British Shorthair


Quick Facts

    • Weight: 12 – 18 pounds

This breed puts the “r” in round: round face, round eyes, round ears, round torso and round paws.

The British Shorthair is noted for its signature blue-colored coat that is dense and plush – designed to weather cold climates. However, cat registries now accept the British Shorthair in nearly 40 colors and patterns.

The body comes in medium to large frames. The necks are thick and the chests are broad.

Its velvety coat is reported to sport more fur per square inch than any other cat breed.

Females weigh between 6 and 8 pounds and males average between 10 and 12 pounds.


      • Round looks
      • Shy demeanor
      • Lap seekers
      • Hardy breed
      • Welcomes other pets
      • Wary around young children

Ideal Human Companion

      • Quiet households
      • Singles
      • Adapts well to apartment living
      • Households with other pets
      • First-time cat owners

What They Are Like to Live With

British Shorthairs rarely have met a lap that they didn’t like. Be aware that their thick coats make them like feline furnaces and your lap may become toasty warm.

This breed is noted for its intelligence, loyalty and extending affection in a dignified manner. They won’t wow you by their speed, but they will win you over with their comical nature.

Its coat needs minimal care – just run a comb through once or twice a week to maintain its mat-free condition.

Enjoys the company of other household pets, but may opt to keep out of reach from overly energetic children.

Things You Should Know

Be patient. This breed takes up to five years to attain full physical maturity.

Due to its trusting, sweet nature, this is a breed that is best suited for indoor living. Always supervise your British Shorthair when outdoors.

British Shorthair History

This British-born breed’s origins remain a bit ambiguous. It is believed that they were commonly viewed in the British countryside since the mid-1800s.

The Cheshire Cat with its teasing grin made famous in Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in Wonderland, was said to have captured its look from this breed.

A 14-year-old British Shorthair won Best in Show at the first formal cat show in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London.

This breed earned acceptance by both the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association. Ranked 14th in popularity among the CFA-recognized breeds, the British Shorthair gained championship status in 1980.

5 thoughts on “British Shorthair”

  1. I adopted a gray cat from, of all places, a county animal control shelter. She was the most starved, skinny cat I have ever seen. Turns out, she is a drop dead gorgeous British Shorthair. She is large boned and muscular. She reminds me of an exquisite marble statue. I have never seen a cat with this particular kind of beauty. She is athletic and large. Her sculpted muscles ripple in beauty. We call her our linebacker!! I have to agree with others, though. She is many things, but she is definitely NOT a lap cat!!! She hates it!! And she wins! She will follow us around the house and almost always sit nearby, but NOT ON LAPS!!! Unfortunately! She is stunningly beautiful, very playful, intelligent, friendly, and she likes the company of our other 2 female cats. She loves to play chase and run all over the house, sometimes at 3 am. She has the cutest, fattest whisker pads I have ever seen, and her cheeks are WIDE. I love her dearly, she is so different from any of the other 35 or so cats I have had, and I am so glad we got her!!

  2. This article is irresponsible as it is completely incorrect. One of the key characteristics of the BSH is that they are NOT lap cats, and DON’T sit on your lap. They like to be near you and will follow you around, but any responsible breeder will tell you that just because they look cuddly doesn’t mean they like cuddles. They are not cuddly cats at all, but do like affection, on their terms. If someone read this and as a consequence got a BSH as a cuddly pet, they will end up with one very unhappy cat. I have 2 BSH and they are brilliant, affectionate, wonderful cats – and I can count on one hand the amount of times they have sat on my lap.

    1. I too have 2 wonderful BSH cats who also do not sit in my lap. We have found that they prefer the company of my husband, who did not know he was a cat person. They have little interest in me except that I feed them and keep their litter boxes clean. They do funny things and keep us laughing. I too was surprised to read that they were lap cats and have not found our kitties to sit in our laps.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.

Let Catster answer all of your most baffling feline questions!

Starting at just

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: No posts found. Make sure this account has posts available on


Follow Us

Shopping Cart