European Shorthair: Characteristics, Origin, and more Details

With a sociable temperament, European Shorthair cats are known to be affectionate and playful. They are shy around strangers but crave attention from their owners. 

These cats are good with kids and show strong loyalty to their owners. However, they have jealousy tendencies towards other pets.

European Shorthair
European Shorthair

Quick facts about the European Shorthair

Weight: 8 to 15 pounds Height: 9 to 11 inches
Life span: 15 to 20 years
Intelligence: high Temperament: social | affectionate | shy
Playfulness: medium Activity level: active
Vocalness: when necessary Coat length: short
Shedding amount: normal
Good with: kids | seniors | dogs | families
Traits: The European Shorthair is a breed of cat that is easy to train, easy to groom, and friendly toward humans. It tolerates being alone and has a high prey drive. This breed can be good for first-time owners.

They are highly intelligent and crave mental as well as physical stimulation. They are easy to train and respond best trained to positive reinforcement. 

These cats are good with children, seniors, dogs, and families. This makes the European Shorthair cats perfect for first-time pet owners.

They are adaptable and adjust quickly to new environments.

The European Shorthair dates back to Rome. That being said, it has been traced back to the 20th Century in Sweden. It is a Scandinavian Icon for domestic life.  

Through good breeding, today’s cats look like their Roman ancestors. It has been named the National cat of Finland.

The European Shorthair tolerates being picked up. But with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, there is a lot of time to have this cuddly cat sit on its owner’s laps. 

European Shorthair

They are prone to tummy pooches, even though they are an active breed. Their round faces often have blue, green, or amber eyes. They are sometimes odd-eyed. 

European Shorthairs shed a normal amount and have short coats. They are obsessed with neatness and are big self groomers. 

To keep their coats shiny, it is recommended to brush them weekly. Their coat ranges in color from white to chocolate. They are known to be bi-colored, solid, or tabby. Their nails will need to be trimmed regularly.

The European Shorthair cat has a diverse range of genetics. But they can be predisposed to kidney disease, brachycephalic disease, respiratory distress syndrome (due to their short noses), and heart disease. 

It is important to screen your cats regularly.

These cats love to play with toys. They love lots of affection from their owners and tolerate being alone. They like to climb trees but live a quiet day-to-day life. They are vocal when necessary.

If the owners enjoy a lot of visitors, it is wise to have an abundance of places for the European Shorthair cat to hide. They are not fond of strangers.

These cats have a strong tendency for adventure. They will escape from an open window or unattended gate if given a chance.

They have a high prey drive and kill a lot of rodents. If the family owns hamsters or gerbils, it will be wise to keep the cage secure. 

The European Shorthair is highly territorial and prefers to be the leader in the group. 

All in all, the European Shorthair will make a great pet for any cat lover with a lot of love to give.


Continental Europe


Dr. Adedapo Adisa:

The European shorthair cat is a naturally occurring breed with a long history, developed from a cross of the European wild cats and the African wild cats. 

With an excellent life expectancy that spans from 15-20 years, the European shorthair cats are not only an affectionate and people-friendly cat breed but enjoy an impressive health profile.

Despite being known as a healthy cat breed, the European Shorthair cats still have inherited health conditions. A condition the European shorthair cats is known for affecting their kidney is Polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

The kidneys help with filtering through the blood, picking up numerous toxins that are then passed out as waste products in the urine.

However, in the European shorthair cats having polycystic kidney disease, multiple pocked filled with fluids are formed in the kidneys starting from birth.

As the kittens begin to age, the little pockets of fluid or cysts increase in size and multiply either slowly or aggressively. This makes it quite difficult for the kidneys of an infected European shorthair cat to perform their excretory properties.

Infected cats with this inherited genetic condition in the European shorthair cats would present with the following signs;

● Cats may show increased thirst

● Increased micturition (peeing in cats).

● Drastic Weight loss in the cats.

● Abdominal swelling 

● Hematuria (blood present in the urine)

● Vomition in cats 

● Anorexia or loss of appetite.

Although this condition might be confused with other Kidney conditions that might affect cats generally. 

However, it is very important to always schedule an appointment with your veterinarian when one or more of the above signs are seen in the European shorthair cats.

Although the cause has not been fully established, cats with some Persian ancestry have been known to carry the mutant gene PKD1, which can be passed to offspring from parents, causing polycystic kidney disease even in the European shorthair cats.

Diagnosing this condition involves running multiple tests such as complete blood count, urinalysis, and also an ultrasound examination of the kidneys in the European shorthairs to reach a confirmatory diagnosis.

Currently, there is no definitive treatment for polycystic kidney disease in European shorthair cats. However, survival in affected European shorthair cats is dependent on how much the condition progresses and how early they are diagnosed. 

As with most pedigree cats involved in breeding, if polycyclic kidney disease has been screened and confirmed in the European shorthair cat, it is essential to cull such cats from breeding programs and activities.

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