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European Shorthair Breed Description

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General Description

The European is a muscular, medium-sized to large cat, with a broad, well-muscled chest. The strong legs are average length and the paws are round. The tail is fairly thick at the base, tapering to a rounded point. The relatively large head is rounded, with well-developed jowls, but it is not as round as the British Shorthair's head. The ears are medium-sized, they are as long as they are broad at the base, with slightly rounded tip. They are quite wide-set and upright. The eyes are round and may be of any color. The European's dense coat is short, soft and glossy, and should lie flat. All natural colors are permitted, such as black, red, blue and cream, with or without tabby or white markings. Pure white is also permitted. The eye color corresponds to the coat color and may be yellow, green or orange. Blue or odd-eyed individuals are permitted if the coat color is white.

Breed Standard

Head: Fairly broad with rounded contours but a bit longer than it is wide. Slightly rounded skull and forehead. Well-developed cheeks, especially in males. Straight, moderately long nose with no stop and a clearly defined base. Rounded, firm chin.
Eyes: Large, round, widely spaced, set at a slight slant. Color must be clear and pure and correspond to that of the coat.
Neck: Moderately long and muscular.
Body: Fairly long, not stout. Stocky, strong, muscular. Broad, well-developed chest.
Paw: Moderately long, strong, solid, tapering evenly to the paws, which are round and firm.
Tail: Moderately long, fairly thick at the base, tapering gradually to a rounded tip.
Coat: Short, dense, close-lying, lustrous hair without undercoat. All colors except chocolate, lilac, and colorpoint.
Fault: Body too large or too stout. Strong resemblance to British Shorthair and American Shorthair. Pendulous cheeks. Clear stop. Long, wooly fur.


The European is the Continental European equivalent to the British Shorthair in Great Britain and the American Shorthair in the United States. The European is derived from the common domestic cat (house cat or mixed breed cat) through selective breeding based on aesthetic criteria. In 1925, so-called "European" cats obtained their first standard. This breed, previously grouped with the British Shorthair, was approved by the F.I.Fe. in 1982. It is not recognized by Great Britain's G.C.C.F.


The European is a hardy, active, dynamic, playful cat. More easygoing in nature than the mixed breed cat, the European is calmer and gentler. An affectionate, pleasant companion, he is highly adaptable. A good hunter, he likes being outdoors. He is easy to groom. Weekly brushing is quite sufficient, except during shedding.


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