Why Is My British Shorthair So Small?

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Many people wonder why their British Shorthair is so small and when they ask locals, they are met with confused looks. Then why is my British Shorthair so small? There are many reasons for this, some of which vary in severity. Management of litter size and the national diet may be linked to this issue as well as hereditary or genetic factors simply due to breeding practices.

The British Shorthair is a medium-sized cat that has originated from the United Kingdom. Over the centuries, this breed has been linked to many other European and Western types of cats, most notably the Siamese, Persian and Angora due to its genetic makeup.

This article will give a break down of the most common things you need to know and how to make your British Shorthair look their best.

Related Article: Is The British Shorthair Cat Breed Hypoallergenic?

Why is my british shorthair so small?

There are many reasons for this. Did you know that the British Shorthair is one of the most popular breeds over the world? It’s very well known across the globe and almost everyone has heard of it, in fact. However, there are more questions than answers when you ask a local. Then why is my british shorthair so small?

British Shorthair’s are known to be inbred. This can mean a variety of things from being crossed with one another, cross breeding, and then onto further generations of crossing between breeds, as well as interbreeding between other breeds.

If the parents had more than one litter but didn’t reach all their normal litter size you will most likely have what is called an underweight kitten or a super sized kitten. The former has very little chance of survival and often has to be euthanized. The latter will grow into an adult cat, but not at the expected rate.

If the breeder only breeds a litter of one, it is difficult to know whether this was a genetic issue or whether it was caused by inbreeding. Some people have had luck with locating new litters from rescue centers so that the kittens can be placed together and hopefully learn from each other and build a healthy litter.

Other times, the breeder may simply be unaware of the problem. They may not have experienced it and they could have just been breeding the same litter over and over without trying to breed them themselves.

British Shorthairs are often inbred due to a variety of reasons such as extended inbreeding (regardless of their litter size) or joining up their pedigrees with other pedigrees. This results in breeding that has a much higher chance of producing cats who have health issues than those who are not inbred.

This is often done to keep up with name or lineage. Other times, it may be to simply preserve the breed and not allow it to die out completely. It’s also often done due to a misunderstanding of what exactly inbreeding means as well as how inbreeding works.

In the end, British Shorthairs are at risk for a variety of health issues to why they are small which may be hereditary, such as cleft palates and cancers. You can help prevent this by trying your best to find a breeder that is ethical and knowledgeable on what they are doing.

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10 reasons why your british shorthair is so small

1. Mentally dull:
This is an obvious reason your kitten is small, they are not stimulated around you as much and just want a quiet life. If it was covered in fur, they wouldn’t bother this much. The World Foundation for Animals has put together a course on how to stimulate your British Shorthair and make them more interested in you.

2. Not feeling well:
In most cases, if the British Shorthair seems small, it’s because they are ill. This can be disease, parasites, or any other number of things that may prevent them from eating or acting normally. It’s up to you to check them out and make sure they are ok.

3. Malnourished:
If the British Shorthair is small, it likely means that they are malnourished. They need to be fed a variety of different nutrients from meat and vegetables or they may develop scurvy . Babies and kittens need to be fed a special diet until they are older so that their bodies can develop and prevent them from being sick.

4. Excessive health concerns and issues due to inbreeding:
Not only will the kitten not be able to survive, but often it will get sick and carry those same conditions within their own families later on down the line and can pass them on to their kittens as well.

5. Freezing cold weather:
Some cats like to heat up, but some cats are more partial to cool temperatures and their diet is affected. The softer cat food is the one that will be affected by this. That’s why if you ever want to buy wet cat food for your british shorthair, try not to get it too often because it could negatively affect them and result in them being smaller than expected, as well as a bit on the thin side.

6. Not enough exercise:
Or more exercise is what they need. You want to make sure that you take your British Shorthair outside on a regular basis to get the exercise they need. This will help them grow into larger and healthy adult cats who live long lives, as well as being healthier while they’re young.

7. Poor diet:
This one’s pretty obvious. It may be because you are getting the wrong food or it’s not the right amount of food that is being given to them, but if your breeder just feeds them once a day, that could be an issue as well as it being cheaper for you in the long run.

Most British Shorthairs are fed with a high protein diet. This will result in them becoming underweight and it may be hard to find an adequate amount of food because they will eat less than they would normally, but more than what is normal for their size.

Try to get what would be considered premium cat food because of its nutritional value as well as research whether kittens can have wet cat food or not due to it being more nutritious and high in oil content which is good for adult cats.

Related Article: British Shorthair Female. What You Need To Know….

8. Dehydrated:
Babies may need to be fed milk and kittens need that high content of nutrients because they are still growing. If the kitten seems a little off and won’t eat, then you may have to try feeding them via dropper or even syringe if they are as small as a mouse.

9. Lack of space:
Sometimes the British Shorthair will be so small because their owner has purchased a small cage for them and has no more room for bigger cages later on. Space is limited and it could mean that your British Shorthair doesn’t have adequate space to move around in comfortably, teleport or jump around like other cats would usually do.

If you have an extremely small house, then this might be the cause as well. Keep in mind that there could be other causes for your kitten being small and trying to find their ideal size is best so that you know what to look for next time.

10. Lack of energy:
Small cats can be lazy, but it’s often because they are not getting enough exercise and nutrients from their diet because they are not getting enough protein and calcium from it. Similar to having too much food, this can result in a cat who will not eat as much as they usually do causing them to become underweight.

All of these reasons will result in your kitten or small adult cat to not be as big as you thought they would get to be. It’s important that you research these items and try your best to provide for them what is necessary for their growth and development.

This will help them grow into healthy cats that are active and a healthy weight. It’s important that you provide all the nutrients and energy to them, so that they can grow into happy and healthy cats who are full of energy.

How big should a British Shorthair be?

The typical British Shorthair Cat has an overall height of 12”-14” (30-46 cm) and body length of 22”-25” (56-64 cm). An average British Shorthair Cat weighs between 7-17 lb (3.2-7.7 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

Generally, the British Shorthair is a symmetrical, muscular and well proportioned cat. The shoulders should be broad and secondly the chest. The legs should be short and the paws rounded. The head is well chiseled but not too small or stubby with medium sized ears that are set high on the head. The muzzle should be long and wide and facial features are the following: rounded eyes, a small nose, a small mouth and medium sized ears.

The coat of the British Shorthair Cat is long, thick and glossy. It is also very tolerant of daily grooming either by hand or with a brush, but it must be done regularly or else the coat will remain unkempt thus making it less beautiful. The hair on the British Shorthair Cat’s head has certain patterns, such as; stripes all over its body, short coat and no body hair at all.

British Shorthair are a very high maintenance cat. They require their coat to be brushed and combed on a regular basis, although this can be an issue for people who have busy schedules because of how much time this would take each day.

Since the British Shorthair is a cat that sheds very little or no hair at all, it wouldn’t be wise to get them if you live in a smaller apartment because of the lack of grooming they would need and also the amount of fur they may leave behind.

The British Shorthair doesn’t have any special requirements when it comes to their diet, but they do need some variation in their food due to possible complications due to inbreeding. It also requires a diet consisting of whole meats, many greens and diet-appropriate treats. This cat often keeps itself fit by playing with toys and climbing trees.

The British Shorthair cat is an active animal that has lots of energy in order to burn it off. It also enjoys being active outside during the day or inside at night playing with toys.


The British Shorthair is a full of energy and needs to be kept active. If it is not able to keep itself physically active then it will become lazy, but in doing so, it will stay healthy and alive.

The British Shorthair needs its diet to consist of some protein and calcium which will provide them with energy and nutrition. As such, they should be fed as much as they would like or as much as you can afford every day.

The British Shorthair has little requirements when it comes to its environment; however, the British Shorthair does have specific requirements when it comes to its grooming routine that should be done at least once daily.

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