The perfect British Shorthair

Understand the Standard of Points for British Shorthair cats

Lilac british shorthair cat

British Shorthair Appearance

Almost all of our British Shorthair kittens are registered with the GCCF, so we use the GCCF Standard of Points (SOP) when assessing the appearance of a British Shorthair cat (a few of our more unusual cats are registered with TICA). The GCCF Standard of Points is the criteria that judges use in cat shows to score the cats that are entered.

The scoring system is slightly different depending on the pattern of the cat’s coat . Silver tabbies and colourpoints are scored slightly differently than selfs. We will look at the Standard of Points for British Shorthair selfs. A self is a British Shorthair that is a solid colour like a blue, lilac, chocolate or cinnamon.

The perfect British Shorthair cat

The GCCF describes the ideal British Shorthair cat as:

compact, well balanced and powerful, showing good depth of body, a full broad chest, short strong legs, rounded paws, tail thick at base with rounded tip. The head is round with a good width between small ears, round cheeks, firm chin, large round and well- opened eyes and a short broad nose. The coat is short and dense. A muscular cat with an alert appearance and in perfect physical condition

The GCCF Standard of Points for a British Shorthair cat

In all GCCF cat shows, points are awarded to every self british shorthair cat as follows:

Head and Ears…………….20


Body, legs and paws……..25


Coat: texture and length….20




British Shorthair judging guidelines

The points are awarded based on the following criteria:

  • Head and Ears: Round face with full cheeks and good breadth of skull with round underlying bone structure. The head should be set on a short thick neck. Nose - The nose itself should be short, broad and straight. In profile, a rounded forehead should lead to a short, straight nose with a nose break which is neither too pronounced nor too shallow.

  • Chin: a strong, firm and deep chin is essential. The bite MUST be level, the tip of the chin to line up with the tip of the nose in the same vertical plane.

  • Ears: small, rounded at the tips. Set far apart fitting into (without distorting) the rounded contour of the head. External ear to be well covered with fur, internal furnishings not to be excessive.

  • Eyes: Large, round and well-opened. Set wide apart with no tendency to Oriental shape. No squint.

  • Body: Cobby type with short level back. Low on legs with deep chest. Equally massive across the shoulders and the rump. Medium to large, but not rangy.

  • Legs and paws: Short, strong legs. Paws round and firm. Toes carried close, five on each forefoot (including dew claw) and four on each back foot.

  • Tail: Should be thick and of medium length, thicker at the base with rounded tip.

  • Coat: Must be short, dense and crisp. A soft and/or overlong and fluffy coat is incorrect.


Discover the importance of official registration

Learn how we apply the GCCF Standard of Points to produce beautiful British Shorthair kittens

Discover how to choose the right breeder for your kitten.

Understand the health problems faced by very flat faced cats, like Persians and Exotics.

Learn about Swimmer Syndrome and how to fix it

Discover the range of British Shorthair colours 

Find the full GCCF Standard of Points document.