British ShortHair Vs Russian Blue

The British Shorthair and the Russian Blue cats are so similar that some people have a hard time distinguishing the two.

However, there are a few traits and characteristics that differ between the two as mentioned in this article.


British Shorthair

The British Shorthair cat is native to Britain, but most likely did not originate from there. Romans imported them from Egypt, and used these cats to keep their homes and camps safe from rodents, insects and snakes.

When the Romans invaded Britain over two thousand years ago, they took these cats with them, and some of them ended up staying there.

Today’s British Shorthair cats look nothing like today. Their coats vary in color from brown to yellowish-grey, with different shades on their face, legs, and tail.

When these cats landed in Europe, they bred with the European wildcat, thus changing the appearance of what we now see today in the British Shorthair. The ACFA recognized this breed for their blue color in 1970, and is still the most common color in Britain and America.

British Shorthair – Wikipedia

The Russian Blue

The Russian Blue’s origin is still a mystery, but stories say they probably originated from Russia and were brought over to Europe and Great Britain by sailors passing through in the 1860s.

These cats were bred in England and Scandinavia until WWII ended, and were later led to cross-breeding with Siamese cats because of their declining numbers.

In the post-war era, Americans bred the Russians with the Scandinavian Blues, while breeding out the traits of the Siamese and creating the Russian Blues we are familiar with today. 

Russian Blue – Wikipedia


British Shorthair

The British Shorthair has a life expectancy of fourteen to twenty years, with an average lifespan between eleven and twelve and a half years. This breed is prone to a few health conditions.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Blood clots and heart failure can occur in this disease caused by a thickening of the left ventricle within the heart, limiting the amount of blood flow.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be maintained with medication and routine checks with a veterinarian. Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Lethargy
  • Labored breathing
  • Open-mouthed breathing upon exertion
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Paralysis of the hind legs

Polycystic kidney disease

This disease is inherited through genetics and is characterized by fluid-filled cysts which develop in the kidneys.

A veterinarian may suggest surgery if the disease progresses. The condition can be maintained with medications and a proper diet. Some symptoms of polycystic kidney disease are:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lethargy
  • Weight Loss
  • Seizures
  • Loss of body movement
  • Vomiting

Russian Blue

Russian Blue cats have a life expectancy of ten to twenty years, with some known to have a lifespan of twenty-five years.

This breed is known not to be prone to any health or genetic conditions. Furthermore, with proper care and diet, they can live a long and healthy life.


British Shorthair

This breed will mature into a large cat with an ample size chest and thick legs. Their tails are rounded at the top and will grow to be about a medium size in length.

They will not fully develop until the age of three, which is slow compared to most cat breeds. Males will range in weight from nine to seventeen pounds, while the female will weigh in between seven and twelve pounds.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cats vary in size, from small to medium, and like the British Shorthair, reach maturity around three years of age.

This breed can weigh between eight and fifteen pounds, with the male usually being larger than the female.


British Shorthair

The British Shorthair are mellow, sweet nature cats whose purpose are to please their owners. Although they are not as playful compared to other breeds, they will put up with a lot of activity.

The cats dislike being picked up and would rather stay on the floor by their owner’s feet than on their laps. They are very quiet cats and display a lot of patience.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a very nosy cat with a friendly personality. They exude energy and will play with anything that moves. Even though these cats are friendly, they are also reserved, especially around strangers.

They are very intuitive to their owners and can remember where toys and treats are hidden. This breed makes a great indoor pet, but would also thrive outdoors or on a farm as they are proficient hunters.

Coat color and patterns

British Shorthair

The single coat on a British Shorthair is short and thickset with a ripple-like appearance and a soft plush texture.

To the British, blue is the most common color, but other colors such as black, white, lavender, silver and chocolate have been developed.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cat has a double, short coat. Like the British one, the coat is soft and plush in texture.

The coat color of a Russian Blue is a silvery grey mixed with lavender hues, and if you look closely, you can see that the guard hairs are silver-tipped. 

Eye Color Of The British Shorthair Vs The Russian Blue

The eyes of a British Shorthair cat depend on the color of its coat, and the amount of pigment found in the iris. The most common color is amber.

Even though the Russian Blue cat may have blue eyes as a kitten, they will turn green as it gets older.

Grooming Requirements 

British Shorthair cats don’t need as much brushing as a Russian Blue cat, as they do not have an undercoat.

A Russian Blue needs to be brushed at least twice a week because of their thick undercoat. This will help to maintain the hair found on surfaces in the house from shedding. 

Final Thought

It might be hard for one to tell the difference between these two breeds unless you are familiar with them. There are a few similarities and differences which I hope are made easier by reading this article.

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