Young European Shorthair cat sitting on white background. Copy space. Mackerel tabby coat color. Cute little sleepy kitten looking at you.
(Picture Credit: PippiLongstocking/Getty Images)

European Shorthair

The European Shorthair is a natural cat breed, which means they developed without the need for human intervention. These felines are known for being friendly, playful, and intelligent.

You can find European Shorthairs in shelters and breed specific rescues, so remember to always adopt! Don’t shop if you’re looking to add one of these cats to your home!

The European Shorthair has roots going back to the Roman empire. These days, many people consider them to be the most popular cat breed in Europe! While these social kitties make for great house pets, each cat is very much an individual. So take that into consideration when learning about the breed’s nature and personality.

See all European Shorthair cat breed characteristics below!

European Shorthair Cat Breed Pictures

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European Shorthair History

The history of the European Shorthair goes back to ancient Rome, where the breed was coveted for their great hunting skills. As the cat began to make their way around Europe, they first became renowned as an excellent farm cat, again due to the breed’s talent at controlling vermin, before becoming accepted as the popular house cat that they are today.

At one point the breed was known as the Celtic Shorthair, although these days it’s accepted as the European Shorthair.

These days, you can find European Shorthairs in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. So make sure to consider adoption if you decide that this is the breed for you!

European Shorthair Size

The European Shorthair is a medium-sized cat. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most European Shorthairs weigh in at eight to 15 pounds.

European Shorthair Personality

The European Shorthair has picked up a sterling reputation as one of the most desirable house cats you could hope to adopt. This breed is athletic and intelligent, and they also love to form strong bonds with the humans in their lives.

European Shorthairs will happily end fun-filled play sessions by cuddling up on the couch with you, and these kitties also get along well with children.

One aspect to consider, however, is the breed’s territorial streak–so take appropriate steps if that might be an issue.

While there can be a lot of variety in the personality between individual European Shorthairs, in general you’re looking at a feline who’s a wonderful balance between being playful and loyal–traits that make them some of the best companion cats to adopt for a wide range of people, including the very young and very old.

European Shorthair Health

European Shorthairs are generally considered to be healthy cats–although it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet.

There aren’t any breed specific health problems associated with the European Shorthair, but always keep an eye out for signs that your cat might be in distress or pain.

European Shorthair Care

As with all cats, it’s important to keep up your European Shorthair’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your cat healthy.

Beyond scheduling yearly wellness visits with your vet, you’ll definitely want to add a scratching post to your European Shorthair’s living environment. This can help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition.

The European Shorthair’s ears should also be examined regularly for signs of dirt building up or possible infection. It’s also advisable to talk with your vet about starting a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your European Shorthair. Your vet can advise you about specific brands and techniques.

As with any breed with high energy levels, the European Shorthair will need to be provided with enough space to run around and explore, so you’ll want to add a cat tree to your living situation. Interactive smart toys can also help keep your European Shorthair mentally stimulated and satisfied.

European Shorthair Coat Color And Grooming

The European Shorthair is a breed of cat that you’ll see in a large variety of colors and markings. Common colors include brown, black, tan, and gray, and they’re often seen sporting distinctive tabby patterns.

When it comes to grooming, the European Shorthair is a fairly low-maintenance feline. Due to their short hair, you’ll only need to brush the cat once a week or so. This will help ward off the chances of hairballs and mats forming.

In terms of climate, the European Shorthair is generally an adaptable breed of cat. Although you should always make sure that there’s enough shade and fresh water available during the hotter months.

Children And Other Pets

The European Shorthair is a loving cat that does very well with young children. Just be sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides–and supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the European Shorthair fares well with many domestic animals–although their hunting instincts might kick in if you already live with hamsters or guinea pigs. Always supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets.

Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your European Shorthair for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

European Shorthair Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for European Shorthair cats because they are somewhat less common outside of Europe. However, you may want to try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including European Shorthairs, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:

You can also try CatTime’s adoption page that lets you search for adoptable cats by breed and zip code!


Life Span
15 to 20 years
8 to 15 pounds
Country Of Origin


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