Breed review: domestic shorthair cat

Posted by Argos, 20 August 2015, last updated 22 September 2023.

Domestic Shorthair cats are one of the worlds smartest breeds and have captured the hearts of millions of pet owners. The popular breed comes in a seemingly endless number of patterns, sizes and colours and have great characteristics. 

Domestic shorthair cats history

There may be an estimated 600 million of Domestic Shorthair cats around the world, however they are a cat of mixed origins and little is actually known about the Domestic Shorthair or its ancestry.

Believed to have been taken to America by the pilgrims, in order to control the number of rodents on their Mayflower ship, these cats remain skilled hunters to this day. And because they share a bloodline with thousands of domestic cat breeds, they boast a far larger gene pool, which may go back centuries. It is thought they may be healthier and of a higher intelligence than pedigrees or purebreds.

However, as a cat of unknown and mixed origins, they are more popularly known as the moggy and come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

A Domestic Shorthair cat

Temperament of british shorthair cats

Are Domestic Shorthair cats friendly? Yes, they are friendly, as well as outgoing. These cats are not very vocal, but they are loving and caring in nature.

Boasting a mild-mannered temperament, the Shorthair cat is an ideal family pet or perfect for someone wanting a loyal companion. The fact they are clean and very affectionate is an added bonus. They are considered to be working cats due to their skills and hunting instincts, which reflects in the Domestic Shorthair cat personality with their playful energy.

Take care when holding them as kittens though, because they can easily wriggle free and their love of exploring means they can sometimes get themselves into very tight spaces around your home.

What does a domestic shorthair cat look like?

Domestic Shorthairs range in appearance and are known to have a wide variety of coat colours. One of the most common patterns being the tuxedo or black and white coat, with the tabby (striped and all different patterns) and the tortoiseshell (tri-colour) are also very popular. As well as their different patterns, their eyes also can vary in colour too, with beautiful shades such as blue, green and hazel, which add to their striking look.

A Tabby cat, which is also known as a Domestic Shorthair


When do domestic shorthair cats stop growing?

Although they fill out and grow to their full size and weight between the period of 6 to 12 months, they actually fully reach maturity at the age of 3 or 4. 

Whilst most Domestic Shorthair cats weigh an average of between 4kg to 6kg, it is common for males to be larger than most females, but both sexes are well proportioned.

Domestic shorthair cat health

The Domestic Shorthair is generally free from historic problems, diseases or genetic disorders. The fact they have been bred with no human intervention means they are a great testament to what cats should look and behave like. They’re also an ideal family pet, as they are very low maintenance.

In terms of grooming and caring for your Domestic Shorthair, it is recommended to groom them at least once a week to remove any loose hairs and trim their claws regularly to keep them looking at their best.

How long do domestic shorthair cats live?

The Domestic breed tend to live a fairly long life, with the expected life span being from around 10 to 15 years, although they can live for longer. As with all cats, these lovable moggys may live for longer if you neuter or spray them and feed them a healthy balanced diet.

Recently added a Domestic shorthair cat to the family? It’s important to help protect yourself from unexpected vet bills should your cat get injured with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our Domestic shorthair cat insurance policies today.

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