either blue, green or copper-orange.

british shorthair
british shorthair cat with blue/green eyes

The typical round physique gives it a teddy bearish appearance and goes hand in hand with their good-natured, adaptable breed behavior and uncomplicated character.

They are usually not as lively as oriental breeds and are therefore also suitable for apartments. Often they accompany their owner at every step, but they are rarely obtrusive. The British short hair is not considered a talkative cat breed and the kitty can communicate by occasional meowing but mostly remains quiet.

As a rule, they enjoy the company of a companion with a similar temperament but can be left alone more confidently than other breeds.


The British Shorthair is a very social breed and usually, prefers the company of at least one other cat. Therefore dogs and children are not a problem.

It is crucial that the breeder of the newborn kitten provides plenty of social contact with other animals and people.

If you have a dog it is beneficial that the breeder gives social interactions between the newborn kitten and dogs.

If this social interaction was done in the early development phase of the kitten’s life, it would provide better social interaction abilities for your kitten. Thus, the kitten will also know the correct interaction with fellow-species, as well as their behavior traits.

It is advisable to have two young cats together. Although this will cause increased costs of care and upkeep required, it will be priceless for your cat.

If you want to bring animals of different breeds together with your short hair, pay attention to the characteristics and age differences. For example; it is not advisable to pair a young kitten with an older animal.


Cats are pure carnivores, the digestion and metabolism are directed to the digestion of flesh, so be sure of the meat content in the food you provide is high in meat protein.

It is best to ask your veterinarian to recommend which food is best for your cat. If you need to change the food, it is best done in a gradual transition.

If this is not done it can possibly so affect the digestive system of your cat.Sufficient water is important for your cat (especially when given dry cat food) as it is essential to cat’s health.


Overall, the British short hair is considered robust. It can, however, suffer from various hereditary diseases such as HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease) or PKD (polycystic kidney disease), which can only be avoided by responsible breeding.

The hereditary disease HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) occurs in dogs and humans. if your cat is affected, it will fall ill in early adulthood and shows circulatory symptoms. To be sure of your cat’s health a veterinarian can provide you with further information.

Care and Handling

The British short hair is considered a straightforward cat, which does not have high demands on its owner. If it lives in an apartment, it only needs enough room to play like all cat breeds.

In a family, they usually feel just as comfortable as in a single household and a household with dogs.

The short coat usually does not require any special care, but should be brushed regularly. Since the British short hair tends to sluggish, it is important to pay attention to the weight of the cat.