European shorthair cat - breed description, recognized colours

Origin of European shorthair cat

European shorthair cat has been developed from house cat by crossing the most beautiful individual cats. The objective was to create a robust shorthair cat with rounded face. Occasionally the Persian longhair cats have been crossed to accelerate the appearance unification process.

These cats have been bred in Northern Europe, in Scandinavia and in Great Britain. There has been one significant difference - Scandinavian breeders have denied the crossing with Persian longhairs and other breeds, because they intended to keep the breed as pure as possible. They have used in breeding only domestic cats which met the desired type. Scandinavian breeders named their breed as European shorthair cat. In other parts of Europe except of Great Britain cats named "European shorthair cat" have been bred also, however these cats were carrying the same genes and had the same origin as British shorthair cat from Great Britain - i.e. they were also carrying Persian longhair cats' genes.

In international cat shows "European shorthair cats" from all European countries were appearing next to each other and it started to be obvious that Scandinavian cats were looking differently. The same name for two different cat types was very confusing. Hence the Scandinavian breeders registered in 1980s the official request to FIFe to separate their breed. As of 1982 only cats of Scandinavian type are named as European shorthair cat and they have their own breed standard.

European shorthair cat is today the natural European breed with ancestors only among European house cats. The breed is bred mainly in Scandinavian countries and especially in Finland it belongs to the most popular shorthair breeds.

Character of European shorthair cat

European shorthair cats are intelligent, active and independent, curious and playful.

They are friendly and sociable but sometimes suspicious of strangers. They like human company and are extremely nice to "their" people. They show their devotion to their people e.g. by greeting their people when they return home from work, assisting them by everyday activities and sleeping in bed of their person.

European shorthair cats are characterized by considerable adaptability. They get on well with other cats and other pets, provided they have been raised in a group of cats and have not spent several years as the only cat in the household.

Each European shorthair cat is an individual personality. Due to crossing with cats with unknown origin cats with different personalities can be found in the breed.

Recognized colour varieties

Unlike the British shorthair cats, the European shorthair cats are recognized only in natural colours, i.e. in colours which historically belong to Northern European domestic cats. These are:

  • white
  • black / blue / red / cream
  • black / blue tortie
  • black / blue / red / cream / black tortie / blue tortie smoke
  • black / blue / red / cream / black tortie / blue tortie tabby
  • black / blue / red / cream / black tortie / blue tortie silver tabby
  • van / harlequin / bicolour