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British Shorthair cats—all you need to know in one place

Round body, friendly but no-nonsense attitude, cute face, and low-drama demeanour—is there anything more a human can want from a British Shorthair? No wonder they are among the most popular breeds worldwide—these ultimate Brits, as they are sometimes called, are ideal feline companions for any household.

Untamed shares all you need to know about these docile cats. You will read about their appearance, temperament, health, and care so that you can create a perfect home for your new furry friend.

British Shorthairs—main traits

What you need to know about me is that I’m gorgeous. 

Source: Pixabay

British Shorthairs are veritable furballs—round, chubby, and plushy. They have a thick, dense coat that can come in various colours and patterns and are blessed with good health and a long life span.

Here is an overview of the most prominent British Shorthair cat characteristics:




12–14 inches


7–17 pounds

Coat length



  • White
  • Black/ebony
  • Red/orange
  • Blue/grey
  • Cream/beige/tan
  • Chocolate/brown/sable
  • Cinnamon
  • Fawn
  • Lilac


  • Solid
  • Bi-colour
  • Tabby
  • Calico
  • Colour point


  • Rounded body
  • Broad chest
  • Thick legs


  • Slightly brachiocephalic
  • Round
  • Chubby cheeks


  • Orange-amber (most common)
  • Green
  • Copper
  • Amber
  • Blue


Moderate—if regularly groomed, they can be good pets for allergy sufferers


15–20 years

British Shorthair temperament

Few cats can measure up to the delight that a British Shorthair's temperament is. These kitties are:

  1. Independent but affectionate
  2. Intelligent but not braggy
  3. Fond of routine
  4. Active but not boisterous

Independent and affectionate

This sofa is heavenly! Your lap… Not so much. 

Source: Kasya Shahovskaya

British Shorthairs are pretty independent, which means you can leave them alone without worrying that they will wreak havoc on your home, but they are also exceptionally loving and loyal. Although it will take them some time to warm up to you, once they do, you won't find a more devoted and affectionate feline than your British Shorthair. They will follow you around and watch what you are doing with utmost interest, never leaving your side. They are also incredible around strangers—they won't bolt in a panic nor behave like divas and take over the entire room.

Your plush kitty will form a lovely relationship with well-behaved kids and other cats or dogs, especially if you socialise them while they are still a kitten. They will thrive if you give them plenty of attention, but don't push it—although they won't throw a tantrum at being held and hugged too much, they won't enjoy it. Moderation is the word, so if you want a kitty who will spend hours on your lap, you should consider adopting a different breed.

Unpretentiously intelligent

British Shorthairs are highly intelligent. They will not try to figure out how to open the fridge, rubbish bin, or a cabinet and steal food they shouldn't eat, although they could. These felines are much more likely to exercise their brain with an interactive toy or a food puzzle. 

This breed is also a breeze to train. You will quickly teach them to:

Creatures of habit

My dinner is late. If I were a lion, you wouldn’t dare to disrespect me like that!

Source: Stephan Nadraha

You could probably set the time by your British Shorthair. They love to have a set routine and pre-set feeding, playing, and grooming times. Since they are prone to growing chubby, it's hardly surprising they will learn when they should get their lunch, but these felines learn a lot more.

You will notice your cat waiting for you in front of the door when you come back from work—your devoted kitty will always know when you should come back and greet you with a happy meow.

Active but in moderation

British Shorthairs are moderately active. As kittens, they are exceptionally energetic but tend to calm down as they get older. Instead of performing acrobatic acts for you as many of their cousins would, they prefer a more laid-back lifestyle. It's probably for the best, given that they can be pretty clumsy and tend to trip if they run and jump too fast.

Although British Shorthairs remain playful and kitten-like as adults, they also adopt a more sedentary lifestyle as they get older. Females especially tend to become couch potatoes while boys keep some of their boisterous nature. They can behave like absolute goofballs, and since they are bigger felines, you may think that a herd of baby elephants is running through your house rather than a (not-so-)delicate kitty.

British Shorthair health issues

British Shorthairs are quite a healthy breed. Because of a slightly brachycephalic head shape, many assume they would have breathing or eye problems, but the truth is they don't suffer from any chronic issues.

There are only a few illnesses these felines are more susceptible to, including:

  • Haemophilia B—It’s a disorder where blood can't clot properly, leading to excessive bleeding. Affected cats typically show no signs of this problem until they get injured or have to undergo an operation but may experience:
    • Lameness
    • Swelling and bruising
    • Weakness
    • Lack of appetite
    • Fever
    • Shortness of breath
    • Depression
  • Polycystic kidney disease—This inherited condition causes cysts to form in the kidneys and sometimes the liver. The cysts grow as the cat gets older and can cause renal failure in extreme cases. Although there is no cure for this disease, a proper diet and medication can help manage the condition and improve the feline's quality of life
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—This condition predominantly affects older cats, especially if they are overweight. It is characterised by the abnormal thickening of the heart muscle and can cause blood clot formation that can block major arteries and even lead to hind leg paralysis. Symptoms usually include:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Lethargy
    • Fainting
  • GingivitisDental issues are common in British Shorthair, but they are easy to manage with good dental hygiene and a suitable diet
  • Obesity—The only problem British Shorthair can really struggle with is weight management. Due to their sedentary lifestyle and a particular fondness for food and long naps, they are prone to obesity, which can cause diabetes, heart disease, liver issues, joint problems, and similar problems. It's essential to ensure your kitty gets enough exercise and adapt portions to their activity levels to avoid packing unnecessary pounds

British Shorthair care

I just need to clean my nails, and then we can sleep a bit more.

Source: Eric Han

On top of being adorable, friendly, healthy, and laid-back, British Shorthairs are also easy to take care of. All they need is:

  1. A fun and stimulating living space
  2. Regular grooming
  3. Appropriate diet

How to create a fun environment for your British Shorthair

Like most other cats, British Shorthairs need cognitive stimulation and space where they can be active since these are primarily indoor cats. To create an enriching home for your feline, you need to:

  • Install perches for your kitty to jump on and observe from a height, which is their favourite activity
  • Get a cat tree where your furry companion can play, scratch, and jump
  • Provide a scratching post or a scratching mat so they can trim their nails on it instead of ruining your furniture
  • Buy plenty of interactive toys, such as electronic mice and floppy fish, as well as food puzzles to keep them entertained
  • Spend time playing with your kitty every day

How to groom your British Shorthair

Since British Shorthairs don’t have a long coat and shed occasionally, their grooming needs are fairly simple. Refer to the table below to see what you need to do:

What to do

How to do it


Use a brush or a comb and brush your feline’s fur in the direction of hair growth once or twice a week

Teeth brushing

Use a cat-safe toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your kitty’s teeth as often as you can


Bathe your British Shorthair using a high-quality shampoo every 6–8 weeks

Nail clipping

Use specialised nail clippers and cut only the very tip of the claw to avoid hurting the nerve

Eye cleaning

Clean your cat’s eyes with a cotton ball dipped in water or a cleaning solution whenever you bathe them or when necessary

Ears cleaning

After a bath, clean your kitty’s ears with a piece of gauze dipped in a cleaning solution, gently wiping the inner part of the ear outward

How to feed your British Shorthair

You know my peculiar taste. All I want is utter deliciousness! 

Image (c) Untamed

Choosing adequate food for your British Shorthair is critical given their propensity to weight gain. In general, the best food for felines should mirror their natural eating habits, which means it should contain:

  • Plenty of animal protein—Meat and fish are the only suitable sources of essential amino acids (such as taurine, arginine, and lysine) necessary for strong muscles, organ health, and good immune response. Plant proteins won't cut it because felines can't digest them properly. Besides that, plant ingredients can cause stomach problems, such as diarrhoea and vomiting

Good cat food should contain at least 50% of animal protein from high-quality whole meat and fish, so you should look for ingredients such as:

  • A moderate amount of animal fat—Fat gives cat food a delicious taste and texture that even fussy kitties will approve and contains fatty acids that ensure a healthy coat in felines. Good sources of fat are ham, bacon, and pork, but be sure to keep their content under 20%
  • A minimal amount of carbs—If the cat food you choose contains big amounts of grains and vegetables, it usually means that there is less meat or fish. You should avoid products containing:
  • Sufficient waterIn nature, felines get water by eating freshly killed prey, such as birds, mice, lizards, and other small animals. Since cats don't feel the need to drink water, you need to pick food that is hydrating enough to help them avoid health issues, including kidney disease, UTIs, cystitis and bladder stones. For this reason, wet, raw, semi-moist, and homemade food is a better option than dry food

Untamed—all your British Shorthair needs from food

Untamed is your best bet at providing your British Shorthair with the nutrition they need

Our jelly and gravy dishes contain top-quality, ethically sourced meat and fish, prepared in a way that makes even cat's who dislike wet food ask for more. 

Every Untamed meal is:

  1. High in proteinOur recipes contain twice as much animal protein as most other products on the market
  2. Vet-formulated—Our dishes provide your kitty with the optimal animal protein-to-fat ratio to ensure they stay healthy and slim, whether they are a growing kitten, lazy adult, neutered male, pregnant queen, or a senior struggling to keep muscle tone
  3. Allergen-free—We don't use any known allergens and have created some single-source-protein dishes for cats who struggle with food allergies

Order Untamed and join our clowder today! Make sure you're taking the best care of your British Shorthair!

What can you expect from Untamed?

Are you bragging about my lean bod again?

Image (c) Untamed

Many happy cat parents whose feline friends have already switched to Untamed say you can expect fantastic results in no time. 

Check the table below for more info:


The Untamed effect

After a week

Within two months

  • Great mood
  • Levelled energy
  • More muscle definition

Within four months


How to order

Here's how to order your tailor-made starter pack:

  1. Take the Try Now quiz and share some info about your feline
  2. Choose products your British Shorthair will enjoy
  3. Place your order

Your kitty's order will arrive at your doorstep in a day, and you can let them taste all the delicacies. When they pick their favourites, we will make sure you get regular monthly supplies! If you need to change, postpone, or cancel your order, you can do it easily from your account.