How Big Do British Shorthair Cats Grow? (With Growth Chart)


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British Shorthair cats are some of the calmest and loyal cats you’ll ever meet. Their growth is unlike many other breeds because they grow and mature slowly compared to some other cats. So, how big do British Shorthair cats grow?

British Shorthairs will weigh from 9 to 17 pounds depending on genetics, how much the cat is fed, activity level, and cat gender. British Shorthair cats often make up for this slow maturity by living about 15 years, with some living up to 20.

Let’s go into more details about the growth of British Shorthairs and what you can expect when having one.

If you wonder what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

How Big Do British Shorthair Cats Get?

Your British Shorthair kitten will do most of its growth in the first year of its life. Kittens will weigh between 3 to 4 pounds, while adults will weigh between 9 to 17 pounds, with some instances of weighing more.

Let’s break down the average pattern of weight gain for growing British Shorthair kittens.

British Shorthair kittens are often adopted at around 12 weeks old. So, most of the time, this is the youngest you’ll get to interact with your new furry friend at home and watch them grow. At around this time, your kitty will be about three pounds for a female or four pounds for a male.

It’s important to know that a female and male British Shorthair will grow at different paces. Over the next two months, your kitten will grow about a pound per month. This is when the weight gain process slows down for your kitten.

Until they reach 12 months old, your kitten will only put on a few ounces of weight per month. This is average growth for them as they’ve already added enough weight that their body needs to catch up.

Slowed growth during this period is expected, so don’t expect a lot of weight change from the 6-12 month mark.

In those six months, your kitten will probably grow about two pounds. At this point, most cats are fully grown, but British Shorthair owners know the wait isn’t over. Over the next two years, your kitten will continue to grow.

During this time, they’ll gain about another two pounds. So while this is not a fast-growth period, it’s still important to know that your kitty isn’t done growing until about that three-year mark.

British Shorthair females weigh about nine pounds at fully grown, while males typically weigh up to 17 pounds. Your cat’s weight may differ as each cat is different. But British Shorthairs are prone to obesity, so it’s important to watch their weight after becoming adults.

British Shorthair Cat

British Shorthair Growth Chart

StageWeight
Kitten3 to 4 pounds
Adult9 to 17 pounds (and possibly more)
Senior9 to 17 pounds (and possibly more)

Do British Shorthairs Need Wet Food?

British Shorthair kittens should eat wet and dry food.  They should eat almost as much as they want. Give them up to five small meals a day, depending on how much they want to eat. Gradually as your kitten grows up, you can drop the number of meals per day.

Your British Shorthair will require a strict diet due to their genetic disposition for weight gain and sensitive stomachs. Because they’re so calm and laid back, they tend to gain weight easier than some other, more active cat breeds.

British Shorthair kittens are highly unlikely to become obese as kittens, so it’s okay to let them determine how much they want to eat. Just make sure you’re feeding them small meals throughout the day rather than a large meal.

British Shorthairs are likely to overeat, which is why it’s best to give them smaller meals throughout the day. Be disciplined in how you measure your cat’s food to avoid giving your cat too much.

Overeating in kittens is common, but it usually doesn’t cause obesity as they’re very active and will quickly burn off any food they eat. However, it’s still important to feed kittens small meals throughout the day because their stomachs are not large enough to hold a lot of food.

Let your kitten determine how many times a day they want to eat, which is up to five meals. Five meals are standard for kittens, but if your cat doesn’t eat that much, it’s okay.

As your cat grows up, you want to introduce fewer but larger meals. One treat that I enjoy giving my full-grown cat (a Domestic Shorthair named Charlotte) is broths as an occasional add-on to her normal meals. 

Check this link out to see the broths (that my cat loves) on Amazon (affiliate link):  Check Out These Fancy Feast Broths on Amazon!

You should gradually go from five meals a day to two or three. Another reason you want to do more than one meal per day is that cat food that sits out may become rancid, and kittens burn their energy quickly. You don’t want your cat eating bad food.

You also want to make sure that you’re feeding your kitten wet/moist food. Because they’re so active in the first few years of their lives, you’ll need to make sure they are hydrated. Wet cat food is a great way to ensure your kitten gets adequate nutrition and stays hydrated while playing.

What do British Shorthair Cats Eat?

As for British Shorthair adult cats, weight management food is highly recommended. Ultimately, both wet and dry food is fine for adults. Continue spreading their meals even into adulthood to help their sensitive stomachs but feeding them five times a day isn’t necessary.

How Long Does a British Shorthair Take to Grow?

British Shorthairs grow a lot slower than other breeds. In those three years it takes for them to reach full maturity, they go through many physical and mental changes. Most other breeds will mature at about 12 months old. But, British Shorthairs take about three times that long to reach maturity.

Three years is a long time for a cat to mature.

During this time, they have a lot of changes to go through. For a British Shorthair, most of their growth happens in the first year, but they’ll keep growing throughout the next two years.

Most kittens can be adopted once they reach eight weeks of age, but British Shorthair kittens are usually adopted at 12 weeks because of their slow maturity. This is about the time that it’s believed British Shorthair kittens start to bond with humans.

So, breeders will often wait 12 or more weeks to allow them to be adopted.

British Shorthair kittens are very active and energetic. For the first few years, you can expect your kitten to be very playful. Even through that awkward, lanky phase, your kitten will remain energetic, but this will change once they become adults.

As an adult, your cat will become calmer and less energetic, which is a stark change from what you were used to when they were a kitten. Unfortunately, this lack of energy can easily result in obesity among British Shorthair cats.

To avoid this, make sure you are monitoring their food intake and playing with them regularly.

At What Age is a British Shorthair Fully Grown?

A British Shorthair will be fully grown at 3 years of age. However, British Shorthairs mature slower than other felines, so some people might assume that they become fully grown sooner than they actually do. 

British Shorthair Lifespan

Lifespan is another way that your British Shorthair may differ from other breeds.

It can take them three years for a British Shorthair reach full maturity, but this is countered with their long lives. Most British Shorthairs live about 15 years, but some have been known to live 20 years. Though this isn’t much longer than other breeds, it’s still a long time.

British Shorthair Weight in kg (kilograms)

Life StageWeight (in kg)
Kitten1.36 to 1.81 kilograms
Adult4.08 to 7.71 kilograms (and possibly more)
Senior4.08 to 7.71 kilograms (and possibly more)

How Much Does a Full-Grown British Shorthair Cat Weigh?

British Shorthair Kitten

A full-grown British Shorthair cat should be expected to weight between 9 and 17 pounds.  If you have a female British Shorthair, you should expect the weight to be around 9 pounds.  If you have a male British Shorthair, you should expect the full-grown weight to be up to 17 pounds.

If your British Shorthair weighs more than 17 pounds you may want to bring this up at your next veterinary visit to ensure your cat is not overweight.

Are British Shorthairs Fat?

British Shorthairs are a stocky cat breed but are not naturally fat. However, cat owners should take special care in the amount of food they feed their cat because feline obesity can lead to health issues over time. 

Why is my British Shorthair So Skinny?

If your British Shorthair is skinny I would get it checked out by a veterinarian immediately.  This is because a skinny British Shorthair could be the result of genetics, the amount or type of food you are feeding your cat, or underlying health issues.

Are British Shorthair Cats Lazy?

British Shorthair cats are not lazy, but they do have lower energy levels than many other cat breeds.  You should expect to see your British Shorthair sleeping away much of the day, like many cats do.  This cat breed is affectionate, so they may want to sleep on your lap.

Final Thoughts

Video: British Shorthair 101

British Shorthair cats grow differently than other cat breeds. They tend not to reach full adulthood until three years old. This calm breed is a beautiful addition to any home. Make sure you are feeding them as specified above to ensure they are getting adequate nutrition. And don’t worry, your kitten will calm down once they reach adulthood.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out a few more:

  • Are Cats Popular in England? Surprising Cat Info:  Click Here.
  • 7 of the Dumbest Cat Breeds (Packed Analysis):  Click Here.
  • 10 Breeds of Cat That Shed a Lot (Essential Shedding Info):  Click Here.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that my cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that my cat uses it – keeping my cat hydrated is important.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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