Do British Shorthairs Like To Be Picked Up?

The British Shorthair cat is very peculiar breed indeed.

They arnt your normal cuddly fluffy lap cats.

Do British Shorthairs like to be picked up? The direct answer would be no; a British Shorthair absolutely despises being picked up. They don’t mind proximity as much as they mind being picked up. When you pick up a British Shorthair, it will get all stiff and uncomfortable. It can even start hissing or scratching as well. This is well out of a British Shorthair’s comfort zone, and so, you as its parent, must respect its boundaries.

Let’s dig deeper into the British Shorthair’s temperament and see what really drives its personality.

Your Love Affair With British Shorthairs Must-Have Boundaries

British Shorthairs seem to be the ideal cuddle buddies:

They are short and fluffy; they are round and cute; they are incredibly affectionate.


They hate being picked up!


British Shorthairs do not have any proximity issues. Your British Shorthair will stay at your heels the whole day, they love playing with you, they get along with each and every family member, and they love spending time with them. But they are not lap cats. They are affectionate, but they don’t like the usual, physical ways of expressing affection.  They have this streak of independence; they are not the type of pet that craves attention and physical affection. Picking it up or hugging it will not only cause discomfort to your British Shorthair but also might hurt your feelings as a pet owner.

You will have to find a midway.

The solution is easy:

Respect your cat’s boundaries!

British Shorthairs Show Affection In Unique Ways:

There is a meager number of British Shorthair cats that might be an exception to this strict no-picking-up,  no-hugging rule. Such exceptions do exist but are quite rare. Typically, your British Shorthair will shy away from physical contact. It might let you cuddle with it, but it certainly hates being picked up.

Here is what happens when you pick your British Shorthair up:

It will do stiff, unlike other cats who curl up and start purring, your British Shorthair will start squirming and will try to leap off of your arms.

So, all in all, don’t expect your British Shorthair to be a cuddly little kitty who would curl up in your lap and stay there for hours. The highest level of proximity that your British Shorthair will endure for you is a tummy rub and a brief cuddle. No hugging, no holding, and no picking up are allowed in the British Shorthair world. If you force your British Shorthair to snuggle with you, it will not end well.

Even though this breed is famous for holding its composure and being extremely tolerant, it will start hating you low-key if you force it to snuggle with you.

Don’t test a British Shorthair’s patience!

British Shorthairs are very affectionate cats, and they will shower you with love in their own subtle way. Forcing them to do things that they hate doing will only create ridges between you and your beloved pet.

Giving Affection The Right Way

British Shorthairs aren’t indifferent to their owners or their affection. Quite the opposite actually. They simply adore their family, their owner, and their home. The only difference is that they have a different way of showing and accepting love, and as cat owners, we should respect that!

Your British Shorthair will form a very strong bond with you right from the start. It will be there for you and with you at all times, trotting with you at your heels, curling up right next to you when you are tired and simply laying down in your favorite spot and playing with you during playtime!

This cat will not jump into your lap when you come home, but it sure will be there, waiting right by the door, to greet you in an affectionate way.

You can show your love to your cat in the following ways without offending it:

  1. Stroke its underbelly, they love it! It will also be a little (almost) cuddly session; you guys can laugh and relax together.
  2. Gently stroke and pet your cat; it loves being scratched and stroked!
  3. Give it as much attention as possible during playtime! British Shorthairs love interactive games, arrange for that!
  4. British Shorthairs are natural hunters. You can play around with your cat as it jumps from one elevation to another and enjoys your quality time together.
  5. Respect your cat’s boundaries. Love is all about trust and respect. Give that to your cat by respecting its boundaries; it deserves it!

Training Your British Shorthair To Be Affectionate

A number of British Shorthair owners ask this question, Can I train my British Shorthair or trick it into thinking that it likes being picked up?

There is a simple answer to this seemingly innocent question, no, you can not! Pets always reflect their owners. If you want a cat that is affectionate, likes being hugged, and picked up, enjoys cuddles, you must pick a lap cat, a different breed that is compatible with you.

British Shorthair is not the right breed for you! This cat surely is called a “teddy-bear cat,” it is fluffy and furry, but it’s not exactly a teddy bear, it has a large personality. The most remarkable trait of a British Shorthair is its independence and the way it keeps to itself. Affectionate yet reserved, that is the true beauty of a British Shorthair.

If you have multiple cats, you will see that British Shorthairs really compliment lap cats. They get along with them really well, owing to their friendly and patient nature. The constant attention-seeking nature of different cat breeds can be satisfied by introducing them to a British Shorthair friend. One will patiently endure and shower affection, be a constant source of emotional support while the other will make sure that the lazy British Shorthair gets enough exercise.

Picking Up Your British Shorthair

If you really have to pick up your British Shorthair to place it in its carrier, do it gently. Slide your hand under its belly ever so gently, if it doesn’t hiss or wiggle then keep a hand firmly on its back and lift it up. Be as swift as you can and place it in its carrier.

If it wriggles or scratches you, let it go.

Don’t be harsh with your British Shorthair because your misconduct can alienate your cat from you. In times of dire need, you can just scoop your cat up even if it doesn’t want to. It’s okay, British Shorthairs are known to have big hearts – your cat will forgive its human.

Related Questions

How long do British Shorthairs live?

British Shorthairs are generally healthy cats. Studies conducted by the UK breed committee suggests that British Shorthairs have a life expectancy of around 18 to 20 years. British Shorthairs do not have any marked genetic disease; they are generally a very healthy breed if they keep their weight in check.

Are British Shorthair cats intelligent?

British Shorthairs have a very polished temperament. They are patient and tolerant, independent and reserved, extremely loving and caring for their family and above all their wit! British Shorthairs really enjoy interactive games and hunting games to satisfy their mental needs.

How do I know if I have a British Shorthair?

British Shorthairs usually have a thick, short fur, a thick rounded tail, and strong, sturdy legs.

They have a blue-gray coat color with complimentary blue-gray eye color. British Shorthairs are also called British Blues due to their unique coat color. You can easily spot a British Shorthair at any pet shop owing to their striking appearance. You can also take your pet for a DNA test to the nearest pet to find out its breed.

Can British Shorthair cats be left alone?

British Shorthairs are very headstrong and independent cats. They don’t need their human to pet them or look after them the whole day. They can take care of themselves, even entertain themselves on their own. They can easily (and gracefully) handle short periods of loneliness. You can leave your cat alone at the house for a period of 5 days, and it won’t mind at all. However, for longer periods of time, you can’t leave a British Shorthair alone because there is a high chance that it will get depressed.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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