European Shorthair Cat

The European Shorthair Cat is an old breed that has always been cherished for its hunting skills. This is a low maintenance cat with fun and playful spirit. It loves its people, but it doesn’t demand a lot of attention. Their laid-back personality and loyal nature make them perfect family companions.
European Shorthair Cat

European Shorthair Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Medium. Chubby body.

Intelligence: High.

Exercise Needs: Needs no exercise.

Ability to Adapt: High. Adjusts quickly.

Shedding: Low shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 15-20 years.

Price: From $50 up to $1000.

Weight: From 7-15 lbs.

Playfulness: Ideal playmate.

Social Skills: Good with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Once a week.

Health: Excellent. No health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: No.

The European Shorthair Cat is one of the oldest breeds of domestic cats. This is a medium-size cat with a solid muscular body, and short dense coat. The coat comes in a variety of different colors.

Like its ancestors, this cat has great hunting skills. Hence, this is a mouse hunting machine that will keep any home pest-free!

Generally, they have an active, playful, and independent personality and love receiving affection. However, this isn’t an attention-seeking breed, and your cat won’t pester you to be cuddled.

They adapt well to change and new situations. However, they can be a bit shy when meeting strangers. With a playful and active spirit, this breed is a great option for homes with older children.

Where Did European Shorthair Cat Breed Originate?

The origins of this breed can be traced back to about 2000 years in Rome. Their ancestors tagged along with Roman invading legions traveling across Europe.

They were excellent hunters and Roman soldiers valued them because they kept their food stores pest-free. From that time on, people revered these cats and they found ways into their homes.

The modern European Shorthair first appeared in Sweden where they soon became popular because of their friendly and playful personalities.

The breed remains very popular in Scandinavia and is even considered the national cat of Finland. This breed developed on its own.

Meaning that breeders were not involved in the creation of these cats.

Despite their distinctive traits, these cats and the British Shorthair Cat were considered the same breed. The chubbier appearance, thicker coat, and shorter muzzle of the British Shorthair Cats are the major differences between the two breeds.

In 1982, the Federation Internationale Feline recognized the European Shorthair as a separate breed.

This breed looks a lot like a common house cat and is often confused with Domestic Shorthair Cats. However, this is a pedigree breed, and the ancestry of every cat can be traced.

What Does the European Shorthair Cat Look Like?

The European Shorthair is a medium-sized cat with a muscular body. They have a broad well-muscled chest, strong legs with rounded paws, and a tail that is thick at the base.

The head is rounded, longer than its wide and ends with medium-size ears. The eyes are also rounded, well-set and can be of any color.

Their thick short coat comes in different colors and patterns.

As per size standards, these cats should be muscular, medium-sized to large body with a broad and well-muscled chest.

The body should be long, but not stout and to give the overall appearance of medium with no single feature being enlarged or reduced.

European Shorthair Cat Colors

The straight and dense coat of the European Shorthair can come in a variety of different colors and patterns.

All-natural colors are permitted. So, you can find this breed in Black, Red, Blue, Cream, White or any other color. When it comes to patterns, these can come in solid, tabby, tortoiseshell, bicolor, tricolor or marbled.

However, FIFe standard doesn’t allow the combination of tabby with white or smoke with white.

The eyes of the European Shorthair always correspond to its coat color and can be yellow, green, or orange. Blue or odd-eyed cats are also permitted if they have a white coat.

European Shorthair Cat Personality Traits

Since this breed isn’t the result of controlled breeding programs, the temperaments of these cats can vary. Thus, it is said that every Shorthair has an individual personality and is a story for itself.

All cats belonging to this breed are friendly, funny, and active.

This is an independent breed that likes affection and human companionship. However, they aren’t demanding and won’t constantly follow you around.

They are content with any amount of affection you are willing to give them and will return it tenfold.

This is an active breed that needs ample space to run and jump around. So, you should get a cat tree. The tree will give your cat a chance to exercise and provide resting areas.

This breed is famous for its excellent hunting skills and Shorthairs like to chase prey around the house. If you don’t have any real mice your cat can run after, she will gladly chase you instead!

A mouse toy is an excellent option and would help your cat practice its hunting skills. This way you can keep her entertained and exercised.

This is a playful breed that needs a lot of toys, otherwise, it can become erratic.


The independent and confident Shorthair won’t mind being alone at home. Therefore, this breed is an excellent choice if you have long working hours.

Shorthairs make loyal companions and are highly devoted to their owners and families. However, they can be wary of strangers and become nervous in their presence.

In cases like these, it is best to provide your cat with a hiding place, where she can feel safe. A cat house or condo can be just the right spot for your cat to retreat in stressful situations.

European Shorthair Cat Behavior

Since this breed developed on its own, it is a bit difficult to pin down behavioral issues for the breed.

A problem that is often seen in Shorthairs is that they are very territorial when it comes to other cats. This often leads to cat fights, hissing, and spraying inside the house.

However, you can avoid these issues completely by socializing your Shorthair while it is still a kitten.

Doing this will help your cat become more comfortable around other cats and prevent unnecessary injuries.

Are European Shorthair Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

This is a highly adaptable breed. These cats can handle changes in the environment quite easily. Generally, this is a laid-back breed that can adapt to any lifestyle and makes a great companion.

This is an active breed that likes games that mimic the hunt. Get a toy set for cats and spend some time every day playing with your cat.

Shorthairs are more than able to entertain themselves if you aren’t around, but they do need means to do so. The fun-loving European Shorthair needs a lot of toys to stay active and exercised.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

The playful and friendly European Shorthair makes a great addition to homes with older children. It will make a loyal companion and be an ideal playmate to your kid.

Get your cat interactive toys and teach your child how to play with the cat using them. This breed gets along nicely with dogs if they are properly introduced.

However, they are very territorial and can have problems accepting other cats.

They will get along with other felines only if they are the top cat of the household. If you want to get another cat, consider a breed with a gentle nature that won’t pose a threat to their domain.

Being a funny and active breed, they like to play a lot. This cat will need toys that will activate its body and mind. Get a food maze to keep them entertained.

These cats need lot of stimuli and thrive in homes with a lot of toys. Try to provide a variety for your cat and play with her for 15 minutes every day.

General Health and Potential Risks

Thanks to a diverse gene pool, the European Shorthair has very good health. There are no specific health problems linked to this breed.

However, completely white European Shorthairs with blue eyes can be born deaf. This isn’t a breed-related issue and can happen to all cats that have white coats and blue eyes.

Because of strong hunting instincts, this breed has tendencies to wander around. If left to roam outdoors, they are at risk of feline transmitted diseases.

Furthermore, your cat might end up in a fight or a car accident. To keep your cat protected, keep her indoors only.

European Shorthair Cat Lifespan

With their robust health, these cats have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. To prolong your cat’s life expectancy and keep her healthy in old age, practice preventive care measures.

Take your cat to regular vet check-ups, keep her vaccinated and dewormed.

Grooming Needs

They have a short, dense, and sleek coat. The coat is very easy to maintain. Brush your cat once a week with a soft cat grooming brush.

This way you will distribute the skin oils through the length of fur and polish the coat.

It is advisable to bathe this breed from time to time. Even more so if you let your cat to go outside.

Use an oatmeal shampoo for cats to get your cat clean without irritating her skin. To get your cat used to this routine, start bathing her from the young age.

European Shorthair Cat Shedding

You will be pleased to know that this breed doesn’t shed much! So, you won’t have to spend a lot of time vacuuming cat hair.

However, make sure that you brush your cat regularly to keep shedding to a minimum.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the European Shorthair. Read on to find out more about this independent and loyal cat!

How Much is European Shorthair Cat Price?

The exact price of European Shorthair kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. On average you can expect to pay from $50 to 150$ for a kitten.

However, the price can rise depending on the bloodlines, coat, and eye color of a cat.

How Big Do European Shorthair Cats Get?

Males are slightly larger and weigh from 8-15 pounds. Females are smaller and on average weigh between 7-12 pounds.

Being a sturdy and active cat, they need proper nutrition to thrive. Feed this cat with grain free dry cat food to keep her at a healthy weight.

If not provided with exercise and proper diet, this breed can become overweight. So, monitor your cat’s calorie intake and keep her active.

How Long Do European Shorthair Cats Live?

The European Shorthair is a healthy breed with a longer lifespan compared to other cat breeds. On average European Shorthairs live from 15-20 years but can live even longer with proper care and regular vet checkups.

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