Why Is My British Shorthair So Small?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

One thing that cat owners always worry about is whether or not their cat is growing at a healthy place, and it is nerve-wracking!

Why is my British Shorthair so small? British Shorthair cats grow at a steady pace. Though they are well-built, medium to large sized cats when they reach adulthood, they happen to be very small-sized kittens. An average British Shorthair weighs around 7 to 8 pounds and has a height of 10 to 12 inches when it is six-months-old. It grows to be an adult of 11 to 12 pounds having a height of 12 to 14 inches.

There are a number of factors that affect the growth rate of your cat. Let’s dissect your cat’s growth.

Is Your British Shorthair Smaller than It Should be?

 British Shorthairs are stocky, muscular, and compact cars.

They are even called the bulldog of cats for this reason!


British Shorthairs do look like the cat version of a bulldog to a certain extent. They have a broad chest and hips, short but sturdy legs and a thick tail that tapers into a round tip.

It gets better:
They always look like they are smiling!

Their chubby cheeks and round, button eyes coupled with their forever smiling face also gave them the title of Cheshire cat.


British Shorthairs are known to have a steady growth rate.

They are very small throughout their junior life, but they get bigger and heavier as they enter into adulthood. An average male British Shorthair is said to weigh around 12 to 19 pounds while a female British Shorthair weighs 8 to 14 pounds. It takes up to 5 years for a British Shorthair to attain physical maturity.

Average Weight of a British Shorthair

NewbornA few ouncesA few ounces
Three months2 to 4 pounds2.8 to 3.8 pounds
Five months4 to 6 pounds4 to 5.9 pounds
Seven months6 to 7 pounds4.5 to 7 pounds
Eleven months7 to 8.5 pounds7.5 to 9 pounds
One year9 to 9.9 pounds 8 to 9 pounds

Small But Beautiful

 One thing that you need to know:

British Shorthair cats mature rather slowly.

They grow at their own steady pace.


The whole journey is a ride through cuteness, and the final result is so worth the wait.

A British Shorthair kitten will fit right into your palm, and a full grown cat is a medium-sized (and adorable) fluffball.


British Shorthair starts as small kittens, like all cat breeds.


Their growth rate is quite slow.

At three months old, they weigh merely three to four pounds – which is three times heavier than their birth weight.

At six months of age, the British Shorthair has grown considerably.

Its weight stands at 6 to 7 pounds, and its height is somewhere between 8 to 12 inches.

Steady Growth Rate

Your British Shorthair will be rather smaller than the other domestic cat breeds for the most part of its life.


A British Shorthair takes up to 5 years to reach its fullest height and weight.

Here’s the thing:

The growth rate of an average British Shorthair can be divided into the following steps:

  • The Onset: This is its growth from a newborn kitten to a kitten of merely 15 days. The kitten is known to grow by a quarter of an ounce every day!
  • Rapid Growth Stage:
    Your British Shorthair will show a remarkable growth rate from three to eleven months of age.
    It will grow from 2 pounds to 9 pounds.
  • Maturity:
    The next three years are the maturity years.
    Your cat will grow to its fullest in these years.However:You will notice that the growth rate is the slowest during this phase.

British Shorthair Diet Affects its Growth

This is quite a common question that most pet owners ask.

Does poor nutrition affect my kitty’s diet?

The answer is yes!


Kittens are just like children.

Children with poor dietary conditions have stunted growth.

Children with proper nutrition grow to be healthy and tall. They are even said to have higher intellectual capabilities.

The same goes for cats:

Cats, like all beings, have a nutritional requirement which if left unfulfilled, can lead to their stunted mental and physical growth.

It gets worse:

Some kittens get separated from their mothers right after they are born. Such kittens never feed on their mothers who can lead to some serious stunted growth problems.

So if you happen to have more than one kittens and their birth mother, you need to make sure that all of them get to feed on their mother.

When you adopt a cat, make sure you provide it with all its basic nutritional requirements.


If your British Shorthair is smaller than usual, this can be one of the probable reasons.

It wasn’t very well-fed when it was little!


This, in no way, implies that your cat is “abnormal” or “defected.”

It just happens to be a little smaller, and that is completely okay.

It’s All in the Genes

 We all know this very well guys:

Genes are the real culprits (or heroes) behind all the diversity in this world.


It is quite probable that your British Shorthair is not a pure breed.

Somewhere along with its ancestry, your British Shorthair might have a cat of smaller size and those genes are expressing themselves.

This is pretty common in cats.

Here is what you need to know:

If your cat is healthy, has proper diet and lives in a happy home, yet it isn’t growing to its full potential, it is descended from a smaller cat. A number of cats aren’t pure-breed. And the genes express themselves in the form of different traits.


Don’t try to over-feed your cat or fuss over it if it doesn’t grow to the expected size. What’s important is that your cat should be happy and loved, fed on time and is taken to its vet for regular checkups.

Related Questions

What age do British Shorthairs stop growing?
British Shorthairs have a steady growth period of around five years.  They grow somewhat rapidly in the first eleven or twelve months of their life.  After that, you will observe a steady pace of growth until they are five years of age.  Some cats stop growing at the age of three, while some keep growing till they are five.

How heavy should a British Shorthair be?
British Shorthairs are medium to large domestic cats. They are categorized as small cats.  Another thing that you should know about a British Shorthair is that these cats are compact and muscular. They are not dainty or weak.   An adult male British Shorthair is about 8 to 10 pounds.  An adult female British Shorthair is about 8 to 9 pounds.

Their weight varies drastically over their growth years, that is, a newborn British Shorthair is merely a few ounces while an adult full-grown British Shorthair is a whopping 12 pounds.

Do British shorthair cats meow?
British Shorthairs, teddy bears of cats, are classified as talkative cats.  They meow a lot! You might stumble upon one or two of the ‘quiet’ kind of British Shorthairs; however, this breed is generally quite talkative.  So:  Yes, British Shorthairs are pretty vocal, they meow a lot, and they don’t shy away from communication with their family.

Are British shorthair cats affectionate?

British Shorthairs have a very interesting personality.

They are not exactly your average lap-cats.

They are very affectionate.
They enjoy the bonding sessions with their owners.
They like to play with them as well.

There is more:
British Shorthairs are pretty friendly. They get along with children as well as pets.

Bottom line:  You don’t have to be there to entertain them all day long, but playtime translates to party time for your British Shorthair.

What color is British Shorthair?
British Shorthairs are known for their soft, dense fur and unique coat colors. The most common and popular coat color of this cat breed is Blue. It is actually an amalgam of silver, grey and blue hues. Usually, British Shorthairs have a solid coat color.


Many varieties of British Shorthair have black, white and cream colored coats. Their coat patterns vary too; they are known to have tortoiseshell and tabby coat patterns due to outbreeding.

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