British Shorthair | Cat Breed Guide

British Shorthair | Cat Breed Guide

by Scritch

The British Shorthair is a calm, quiet, sociable cat that does well with children and other pets but is not a lap cat.

Weight: 11-22 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-20 years

Temperament: calm, quiet, sociable

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

The British Shorthair is believed to date back to the Roman invasion of Britain, when cats were brought in to help protect food supplies from rodents, and nearly died out during World War II.

The British Shorthair, known simply as the Shorthair in Britain, could be called roly-poly. He is a big, stocky cat with a round head, round eyes and rounded paws. Once only the “British Blue,” these days the coat comes in different colors and patterns, including white, black, calico and various tabby patterns.

British Shorthairs love people and do well with children and other pets. They are not lap cats and don’t like to be carried around, so children should be taught to respect the cat’s boundaries. Males are more easygoing than females. 

The British Shorthair isn’t very active, but he does enjoy toys and can learn tricks and can be trained to fetch. He is not a vocal cat but he may express his opinion when waiting for his dinner.

They are a healthy cat breed and may live up to 20 years.

The chubby-cheeked British Shorthair is famous as the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and as the subject of the 2007 viral “I Can Has Cheezburger?” meme.


The British Shorthair’s coat comes in a variety of colors, but the most popular is blue. The short, dense coat should be brushed several times a week to remove dead hair. More frequent brushing is necessary when he sheds his winter coat. He also needs regular nail and dental care.

Health Concerns 

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Hemophilia B

The British Shorthair is generally very healthy but can be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease. He is also susceptible to hemophilia B, a hereditary bleeding disorder. You can protect your pet, and your wallet, by purchasing pet insurance coverage.