Are British Shorthair Cats Friendly?

Understanding the temperament and friendliness levels of a British Shorthair Cat. Do they like to be picked up and cuddled + are they friendly towards other animals? [Answered by Feline Behavior Specialist]

British Shorthair Cat Friendly

If you need an honest answer, then, Yes, British Shorthairs are very friendly. It has elegance, peace, calmness, and dignity that show that it has its roots in a great civilization in Rome. It has a well-rounded body, a cute face, and is mostly found in bluish-grey color.

Temperament and Personality

The British Shorthair is a domesticated breed and it is a big bundle of joy. It is a tall and strong cat that just looks like a teddy bear. It creates a very pleasant sight when a British shorthair follows the owners at every corner of the house and keeps an eye on their activities.

The British Shorthair is not a lap cat. It does not demand to be picked-up too often. Rather it enjoys stretching, relaxing, and taking a nap on a couch or a floor rug near the owners.

Some people often get deceived by the calm and peaceful appearance of this breed and start thinking if BSH is a friendly breed or not. They mostly assume that it is a rude cat.

What do people assume about BSH’S friendliness?

When you see a British shorthair for the first time, you will not find it very welcoming or like a cat that becomes alert when it finds someone new around. It is not like the usual meowing cats that would roll into the feet and will climb up into the lap. It will just give a random, disinterested look to you as if it is saying, “Hey you, mind your own business.”

No, this is not the case. The BSH is a breed with a docile temperament and it does not look very friendly by its face. It seems as if it is ignorant, indifferent, and does not care what is happening around her.

The thing is, that a BSH is simply not interested. It is affectionate but it does not show and approaches the owner. It wants others to make some efforts and approach it if they want the cat’s affection and attention. It is like a friend that every other person has who cares a lot but never expresses. You will be now able to understand how difficult it is to make a cat like British Shorthair express its affection, and love for you.

Level of friendliness and Affection

The cat is famous for its over-affectionate and highly friendly behavior. The British Shorthair is a bit different. It has a medium level of affection and a high level of loyalty for the people it lives with.

It is not a crazy and overdemanding cat breed that would always want to remain in the lap of its people and will not spare them to do other tasks. It enjoys the company of the family, especially the children. It takes interest when they bring their toys and starts playing with them.

But, it can also go well with its self. It can spend hours in the same room, even in the same position, playing with itself.

Why a BSH does not like to be picked up?

People often think that BSH is an unfriendly cat breed as it doesn’t like to sit in the lap nor it allows to be picked up.

The reason behind why they do not like being picked up, or sitting in the lap is that they are big cats with a heavy body. With this weight, they avoid getting into the laps and become a little reactive when someone spreads their hands to pick them up. Rather, it will not be wrong saying that they hate being picked up.

Also Read: Health Problems with British Shorthair

How a British Shorthair shows its affection?

The British Shorthairs like to show their affection in other ways.

  • It likes petting. It likes to sit near the owners and like when they pet its head and back with love. So, you can pet your British shorthair as much as it like. Did you notice? “As much as it likes”. Not as much as you like. You have to do everything on the terms and conditions of your British shorthair. After all, you are dealing with a British…!
  • When a British shorthair leaves its favorite territory, the couch, and starts following you in the house, it means that it wants your attention. Pay attention to it. It might just need a little petting or massage.
  • The British shorthairs do not like when their owners fall sick, get for too long into the bed, or feel down and depressed. They step out of their comfort zone and sit beside your bed. It is a strong signal that your British shorthair cares for you, misses you, and it wants you to get out of your bed and spend some time with it.
  • You might find your British shorthair standing at the door when you return home from work or school. This is a gesture of affection that your British shorthair cares for you and it had been waiting for you to come back soon.

Friendliness with Strangers

As said earlier, the British Shorthair show an indifferent behavior towards strangers and new arrivals. Once they accept their presence and get familiar to them, the British shorthairs get friendly with strangers as well. They just take some more time to get used to their presence around them in the house.

Friendliness with other Pets

The British Shorthair is very possessive about their territory and does not allow anyone to intervene or interfere in it. However, when they are properly introduced with the other pets at home, they start behaving normally after some time and become friends. They like to play with cats and rabbits. Some cat-friendly dogs can also be friends with a British Shorthair.

Friendliness with children

The British Shorthair is friendly and affectionate with children as well. Especially the children of the family. It likes to play with them. The only thing it does not like and tolerate is to be picked up. The children must be trained well before dealing with a British Shorthair. Children must treat them with care and politeness and should not carry them so that they can become friends and the British shorthair does not get frustrated or aggressive.

How to Introduce a new pet?

Watch out! Introducing a new pet to a British shorthair suddenly can be a drastic situation. No matter whether it is a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a parrot, or something else. British shorthairs love their territory and dominance and do not want any intruders around.

If you are planning to add any new pet in the house, introduce it slowly and gradually to your British shorthair in a protected environment. Otherwise, it can make your BSH aggressive and jealous.

A New Pal for the British Shorthair

Although British shorthairs do not need a pal, they do well alone and stay calm even when you leave them alone at home for several hours. However, two is always better than one. Especially for cat lovers. They always love adding cats in their house.

Also Read: Can a British Shorthair Cat be left alone?

The British shorthair will take some time to adjust and understand that it is no more the sole owner of its territory. Slowly and gradually, it will accept the presence of the new cat, whether from the same breed or any other breed.

Final Words

If you are a new British Shorthair owner or planning to be a new owner, don’t worry about the friendliness of this breed. It is a friendly but less expressive breed. It will take some time to show its affection by some other means that are not very vibrant but are true and pure.

Show More

Dr. Halime Bamsi

Halime holds several certificates and diplomas in Feline Care, Nutrition, Behaviour and First Aid. She remains busy throughout the day - mothering her two toddler sons, caring for her hubby, dealing with her Persian Kitten, and helping people with their cat-related-queries on

Related Articles

Back to top button