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  • Valérie Mounier

All about the British Shorthair cat breed

Mis à jour : avr. 26

This is a typical example of a breed born in the wilderness, because the British Shorthair appeared in the English countryside. A British Shorthair won the first feline exhibition in 1871 at Crystal Palace in London.


This cat born in the English countryside almost disappeared during the Second World War. Breeders then resorted to several breeds, but mainly the Persian one, to revive breed and round up the British type. This quickly led to the emergence of the British Longhair with the introduction of Persian’s longhair gene.


As for character, the British Shorthair is as round as its physique; it's a teddy bear cat, very kind, very friendly, a perfect family cat. But it is not a cat that likes to be held in one’s arms, and that is actually a good thing, considering its weight. He prefers to share your daily life, following your activities, sitting next to you.

He has a big heart and easily loves all members of his family. It is perfectly suited to apartment life, but if you offer it a garden, it turns out to be a very good hunter, as it also appreciates the outside, which must be fully secure to protect it from accidents and other bad encounters.

On the physical side, the British Shorthair is a short-haired cat with a thick fur that looks like a wool rug that you'll love to stroke. The British is famous for its big cheeks that should not be confused with the jowls of breeding cats. The famous cheeks are those little hairs cut from the face, that gives it an apple-shaped head, that perfectly characterizes British cats. The ears are medium to small, the eyes are large and round, the chin is strong and the nose must be present.

The British is neither a Persian nor an Exotic with a tiny nose sunk between the two eyes. The laws currently in preparation in France, and many other countries aim to prohibit some physical characteristics that may hinder animal welfare. We will speak more about this in another article.


The body must be semi Cobby, that means neither too long nor too short. It is powerful and muscular, standing on strong legs neither too high nor too low. The body ends with a thick, short tail. The British according to their sex, their lineage, or even their color, weigh between three kilos (3 to 6 kg for females) and 8 kg (4 to 8 kg for males) but whatever the size, the look should be closer to this standard.


Chaton british shorthair bicolor bleu et blanc

Regarding colors, the most classic is blue but today, like the Persian breed, all colors exist offering exceptional diversity in the breed.

There are two genes that can determine the color of a plain cat:

  • the base color gene (in their full expression)

  • the dilution gene

The colors in their full expression are black, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger and white.


A gene can be expressed that reduces its expression; the cats are then diluted in color.

  • Black turns blue,

  • Chocolate becomes lilac,

  • Cinnamon becomes fawn,

  • Ginger becomes cream,

  • White doesn't change.

In addition to that, many other genes, such as bicolor, tabby, color point, silver genes, which we will detail later, can be expressed and cause a change in the cat's dress.

A future article will explain in detail the colors.


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