A Beginner’s Guide to the British Shorthair


In this series of blog posts, we will be introducing Britain’s best-loved pedigree cats. First up, the popular and adored British Shorthair.

British Shorthairs are one of the most popular breeds due to their kind nature, even-tempered personalities and for the strong-bonds they often form with owners. Like all cats, British Shorthairs are independent by nature but this breed is particularly well-known for being kind, loyal and loving.

- History of the British Shorthair

Originally bred by a man named Harrison Wier, British Shorthairs have been a mainstay in British homes since the 1800s.

- Temperament

With round, expressive eyes, well-proportioned features and a placid nature, the British Shorthair is a physically strong breed with a warm temperament. 

- Do British Shorthairs Shed Hair?

Their coats are short and plush, requiring regular brushing to keep them in pristine condition.  British Shorthairs do tend to shed a moderate amount of fur during the autumn and spring seasons when malting is most prevalent. Otherwise, British Shorthairs are relatively low maintenance compared with other pedigrees. Regular checks on earwax build up and trimming of nails is also necessary.

- Perfect Family Cat

The British Shorthair is renowned as a family cat due to a docile and affectionate nature. The British Shorthair also enjoys interacting with humans and, in particular, children. It won’t come as a surprise that this breed is a popular choice for young families. They tend to mature late, retaining a playfulness well into adulthood. Due to their relaxed nature, the British Shorthair is not overly active and will lounge for long periods of time. 

- Keeping your Shorthair Slim

British Shorthairs can be prone to developing waistlines though, so a good nutritional diet and daily exercise are vital for their wellbeing and long-term health. They will explore environments that they deem safe and are equally suited to playing indoors or outdoors, particularly if they have plenty of toys and frames to play on. They are intelligent cats that need to be properly stimulated, although providing adequate spaces for rest and snoozing is equally important. 

'Bursts of play followed by a well-deserved nap is the life of a British Shorthair!'

- Cats and Dogs

British Shorthairs also tend to have healthy relationships with other pets, including dogs, but supervision is needed when introducing any pets in the home.

- Life Expectancy of a British Shorthair

The average life expectancy of a British Shorthairs is between 14 to 20 years. They normally live in good health but are known to suffer from a couple of hereditary health issues including:

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Regular check-ups with a vet is essential for the health and longevity of any pedigree cat. 

The British Shorthair is quintessentially British. Kind-natured, loving and enduring loyal, we can easily see why this breed is a favourite among cat lovers. For more in-depth information, please visit this webpage