European Shorthair Cat Breed: Facts and Personality Traits

Many cat lovers see the European Shorthair cat breed as the original housecat. The breed is known to be very athletic and loyal.

European Shorthair Cat at a Glance

Most European Shorthair cats usually have bright eyes that are green in colour. They have wild fur over their shoulders. 

Weight range

Male cats are large and can weigh upwards of 15lbs, while females are medium-large and weigh around 12 to 15lbs. 

Eye colour

Their eye colour ranges from green, blue, and amber. Odd-eyed cats have different colours in each eye, usually blue and amber. 


European Shorthairs have a lifespan of between fifteen to twenty years. They have moderate social needs and do not require a lot of attention. They shed moderately. 


The cats have thick and straight fur that is short in length. The colour of the coat varies from cat to cat and can be a solid colour, tabby, or tortoise pattern. They shed moderately and require no grooming. Their fur can cause allergic reactions.

Club recognition

European Shorthairs are a cat breed recognised by the following clubs:


  • Prevalence – this is a famous cat club in Europe but less known on other continents. 
  • FiFe.
  • Cat Association Recognition.


The European Shorthair cat’s wide variety of colours and patterns distinguishes it from most other breeds. The cats are generally in the average or medium height and weight categories. However, mature males can sometimes grow to be enormous.


European shorthairs have big heads and medium ears (some of them have those adorable tufts of hair), which are both slightly rounded, a straight nose, and a firm chin and cheeks.


The cats have a solid, rounded physique but can sometimes develop “pooches” in their belly area. European shorthairs labour in dusty barns and fields throughout Europe, making their coats incredibly smooth and lustrous, particularly when the cats are brushed regularly. They are also dedicated self-groomers, a trait that has served them well.


Since ancient times, humans have been fascinated by the cat’s eyes, and the European Shorthair’s are no exception. The Cat Fanciers’ Association explained that “the hues of cats’ eyes have an amazing spectrum of shades.” “Cats’ eyes are mostly orange, copper, yellow, hazel, green, blue-green, and blue-green in hue, with a few exceptions. 


The pupil is usually a dark shade of blue. Although the colour of a cat’s coat may be connected to and impacted by the colour of the cat’s eyes, this is not always the case.” The amber colour of the European cat is beautiful. The odd-eyed characteristic is often recognised among pedigreed cats when amber is combined with blue to create a stunning combination.


European Shorthairs adapt rapidly to new surroundings, making them an excellent companion for houses with young children and the elderly or households with other cats, dogs, and other pets. 


However, you should keep tiny animals such as guinea pigs and hamsters out of reach of your cat. After all, a cat’s hunting instincts are ingrained in its DNA.


European Shorthairs love their pet parents and seek to please them, a trait that can be traced back to their days as hardworking mousers, which is also reflected in their attitude.


The cat, like other cats, enjoys playing, and she likes having a multitude of entertaining cat toys at her disposal. Your bright furry buddy will need to be entertained intellectually and physically. Ensure to provide her with stimulating toys and activities. Cat food puzzles, for example, provide an exciting challenge for your cat and let her exercise her predatory tendencies in a positive environment.

Living With

Although European Shorthairs are excellent groomers themselves, they need to be groomed at least once weekly. Claw cutting, teeth cleaning, and the odd cat washes now and again should be fitted into your schedule. Choose cat food that will supply your cat with the maximum nutrients to maintain her athletic physique in peak condition.


Although they are extroverted, the European Shorthair cat might be reserved or frightened when around strangers. Giving your cat a safe place to hide and socialising with strangers can help your frightened cat feel more at ease.


Even though European Shorthairs like spending time outside, it might not always be a safe choice for your cat or the animals in your yard. Placing a high cat condominium or perch near a safe, open window will allow your cat to enjoy the open outdoors.


Most people associate a “house cat” with a contented, peaceful feline that enjoys nothing more than curling up in a comfortable sleeping area and having lots of humans to shower her with attention. Although this is a reasonably realistic representation, that tiny fur baby of yours is at heart a territorial predator who seeks out new territory.


European Shorthairs first gained fame in ancient Rome as they accompanied Roman conquerors on their journey throughout Europe. A valued asset to legions throughout the continent, their acute intellect and physical hunting skills made them an excellent addition to their ranks. They were experts at keeping food supplies safe from rats and other pests that jeopardised the troops’ ability to feed their families. 


As European life in the Medieval Era shifted from agrarian civilisation to agricultural society, the European Shorthair was admired for her hunting abilities on the first medieval farms, which date back to the first Roman colonies.


The European shorthair was first showcased in Sweden—described as a cat with the most desirable traits (active, playful, and friendly). The cat is still prevalent in Scandinavia and is Finland’s national cat. 


Many cat owners were confused about the ‘European Shorthair’s’ name in pedigreed circles. This is because British Shorthairs and European Shorthairs had their names interchanged frequently, despite the two having utterly different character traits. Some even confused them for Persian Shorthairs. 


Research on the genetic ancestry of cats worldwide has unveiled a fascinating fact. Cats from North America share ancestry with cats from Europe. The European house cats came from North America and were brought by settlers who travelled across the ocean. 


1992 saw the European Shorthair gain recognition officially as a cat breed. The cat may be seen as the average cat across all of Europe, but her stealthiness, skilled hunting, beautiful coat, and elegant disposition set her apart as one of the unique housecats.


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