Ten things you need to know about the British shorthair cat breed before you buy one

Ten things you need to know about the British shorthair cat breed before you buy one

Breed Facts

The British shorthair cat breed is one that most cat lovers have heard of, and they’re also of course a source of great pride in the UK, being as they were first founded and developed right here in the British Isles and are something of a national treasure as a result of this.

Today, the British shorthair is a really popular pet all over the world, and they can be found on virtually every continent, thanks to the combined appeals of their good looks and kind temperaments.

This is a cat breed that is a great fit for a wide variety of different types of owners, including those looking for an indoor-only cat; but every cat breed is unique, and anyone considering buying a British shorthair is cautioned to do plenty of research into the breed as a whole before committing to a purchase.

With this in mind, this article will tell you ten things you might need to know about the British shorthair cat breed, before you commit to buying one. Read on to learn more.

They’re the most popular pedigree cat breed in the UK

As you might expect from our best known homegrown native cat breed, the British shorthair is the most popular pedigree cat breed in the UK overall, beating out 63 other different cat breeds and types to achieve their ranking.

However, even given their top spot, British shorthairs are still outnumbered by moggies by a significant number!

There’s also a longhaired variant

There is also a British longhair cat breed, also developed here in the UK and which is a close relative to the British shorthair, and which shares a lot of their core traits. However, the longhaired variant requires a lot more coat maintenance, which is minimal for the British shorthair in comparison.

The British shorthair costs around £600 for a pedigree kitten

If you’re looking to buy a British shorthair cat, their pricing norms are around the median for pedigree cats of all breeds across the board, and they’re not one of the most eyebrow-raising of breeds in terms of average sale prices.

The average asking price for pedigree cats of the breed is £606 each, and for unregistered or non-pedigree cats of the breed, £441 each, based on stated prices from Pets4Homes adverts placed over the course of the last year.

Their most well-known and popular coat shade is British blue

The British shorthair breed can be seen in nine different breed-standard colours, and by far the best-known and most popular of these is the shade known as “British blue.” This is a dark, steely grey shade with a noticeable lustre or sheen to it that is very attractive.

They’re one of the world’s oldest pedigree cat breeds

The British shorthair is one of the world’s oldest recognised pedigree cat breeds, and it is thought that their history might go back as far as the first century AD.

Widely accepted theories on the origins of the breed state that Roman invaders brought domesticated Egyptian cats with them to Britain, which subsequently interbred with local populations of European wildcats, forming the foundations of the breed we know and love today.

Their natures are generally calm and kind

British shorthairs have a reputation for being relatively calm and laidback cats, which are personable, kind and nice to have around. This means that they tend to be suitable for people who wish to keep their cats indoors without access to outside if they wish, assuming that the cat is used to this from kittenhood. They are also great indoor/outdoor cats too.

The breed inspired the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland!

The British shorthair cat is the cat breed that inspired the world-famous grinning Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland fame, and the fairly stocky build, broad head, and upturned lips of the breed bears this out!

British shorthairs are popular cats for TV and film use

Because they’re so handsome looking and also generally laid back and not overly prone to stress, the British shorthair cat breed is one of the most popular choices cast in films, on TV, and in adverts in the media. Once you know this fact, or if you own a cat of the breed, you will probably spot them all over the place when cats are used in the media and for ads!

The breed has some health challenges

The British shorthair breed as a whole has some health challenges, which all prospective owners are advised to learn about before making a final choice. These include a heart problem called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and also polycystic kidney disease.

Whilst the breed is widely considered by its proponents to be long lived, statistical data from English veterinary clinics provides the breed’s average lifespan as 11.8 years.

They are generally a sound choice for a first-time cat owner

The British shorthair cat breed is widely considered to be one of the less challenging pedigree cat breeds to own and live with, and as such, it is generally a sound choice for consideration by the first-time cat owner.

However, choosing a pet of any type is not a decision to enter into lightly, and anyone considering buying a cat of the breed is cautioned to do plenty of research, talk to lots of other owners, and meet as many cats of the breed as possible before committing to a purchase.



Pets for studWanted pets

Accessories & services

Knowledge hub


Support & safety portal
Pets for saleAll Pets for sale