British Domestic Shorthair

British Domestic Shorthair

The British Shorthair is the most popular pedigree breed of cat in the UK. It is also one of the most ancient, potentially dating back as far as the first century AD.

It’s likely that when the Romans invaded Britain in 55 B.C, they brought with them their domestic cats. These went on to breed with European cats; the result of which became the British Shorthair as we know it today.

It’s possible that the breed’s ancestors also include the Persian cat, which was added to the gene pool later to improve coat thickness. A large and robust cat with a short, dense coat, the British Shorthair hasn’t changed much from the initial type.

Its gentle and loving nature, along with its inherent hardiness and sound health, made it a popular choice with all groups of people, and in the nineteenth century selective breeding of the British Shorthair began in earnest to harness these desirable traits.

Often described as the ‘most laid-back breed of cat,’ British Shorthairs are known to get along well with children and other pets, and are happy to live exclusively indoors if given company.

Despite pictures of British Shorthairs often depicting the blue variety of cat, they come in many colour variations, including cream, chocolate, black, silver, cinnamon, red and fawn. They also come in tabby and tortie varieties.


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Our British Domestic Shorthair owners' thoughts

Added on 31/01/2017
Joined 31/01/2017
From Warwickshire , United Kingdom

I own a British short haired called Kingsley he is 18months old he is the most loving cat l have ever had he's such a character always gives me kisses and loves cuddles

Added on 19/07/2017
Joined 19/07/2017
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

Poppy was going to a rescue centre the next day if I hadn't heard about her needing a new home. She was quite timid and I think she had been teased by children at her old home. Now she is loving, confident and friendly with everyone at the retirement flats where I live. She is very 'chatty' and never fails to let me know when she wants her meals or treats.

Added on 06/11/2017
Joined 09/09/2012
From Essex, United Kingdom

Loving, easy to look after, affectionate but do not like being picked up - prefer all four paws on the ground! Not vocal or demanding, love having their bellies stroked while laying on their backs with all legs up in the air!
Purrfect companions.

Added on 11/12/2017
Joined 11/12/2017
From United Kingdom

'Babu' Babushka Cheshire was welcomed in to our home on 06/12/17. She has settled in surprisingly well, only hiding under the bed on the first night. Since then, she's sat on every surface to sleep, clean and purr on and has nominated kitchen as her favourite spot, sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, whilst us humans walk around her. Needless to say, Babu has shown her approval to stay and enjoys playing games, being stroke. I came across non-grain food for Persian cats, has any body with British Shorthair owners ever used this product? Your thoughts would be greatly received.

Added on 31/03/2018
Joined 26/11/2017
From South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

My very handsome man is called Solomon. He was a rescue cat but now hes definitely found his forever home. He's such a character. He loves to chat to you, he's always meowing at you about everything. He loves a good brush and a cat massage, and he adores his food!

Added on 28/04/2018
Joined 28/04/2018
From Dorset, United Kingdom

I had a harry a grey shorthair for 18 years . He rocked . The whole street new him . I’d get Xmas cards addressed to him ! He was so loving and kind. He’d sit near me always . Loved lying in his back . We still miss him .
I’ve had cocoa a female all chocolate coloured bsh for 7 years now . A little more timid than harry but very loyal and loving . She likes routine and does same thing everyday . This includes finding e at bedtime and waiting for me to go to bed so me can cuddle . But always on her terms and no more than 20 mins when she’ll move away. Typical of breed is she likes to lie on her back too.

Added on 03/06/2018
Joined 21/04/2015
From Newport, United Kingdom

I have to short hair and one long haired cat. They are extremely loyal and very funny. I’ve found mine act more like dogs than cats guarding the garden and house even growling at noises they don’t like! 😂. They are very affectionate and follow me all around my garden and house. They love to be free spirits and I have cat flaps in both back door and outside sheds so as they can choose where they want to be. The long haired is 14 and when she was I’ll a few months ago the other two would not leave her side. They are so sensitive to mood changes and hate it if I’m upset. The perfect pet in my opinion.

Added on 28/07/2018
Joined 02/10/2016
From Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom

My two girls are very vocal, they love a stroked one hates to be brushed & the other one likes noting more than a 10 minute brush, but do not like to sit on your lap & to be carried around. they are very loving cats and show their appreciation when fed, they will come looking for you if they feel a bit lonely just to check you are still around.

Added on 19/08/2018
Joined 26/07/2017
From Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Poppy was found as a tiny blue eyed wild bundle of claws sorry I meant fur at the bottom of my garden. It took months of coaxing sometimes sitting till 2/3am with the dining room window open to gain her trust (she is still scared of being shut in). She can be very loving when she wants.

Added on 27/10/2018
Joined 15/06/2015
From Surrey, United Kingdom

We have a Ginger Tom named Harry, 8 months old now, born in Feb. Unbelievable markings, very mischievous and fun, just like having a toddler.
Quiet a character and very happy. Our last ginger cat Charlie lived 18 years, we hope Harry does the same.

Added on 16/03/2019
Joined 16/03/2019
From West Midlands, United Kingdom

For over thirty years, our home has never been without the companionship of a cat. Boo, our current cat is a most affectionate animal, who arrived with us after her owner, a neighbour had passed away. Boo was a well loved & cared for animal, that is what I am sure has given her such an affectionate nature.
Most animals don't ask for a lot. A bit of warmth, love & caring along with a bit of food, which by return, they give us the pleasure wanting to live with us, with their sense of belonging. That cannot be bought at any price.

Added on 04/05/2019
Joined 28/03/2007
From United Kingdom

I have had 5 BSH cats and they have had all different personalities my favourite was Archie he loved laying around my head on my pillows. He has been the only one that had a heart condition and we were told that he would only live a few years but when he died he was 14 years old but it wasn’t his heart condition but a mass in his head and I still really miss him .
We have Sammy and he has made my husband his mummy and goes to him for reassuring and licks his arm until he feels safe again and he knows he can get some special treats

Added on 06/07/2019
Joined 23/03/2011
From South Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

I am owned by 4 BSH cats, each of whom has their own very distinct personality. Cosmo is all-black and was a rescue from Romania. He is extremely vocal and acts more like a dog, following me round the house. He lets me know when he wants cuddles (and that's often!) by trying to climb up my leg, and he then lies in my arms like a baby, bless him. Tina, 15, is my old lady - she's now very frail and thin, but she's still active and as nosey as ever. She was heading for a rescue centre when I heard of her. Maggie was also from a rescue charity, she's nearly 8 now, and acts quite aloof; she pretends she doesn't need/want company, human or cat, but misses us if we're not there! Finally Moses (we didn't name her) came from a house round the corner - she decided she didn't want to stay with her old owners and started living in my kitchen. All my other kitties are indoors-only and, but Moses wants to be outside, so I ended up installing a cat flap for her, to let her come and go as she pleases. The door from our kitchen to the hall has to stay closed at all times so the others can't escape! I wouldn't be without any of them and miss them terribly when I go on holiday - I just got back from one 2 days ago and being reunited with them was a tearful (me) event :)

Added on 07/06/2022
Joined 27/01/2022
From Durham, United Kingdom

Jenny is an RSPCA rescue, found in a dog kennel in the middle of a field with a brood of Kittens. We don't know her actual age but the vet who checked her over estimated her to be around 18 months when found. Typically the Kittens all went very quickly, leaving mum all alone at the RSPCA Cat hub. Why, I can't for the life of me understand, because I have never met such a loving and devoted cat who rarely needs telling off. Her favourite pastime is people watching which she does from either my bedroom window kitchen window or patio doors. She always greets people who come to the door and always comes and says goodnight before settling down on the end of my bed. Considering Jenny was a stray she has never shown any inclination to either want to run out of an open front door or eagerness to get out. Oh and in case you are wondering yes she does have a cheeky (very) side.