How to Choose a British Shorthair Kitten?

British shorthairs make wonderful family pets. They are easygoing and get along well with children and the other pets of the household. Above all, they are hardy and an ideal pet, especially for first-time feline owners.

But look:

Selecting a new kitten is a daunting task. You want one that is healthy but also comes with a pleasant personality and is adaptable to your lifestyle.

And you may be wondering:

How to choose a British Shorthair kitten? It is best to choose a British Shorthair from a reputable breeder. When selecting one, make sure the cat is properly vaccinated and is over 12 weeks old. It is also a good idea to check the temperament of the parents to analyze the social-behavior of the kitty.

In this article, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks that will help you find the perfect British shorthair for your family.

Why search for a British shorthair from a reliable breeder?

Kittens from a less scrupulous breeder may be inexpensive.

But here is the deal:

These kittens may be vulnerable to health and behavior issues that can cause you a lot of distress down the line. On the other hand, experienced and reputable breeders will take care of all the initial medical expenses, including vaccinations, de-sexing, neutering, and any other tests that are necessary.

A good breeder will also be happy to answer any query you might have regarding the kitten. They will also allow you inside your home to see the kitten in their first home. This way, you can see the environment the breeder has kept the cat in along with their temperaments.

How do I distinguish between a good and a bad breeder?

Most states require a cattery license for breeding cats. Of course, this may not ensure that the breeder is ‘highly-attentive’ to the cats, but it will definitely tell you that the breeder has some experience.

During the meeting with the breeder, make sure you ask them about their breeding habits. This includes a number of questions such as:

  • How many years have they been in the industry for? This will help you determine the years of experience the breeder has.
  • How many cats do they breed per year? Breeders who breed a large number of cats per year may increase the chance of you running into one with a health issue. More cats at the cattery also mean to little attention to the cat’s overall well-being and social habits.
  • Does the breeder breed cats for showing purpose? Breeders who intend to ‘show’ their cats are highly committed to producing a litter that is not only physically appealing but also healthy and social as well.
  • Who are the kitten’s parents? Ask to see the parents of the shorthair you are interested in and evaluate their overall health, personality, and temperament.
  • Does the kitten remain around other cats? Socialization is a critical aspect, and kittens that remain around other cats in their infancy are more adaptable.
  • Is the cat vaccinated and dewormed? Ask for the complete health records of the routine health requirements of the kitten as well as it’s future needs.
  • What about nurturing and spraying? The method is highly recommended by cat experts to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
  • Did the breeder have the cat examined by a veterinarian? This ensures that a professional has declared the cat ‘healthy’.
  • Do they give a guarantee? Many breeders offer a ‘return’ guarantee if their pedigree is found to have severe illness or even adjusting issues.
  • Recommendations? Ask for referrals from previous pet owners to find out their experience with the specific breeder.
  • Will they supply all health certificates? Ask the breeder to provide you with all the certificates for the kitten, including sales paper, guarantee, and other health records.

How to determine bad breeding behavior


An experienced breeder should be able to dictate all the information about the cat and their pedigree without any hesitation. However, it may be a red flag if the breeder you interview does not share much information about the British Shorthair kitten you are interested in.

Other signs to look out for include:

  • Breeding many other breeds of cats at one place
  • Is ignorant about the genetic defects of the breed
  • Brags about his ‘breeding’ tactics
  • Refuses to show you the kitten before you make the payment
  • Is not interested in the kind of home you will be providing the cat
  • Charges an overly high or low price for the British Shorthair

In fact, it is a good idea to visit several reputed breeders in your area to analyze the different types of kittens and their living conditions.

We know how tempting it is to purchase the first kitten you set your eyes on. However, it is better to wait rather than be sorry.

Do your research properly in order to increase the likelihood of ending up with a kitten that becomes a life-long member of your home.

Does the age of the kitten matter?

Yes, the age of the kitten matters!


In the first few weeks of life, a kitten is unable to take solid food and relies on its mother for nutrition. They usually wean off by eight weeks and are usually able to handle themselves without their mother’s support.

Kittens of around 8 – 12 weeks are also more independent and social. They are also more ready to embark on the new journey of life. Unfortunately, the kittens that are separated from their litter and their mother earlier than the optimal time struggle for survival.

As a rule of thumb, most breeders suggest 12 weeks as the ideal age for the kitten to migrate in its new home.

Trust your breeder in this. They have more experience in this matter and will tell you when the kitten is ready to go with you.

It would be worth the wait!

How to identify a healthy kitten

Despite the breeder’s claims of giving you the healthiest kitten from the litter, it is best to trust your instinct and research the British Shorthair kitten yourself. Additionally, don’t rely solely on pictures and instead, ask to see the kitten and the cattery itself.

When you visit the cattery, take a critical look around the area. Is the area clean, free from worldly clutter? Are all the kittens present appearing lively and alert? Are the food and water bowls accessible? Are they clean?

Identify the British Shorthair you are planning to adopt? Kittens are not allowed to view before the age of 4 -5 weeks. By then, they are able to walk properly with eyes wide open and their true coloring becoming apparent. The kittens also have a risk of infection if people handle them before this time. It is also important to wash hands thoroughly before handling the cats.

When viewing your potential pet, check their eyes, nose, and ears for any signs of infection, mucus, and redness. Check their coats for fleas. Look under the tail and at the kitten’s rear end for unhygienic conditions and signs of diarrhea.

Social habits and personality traits of your potential shorthair kitten

Here is the deal:

You want a kitten that is socially adaptive to your home and lifestyle. And the best way to determine if the short hair is appropriate for your home is to get down on your knees and play with the cat. If the breeder allows, you can pick up the cat as well to analyze if it has been cared for properly during its infancy.

Kittens are sometimes shy and maybe a little hesitant when you approach them. However, they should not be frightened or panic when you address them. This is a telltale sign that the breeder has not handled the kitten properly and perhaps you should look somewhere else for your future pet.

A boy or a girl?

This question is asked often. Should you go for a female British Shorthair or a male? The answer to the question relies mostly on your personal choice as each cat boasts its unique personality, and there is not much you can say about its temperament before experiencing.

Generally, male kittens are larger in size than their counterparts. They are often reputed to be aggressive, especially when they reach puberty age. On the other hand, female Shorthair kittens are more affectionate. However, if you are planning to adopt a female kitten, make sure to have it neutered before bringing home. This is because female kittens are easily impregnated – as early as six months when she herself is too young to care for her offspring properly.

What is the cost of the kitten?

The prices of Shorthair kitten vary from country to country. Breeders also add up the cost of health procedures, veterinarian bills, food supply, housing facilities, and lots more in the total price of the kitten. Stay away from breeders who quote ‘bargain’ prices and conduct a thorough research on the price of the short hair in your country before finalizing the deal.

Good luck with the selection

Besides following the above tips, it is sometimes best to go with your instinct. If the kitten appears happy and healthy, the breeder seems expert in his profession, and has kept the cattery neat without any signs of disorder – the kitten will be your best choice!

In most cases, British Shorthairs make good pets. They are an adorable sight and calm personalities. They are well known for minimal health problems and boast a life expectancy of 20 years. They enjoy the attention of their owners and get along really well with children, dogs, and other breeds of cats. In fact, most people recommend British Shorthair as the perfect pet for first-time owners as you cannot possibly go wrong with one! Good luck!

Related Questions and Answers

Can a British Shorthair cat be left alone?

Yes, this breed of cat is quite independent and can stay alone for short periods of time. However, we suggest you hire a cat sitter or alternative accommodation for your pet if you are planning to leave it for a long time – i.e., more than 3 – 5 days.

Do British Shorthair cats like to be cuddled?

Although they are affectionate and won’t resist when you hold or cuddle them, the cats prefer to remain low-key in this regard. They are friendly and would enjoy the time spent with you but are not your ordinary lap cats such as the Scottish Fold or Siamese.

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