British Shorthair – The Lazy British Cat

This guide was written by Joe Francis
Updated: February 23, 2018
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In this guide

You might not realize it but most of you have grown around British Shorthair cats and celebrity ones to be precise. If you are an avid watcher of Puss in Boots or Alice in Wonderland, you have grown up with a British Shorthair.

They are great pets to have especially for first-time owners who might not be sure of what to expect of cats and would like to run minimal risk. Back in the day, British shorthairs were better known for their mousing abilities in farms in and around England. Want to learn more about British Short hairs?

History of the British Shorthair

Before its rise to popularity, the shorthair was just another street cat in the streets of Britain. The rise of cat shows during the Victorian era shown a bright light on the breed and fanciers led by the ‘father of cat breeding’ Harrison Wier started to aggressively breed the cat to bring it to pedigree calibre.

In the earliest cat shows, the British Shorthairs were the only pedigree cats that were exhibited while the other breeds were largely introduced by coat type or their colour – and here we thought racism only affected humans.

After the Second World War, the shorthairs were almost wiped out but, they were revitalized with the help of other breeds and became known as the British or British Short hairs. They are now recognized by the American Cat Association since 1967 and were recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1980.

The Brit’s Personality

One of the reasons why the British Shorthairs is great pet to have is because it is placid. You don’t have to worry about the occasional jumping at your face running after a fly. It also tends to be very independent and interested in interactive toys with which it is able to entertain itself.

If you want a cat that cosies up to you, this might not be the best option for you. It loves being around you just not only you. She is a fiercely loyal cat but don’t confuse that for being attention hungry. If she needs to play, she will let you know. Otherwise she is all good by herself. Just make sure the bowl has goodies waiting for her.


British Short hairs are easy to groom thanks to the short coats and weekly brushing and combing should do the trick. You will rarely need to have it take a bath but once in a while is okay.

She will also need occasional brushing of her teeth at least once a week. You might also want to wipe the corners of the eyes with a clean cloth and check the ears for any wax build up. Like with any other cat breed, you shouldn’t use cotton swabs when cleaning the ears of the cat. Instead, use a cotton ball.

Health and longevity

British Short hairs are best kept as indoor only cats. There are many risks that cats face when they go outside but for the British Shorthairs, your main worry should be the crazy cat lady grabbing the cat to keep it for herself because of beautiful they are.

With proper care, the British Short hairs are able to weigh up to 17 pounds for males and up to 12 pounds for females and live up to 20 years.

The cat has a slow metabolism and one of the biggest problems in the breed is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which has not yet been solved and it is important to get the cat from breeders that ensure that cats with such problems are not used in breeding.

The British Short hair is like a small teddy bear with big round eyes and a rounded body full of cuddliness. While grey is their most common colour, you can get a British short hair in just about any colour depending on your preference.

We’ve all got that british short haired cat lover in our life haven’t we? Check out our article on our recommended british short hair cat gifts!

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