🐱 LIMITED TIME OFFER: Get a trial box for just £8.00£9.90, with free carbon-neutral shipping! 🐱


Are British Shorthair cats cuddly or aloof? Questions answered

Some cats demand our constant and undivided attention, wanting to spend every waking minute next to us or sleep curled up on our laps. Others prefer their beauty naps done in the privacy of their own bed. 

Where do teddy bear-like kitties belong on that spectrum? Are British Shorthair cats cuddly, or do they like to play hard to get? Untamed explains all about their personality and quirks so that you can decide whether this feline is a suitable companion for you.

Is your British Shorthair a lap cat?

Plain and simple—British Shorthairs are anything but lap cats. They are somewhat reserved felines—they value their space and privacy, and they will signal when they want to be left alone. These kitties are also very independent, which means you can leave them alone while you are at work without worrying they will devastate your home.

While they tolerate cuddles rather than wholeheartedly enjoy them, British Shorthairs are still affectionate and loyal felines—they have different ways of showing their devotion.

What are British Shorthairs like as pets?

There is a reason why British Shorthairs are one of the most popular cat breeds—their character is a delight. 

These kitties are:

  1. Affectionate in a unique way
  2. Friendly with other cats and animals
  3. Easy to train

How do British Shorthairs display affection?

I sleep in your spot because I love you.

Source: Kasya Shahovskaya

British Shorthairs are more for a low-key display of affection. Even though they aren't typical lap cats, they adore being around humans. These kitties form a strong bond with their cat parents, and they are friendly and gracious around guests. 

They are fine with a quick pet, but they prefer a less physical form of affection. You will know your kitty loves if they:

  • Follow you around the house and watch everything you are doing
  • Vocalise around you
  • Call you to join them, so they aren't alone
  • Curl up close to you when you sleep or sit down
  • Learn your schedule and wait for you at the door around the time you get back from work

These felines are pretty self-sufficient. They will love interacting with you, but if you are not there or don't have time to play, they will find a way to entertain themselves. Don't worry—your British Shorthair won't do anything naughty. This docile kitty will most likely nap in their favourite spot, look through the window, or play with their favourite toy. This stability and laid-back attitude make British Shorthairs perfect companions for any family.

How do British Shorthairs get along with other animals?

British Shorthairs are friendly and pleasant felines, so they appreciate the company—yours or the company of other animals. They are fantastic with other cats and dogs, as long as they are also cat-friendly since British Shorthairs don't like to get into trouble or cause a commotion. If someone is bothering them, they typically turn around and leave.

If you are introducing a new kitty to a household with a dog, you will have to arm yourself with patience to make sure the animals learn to get along. Until that happens, you won't have to worry if an overexcited doggo will get a slap on the snout for being too intrusive. 

If you want to get another feline, choosing a breed with the same composed and calm temperaments would be best.

How do British Shorthairs respond to training?

I feel useless today. Can we practice for the show tomorrow?

Source: John D

British Shorthairs are highly intelligent, but not in a braggy way. They won't show off their capabilities by breaking into your cabinets, stealing food, and getting into impossible places.

These kitties will dazzle you with their witts by demonstrating how quickly they can learn whatever you try to teach them. You will have an easy time potty training, they will quickly learn what a scratching post is for, and you will have a lot of fun playing all sorts of games with them. 

Your British Shorthair will also enjoy learning tricks, spending time with you constructively, and solving food puzzles. These are all great ways to ensure they get the cognitive stimulation they need to be entertained and happy.

What are British Shorthairs not comfortable with?

When you decide to bring a British Shorthair to your home, you need to accept them for who they are, which involves learning what your cat doesn't like. 

These felines don't feel comfortable if you:

  1. Insist on hugging them
  2. Pick them up
  3. Try to make them cuddle

Do British Shorthairs hate hugging?

British Shorthairs are adorable. It's understandable to want to hug these four-legged creatures that look like actual real-life teddy bears. No matter how strong that impulse is, it’s best to refrain from doing it. They prefer more distance, so you should allow them to enjoy your company in their own way.

If you insist on hugs and petting, you will drive this kitty away. While many other breeds will fight you if you go too far, a British Shorthair will remove themselves from the situation and calm their nerves on a scratching post. Your pushiness may lead to them being reluctant to come near you.

Why do British Shorthair cats hate being picked up?

Picking up your British Shorthair will have the same consequence as trying to hug them. In their view, trying to do it is like pulling their tail—uncomfortable and overly intrusive. Your kitty will patiently wait while you groom them, but picking them up without any reason and carrying them around is not welcome.

Can you train your British Shorthair to like cuddling?

We talked about the touching, but you don’t seem to listen. Now you will experience the power of the cold shoulder. 

Source: Josh Couch

You can make your kitty tolerate cuddles, but they will unlikely suddenly start enjoying them. Trying to teach your British Shorthair to accept such activities will most likely end in frustration, which can lead to anxiety and depression

Some people try to trick their kitties and pet them while eating or give them treats when they cuddle. These methods are pretty effective in teaching a feral cat to trust you, but if your British Shorthair doesn't like to sit in your lap for hours, there is little you can do to change their mind. 

How to be a good cat parent to your British Shorthair

If you want a stable, healthy, and low-maintenance feline companion, a British Shorthair is a perfect choice. Once you accept them for who they are and respect their boundaries, you will have a fantastic friend.

To be a good cat parent to them and ensure they live a long and happy life, you need to:

  • Give them plenty of attention—Although they don't like physical affection, British Shorthairs enjoy interacting with humans. Talk to them, acknowledge their presence, and play with them every day. Fun games that will make your kitty use their brain are a perfect way to keep them satisfied
  • Keep them active—Playtime is crucial because it will help your kitty get the exercise they need. These felines are prone to weight gain later in life because they tend to become passive and lead a more sedentary life. Ensuring they are always active will help you keep them at a healthy weight
  • Groom them regularly—British Shorthairs don't need complex grooming rituals. All you need to do is:
    • Brush them once a week (or twice during moulting season)
    • Bathe them every 6–8 weeks (or more frequently if you are an allergy sufferer)
    • Clean their eyes, ears, and teeth regularly (dental hygiene is paramount because these kitties are prone to gum problems)
    • Trim their nails if necessary
  • Feed them a healthy diet—Good nutrition is crucial for feline health. British Shorthairs are generally healthy, but like all other cats, they can develop many lifestyle-related illnesses (such as diabetes and joint issues caused by obesity). A well-balanced and well-portioned diet will ensure your kitty gets all the nutrients they need

What's a suitable diet for your British Shorthair?

The best diet for your British Shorthair is close to what they would naturally eat. While felines in the wild catch small animals, such as mice, birds, slugs, and similar, domesticated cats should rely on lean meat and fish to get the nutrients they need. It means that the cat food you feed them—whether it's wet, dry, raw, or a combination of more types—should have:

Nutrient group


Recommended amount

Animal protein

  • Serves as the primary source of energy
  • Ensures muscle growth
  • Maintains healthy organ function
  • Provides essential amino acids, such as:
  • Delivers all the necessary vitamins and minerals

At least 50%

Animal fat

  • Ensures a healthy skin and coat
  • Delivers healthy fatty acids, such as:
    • Linoleic acid
    • Arachidonic acid
    • Omega-3 acid
    • Omega-6 acid
  • Promotes an efficient immune response
  • Adds irresistible flavour

Up to 20%

What should cats eat, and what should they avoid?

Feed your British Shorthair meat- or fish-based diet, and they might even honour you with a cuddle.

Image (c) Untamed

Cats should get their protein from high-quality meat and fish. Vegetable protein is not suitable because felines can't digest it properly, so it usually causes digestive problems, such as:

Plant protein can't provide cats with the nutrients they need because they lack the necessary enzymes to absorb them. You can see that from the biological values of different protein sources, as they measure the efficiency with which felines metabolise amino acids. Check them out in the table below:

Protein type

Biological value

Animal protein:


Vegetable protein:


Is Untamed a good option for your British Shorthair?

This is so delish, I’ll let you rub my belly for like three seconds… maybe… tomorrow… for sure! We’ll talk about it. 

Image (c) Untamed

Ordering Untamed is the best choice you can make as a cat parent. 

Our recipes are:

How to order your first batch of Untamed

Signing up for healthy meals for your British Shorthair is easy. All you need to do is go online and:

  1. Take our Try Now quiz
  2. Pick the products for your kitty
  3. Place the order

The package will arrive in a day, free of shipping charge. Once your kitty finishes all the dishes and chooses what they like the most, we will send monthly supplies to your home so that you never run out of healthy meals for your feline friend. 

Check out what cat parents whose felines have already switched to Untamed report:



First week

  • Easy digestion
  • Less messy litter box

Second month

Fourth month

Long term