English Shorthair Cat: Get to Know the Breed

The English shorthair cat, also known as the British shorthair cat, is a popular family pet. Mostly due to their pleasant, cuddly, and loving demeanor that they bring into the household.

There isn’t too much that is out of the ordinary about this breed that should raise any red flags when considering whether to adopt. However, they are their own breed, meaning they have their own special personalities and care needs. Which means it's important to know a little more about the English shorthair kitten as well as the adult version of the cat, before adopting. 

Where Did the English Shorthair Cat Come From?

Some cat historians will tell you that the British shorthair was initially introduced to Britain, long ago when the Romans invaded Britain. They say that the Romans brought these felines along with them to help keep rodents out of their food supplies. Once the Romans eventually left and went back home, they left many of these cats behind, and the rest was history.

Just after World War I, British Shorthair breeders in England began breeding these cats with Persians, resulting in a fluffier version of the British Shorthair (also known as the British Longhair).

You may recognize this fluffy British Shorthair breed as the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, or even as the spunky Puss in Boots from the animated series. 

Once World War II rolled around, this breed of cat was almost entirely wiped out, just like many other breeds of both cats and dogs around the world at this time. Between the turmoil from the wartime and then a wave of distemper drastically decreasing the number of cats as well as dogs, this breed took a serious hit around this period of time. The breed has since been revived around the world, thanks to English shorthair breeders, and can be found residing in loving homes around the world. 

What Kind of Personality Does the English Shorthair Cat Have?

The British Shorthair loves attention but won’t pester you for it day in and day out. They are a laid back, easy-going, and friendly breed of cat that is perfect for almost any family household. They just love to be around their human owner. You can consider them to be your mini shadow, as they are likely to trail behind you around the house and pick a spot to settle for a bit in whatever room you end up in. 

As kittens, they can be full of energy, as expected, but typically will begin to settle around one year of age or so. However, the male British Shorthair cats are known to have a goofy personality and will, on occasion, run around like a maniac for no real reason at all. Overall, they are not very active cats. The British Shorthair is more of a couch potato than they are anything else. 

How do I Care for an English Shorthair Cat?

Cat care of a British shorthair is fairly easy. The English shorthair tabby, for instance, will rarely need a bath or any sort of intensive grooming. Taking a brush to their fur coat is a good idea, to help remove any loose hairs and keep them from flying around your home.

However, if you have a British longhair, with a fur coat similar to that of a Persian, you may need to invest more time into keeping them well groomed. 

Otherwise their upkeep is the same as you might do with any other breed of cat. Their nails will need attention every so often, especially if they are not using a scratching post. You’ll also want to inspect the insides of their ears on a regular basis, just to make sure there is no redness or other issues going on in them. 

What Colors Can I Find the English Shorthair in?

The British Shorthair cat can be found in a wide range of fur colors and even patterns. Their colors range from blue, gold, white, and even silver with a Tabby pattern present in some cases. The solid blue color is the classic and one of the more common colors that you will find this breed in. The blue coat is often accompanied by a deep yellow eye color. 

The British Shorthair can also be found in a beautiful solid Lilac color as well as a pitch black and solid white. All of which are incredibly unique and special. Black and red tortie or chocolate and red tortie color combinations are also shades of fur that you can find this breed of cat sporting. 


The blue English shorthair cat with deep yellow eyes is a classic and easily distinguishable breed of cat. However, they can be found and bred in a variety of different colors, from white to gold with varying color patterns thrown in. All with the same rounded ears and round head of the British Shorthair.  

Their history is a sad one, of surviving many wars and plagues. But, in the end the British Shorthair was able to thrive and repopulate. Becoming a beloved family cat in the homes of thousands of families around the globe. 

How long do English shorthair cats live?

Generally, the English Shorthair cat lives a long and healthy 12-20 years of life with its loving family, given their health remains well and their home environment is a loving and nurturing one. Their life expectancy is actually longer than most other short haired breeds of cats on average.

How much is a British shorthair cat?

To adopt a British shorthair cat, you may spend a maximum of $100. However, if you plan to purchase a purebred British shorthair cat from a breeder, you could be facing a heftier bill, upwards of $1,500 depending on the breeder that you go through.

How long do British shorthair cats live?

The average age that a British shorthair cat is known to live is somewhere in the range of 9 to 15 years. But some British shorthair cats, depending on their health and care taking have been known to live up to 20 long and happy years.

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Written by Leo Roux

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