European Shorthair Cat: Characteristics, Personality, and Breed Information

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European Shorthair
Adult weight
8-15 pounds
Life Span
15-20 years
Calm, dependable, independent, friendly
Other Names
Celtic Shorthair, European
Medium-sized short-haired
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Personality and Temperament

A friendly, fun-loving feline that's a favorite with families throughout Europe, the European Shorthair cat is accurately described as the pedigreed version of Europe's domestic shorthair cats.

These cats are extremely docile, with a reputation for making friends with children and other pets including well-behaved dogs and non-dominant cats. It is worth noting that European Shorthair cats are individuals with a wide range of personality traits. They have a reputation for being somewhat territorial, so families with multiple cats should place an even stronger emphasis on finding a cat with a compatible personality when choosing a housemate for the cats already in their homes.

Although they are playful, European Shorthair cats are equally fond of sleep. If you bring one of these cats into your home, rest assured that you'll find them napping cozily anywhere they can make themselves comfortable. Often, they will make their way onto a human companion's warm lap for an extended lounge session. Thanks to their cuddly nature, European Shorthair cats are perfect for anyone who enjoys opportunities to relax with a furry friend.

About the European Shorthair Cat
European Shorthair Cat Care










European Shorthair cats do not have any special nutritional needs, however they do require a high-protein diet. We recommend offering a high-quality cat food brand with real meat or fish as the number one ingredient.

European Shorthair cats have dense, short coats that don't require a whole lot of care, however they do benefit from one or two weekly brushing sessions. Teach your cat to accept routine teeth brushing and trim the nails every one to two weeks.

To make sure your European Shorthair cat does not become overweight, you might find that it’s necessary to encourage active play. Treat your cat to plenty of toys including interactive options and enticing battery-operated cat toys that move on their own or make sounds that mimic prey.

Save your furniture and help your cat stay strong and flexible by providing them with a cat tree and at least one scratching post.

The European Shorthair cat has a reputation for great health. This breed has no known genetic issues, but as with most cats, obesity can be a problem. Appropriate diet and ample activity can help prevent this issue from ever popping up.


Today's European Shorthair cats can trace their ancestry all the way back to ancient Rome. When Roman legions made their way throughout the European continent, they brought cats with them. These cats were tasked with the important job of keeping Roman camps clear of rodents and other pests. As people created settlements and developed farms, the cats stayed on, earning their keep as reliable mousers. These days, they are thought to be Europe's original house cats.

Over the centuries, European Shorthair cats were known by different names including Celtic Shorthair cat. Today, the Celtic Shorthair is a breed of its own.

Pedigreed European Shorthair cats were developed in Sweden, with an eye toward creating a domesticated feline that had a slightly wild edge to its appearance—just like its Roman ancestors. They are stockier than their close cousins, the British Shorthair and American Shorthair.

Even though these cats are vastly different from British Shorthair cats (which were developed using Persian cats to create the signature rounded head shape and somewhat shortened face that gives British Shorthairs their signature appearance), cat fancy associations judged European Shorthair cats by the same standard until they were granted their own category in 1982.

The breed is extremely popular throughout Scandinavia. Oddly, it is now considered to be one of Sweden's rarest cat breeds.

European Shorthair Cat History
About the European Shorthair Cat


The rounded, open eyes are widely separated and set slightly oblique. The European Shorthair cat's eye may be blue, green, amber, or odd (eyes in two different colors). Odd-eyed cats typically have one amber eye and one blue eye.

Legs & Paws

The legs are strong and well proportioned. The paws are rounded, with a strong appearance.


The tail is of medium-long length, with a slight taper toward the end.

The Breed Standard


European Shorthair cats are of medium to large size, with strong, stocky bodies. Males typically reach a weight of about 15 pounds, while females are a bit smaller at an average of 12 pounds.


The head is proportionate to the body. The forehead and skull are slightly rounded. Although the face gives the impression of being rounded, it is slightly longer than its breadth. The nose is firm and straight, and the chin is firm, with no evidence of an overbite or an underbite. Male European Shorthair cats often display prominent jowls.


The ears are medium size, with rounded tips. They appear well balanced on the head. Ears may be furnished, but do not typically display streamers or long tufts.


The coat is short, dense, springy, and glossy, with a single upper layer and no undercoat.


European Shorthair cats come in many colors and patterns. Paw pad and nose leather color complement the coat color.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do European Shorthair cats cost?

A pet-quality European Shorthair kitten usually costs anywhere from $100 to $500.

Are European Shorthair cats good pets?

European Shorthair cats are excellent pets. They are loyal and affectionate with their human family, though they might be shy with strangers. Proper socialization early in kittenhood can help European Shorthair cats feel more comfortable about visitors coming over and trips to the veterinarian. They get along well with other pets, including other cats and gentle dogs, but they prefer to be in charge. European Shorthair cats are avid mousers, and are sure to keep your home rodent-free.

Are European Shorthair cats cuddly?

All European Shorthair cats are individuals, which means some might enjoy cuddling more than others. In general, European Shorthair cats enjoy sleeping on laps and coming over for snuggles, but they also love to spend time playing and exploring.