European Shorthair

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Is the European Shorthair right for you?

The basics:
Not every cat needs exotic spots, a funny tail, of a flat face to win your heart. The majority of the cat-loving world loves an average Joe, a cat without pretense or airs, cat without a famous history or a wild grandfather. The European Shorthair may not be exotic, but what they can boast is versatility: within the breed exists a cat for every household, for every personality, and for every need.

The European Shorthair is a pedigreed version of the common house cat, a distinction they share with the British Shorthair and the American Shorthair. They’re one of the oldest breeds found on continental Europe and though many cats resemble the European Shorthair, Swedish breeders have made an effort to preserve a bloodline of cats with a relatively standard look and containing no mixture of outside breeds.

It’s almost impossible to nail down what to expect from a European Shorthair. They tend to be active, strong, friendly, and intelligent. They have a long history as mousers and pest control, a skillset most still possess, though few nowadays have to rely on this to earn food and shelter. They run the gamut of independent to needy, playful to lazy. They generally get along well with other cats, and even dogs. Some are quite tolerant of children, and some prefer more mature companionship. When choosing a European Shorthair kitten, it’s important to keep an open mind. If you’re set on particular set of characteristics, an older kitten or adult will give you a better indication of personality.

The European Shorthair goes by a variety of names, including “Bondkatt” (peasant cat) in Swedish, as well as Celtic Shorthair, Cyrpus Cat, Marbled Cat, and Tiger Cat.

Appearance / lifespan:
The European Shorthair is medium-to-large with a robust and muscular build, without appearing stocky. The chest is broad and well-muscled, with a proportional but strong neck. The legs are also proportional, though strong and sturdy, with medium-sized, round paws. The tail is medium-long, thick at the base, with a gradual taper and a rounded tip.

The face of the European Shorthair is somewhat large and rounded, though it’s longer than it is wide. The cheeks or jowls are well developed, though not as full as their British Shorthair counterpart’s. The ears are medium in size with rounded tips. The nose is average in length, straight and uniformly broad with a shallow indent between the eyes. The eyes are large and round, widely spaced and slightly slanted. They may be yellow, green, or orange in color, though white-coated cats may be blue-eyed or odd-eyed.

The coat is short and close-lying, dense with a thick undercoat. The outer coat has a moderately rough texture. The coat is somewhat glossy, and seems to prevent the dampness and rain from penetrating any further than the hair tips, allowing the European Shorthair to easily shake off moisture. They can come in all possible color combinations and patterns except for chocolate, lilac, and colorpoint.

Behavior / temperament:
It’s hard to summarize what you’ll get with the European Shorthair. In general they are active, friendly, and even-tempered. Some of them are more independent than others, and some have a stronger desire to be lap cats and cuddle. Some bond very closely to their human companions. They tend to be reasonably active and playful, and most have inborn skills as efficient mousers, though today’s European Shorthair’s are quite content with a bowl of food and a toy mouse. They tend to be tolerant of dogs, and generally get along well with other cats, though unaltered males may be particularly territorial.

If you have a particular kind of cat in mind, make sure to ask plenty of questions before choosing a European Shorthair. The temperament of young kittens may change as they age, so if you have your heart set on a cat of a particular nature, an older kitten or adult may be the best option for you.


affectionate cat, colours, outdoor cat, affectionate personality, ideal family pet


home dead birds, household rodent problem, different tabby patterns

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