Domestic Shorthair Breed Guide

Friendly | Loyal | Low-Maintenance. Ahhh the trusty moggie, Britain’s most popular cat. Although not a recognised pedigree breed, the Domestic Shorthair doesn’t let this bother them and neither do UK pet owners with the breed being the most common type of cat owned in Britain. If you’re thinking about joining the rest of the country in adopting a Domestic Shorthair, read on to learn everything there is to know about this purrfect little furball.  

Domestic Shorthair

Domestic Shorthair Basics:

Average Lifespan: 12 – 20 years

Average Weight: 5.4 – 7.5kg

Colours:  Black, White, Grey, Tabby, Tortoise-shell, Red, Orange (the list goes on)

Shedding: Moderate

Origins of the Domestic Shorthair

Moggies, House Cats, Alley Cats or whatever you like to call them are the mutts of the cat world. They have no single heritage, but rather a mix of many different breeds making them the product of natural selection. Their heritage can be dated all the way back to Ancient Egypt where they were seen as magical creatures who bestowed good luck on to their owners.  With this, they were often dressed up in jewels and fed delicious cat treats by wealthy Egyptians.

These felines were then introduced to the UK with the Roman invasion in 43AD where they were brought along to protect their goods and rid their ships of rodents. Once on land, these cats bred with all sorts of different breeds throughout Europe and the rest of the world as a result of human migration and trade, creating new breeds and hybrids.

What do Domestic Shorthairs Look Like?

Domestic Shorthairs can come in pretty much every colour you can think of. Okay, maybe not rainbow (although that would be pretty pawesome!), but brown, black, white, red, orange, tabby, bi-colour – the list goes on.

These moggies have a sturdy build, with broad shoulders, a muscular body, and strong legs perfect for pouncing on an unsuspecting mouse. Their heads are round, with wide-set ears and big, expressive eyes which can come in many colours or even two different colours. Domestic Shorthairs have a short and shiny coat which is easy to care for and gives them a sleek and polished look. 

As they are a mixing pot of many different cat breeds you might be able to distinguish some genetic features of their distant relatives. 

For example:

  • Do they have chubby cheeks similar to a teddy bear? They might be part British Shorthair.
  • Is their fur slightly curly or wavy? They could be part Devon Rex.

Check out this sketch we did earlier of the anatomy of a Domestic Shorthair:

Anatomy of a domestic shorthair

How much do Domestic Shorthair's cost?

Domestic Shorthair's can cost anywhere between £100 to £2000 for a healthy kitty from a safe home. 

Don't forget to check out rehoming charities for floof's in need of a loving home!

Personality of a Domestic Shorthair

Much like their varying colours, Domestic Shorthair personalities can differ from kitty to kitty. Some are affectionate and playful, others can be more calm and lazy. Most though are very sociable and friendly making them excellent family pets that get along well with children and cat-friendly dogs. They often love to explore and enjoy dedicated playtime, so make sure to have a variety of cat toys, tunnels, and scratching posts to keep them stimulated.

How Long Do Domestic Shorthairs Live?

Due to their diverse gene pool, Domestic Shorthairs are generally very healthy cats and aren’t prone to many specific health conditions. With this, it’s not uncommon to see a moggie reach the ripe old age of 20. The oldest cat to live in the UK was a Domestic Shorthair called Flossie who lived to a whopping 27 years of age or 120 years in cat years!


Domestic Shorthairs do shed, however, because their hair is short their shedding is less noticeable than other breeds. Their shedding is also less than long-haired breeds as they don’t generally have a double coat of fur.

Domestic Shorthairs are known to be low-maintenance cats as they tend to do most of the grooming themselves, however, it’s still a good idea to give them a quick once over with a brush every now and then to help get rid of loose fur so you don’t notice it too much on your freshly washed black jeans.

How Much do Domestic Shorthairs Cost?

As Domestic Shorthairs are the most popular breed of cat they can be found anywhere. From pet rehoming shelters to online marketplaces, these moggies can often be picked up at a very low price or sometimes even free.

Domestic shorthair cat grey

If you are wanting to add a cat to your fur-fam, the PDSA recommends picking one up from a reputable rehoming charity such as Cats Protection, the RSPCA or the Blue Cross. This way you can be confident that your cat has had appropriate health checks with some also offering “temperament testing” to match a cat’s personality and needs to your lifestyle. Avoid adopting a cat from newspaper advertisements or online classified ads such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree as it can be difficult to ensure the cat you’re adopting is healthy and happy.

Feeding a Domestic Shorthair 

As Domestic Shorthairs aren’t prone to any specific health conditions, they don’t have any specific nutritional requirements. Like all cats, moggies are obligate carnivores and need a diet high in animal protein to live long and prosper. Make sure you feed them a complete cat food with at least 70% of a named high-quality animal protein. At Scrumbles we load all of our high protein cat food with high-quality animal meat as well as gut-friendly probiotics or prebiotics to keep our moggies’ tummies healthy and poops happy.

We’d love to hear about your Domestic Shorthair! How old are they? And, do you worship them like the Egyptians used to? We sure hope so! Comment on our latest @Scrumbles Instagram post to let us know!

Since you’re here, you might be interested in:

  1. Can cats eat cheese?
  2. How old is your cat in human years?
  3. Why does my cat snore?
  4. Bad cat breath?
  5. The truth about high protein cat food

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