British Shorthair Colors: From Chocolate To Lilac And Cream

Breeds June 21, 2021



British Shorthair Colors: From Chocolate To Lilac And Cream

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The British Shorthair cat is one of the oldest breeds and can be described as being “teddy bear-like”. This breed is good-natured, affectionate, curious and playful. This breed makes the perfect companion for cat parents and families with children.


British Shorthair cat breed history

British shorthairs are an ancient breed and believed to be the direct descendants of the cats brought to England when the Romans invaded. They were used to control vermin and quickly spread throughout the country becoming street and farm cats. Eventually their calm and independent personalities encouraged people to welcome them into their homes and hearts.

In the late 1800s, a cat breeder named Harrison Weir began developing the British shorthair breed officially by crossing different individual cats. Over the years, according to The Cat Fanciers’ Association, they developed round faces with short, thick coats of all colors. Then at the first organized cat show, held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, a blue tabby British shorthair owned by Weir won Best in Show.

After World War I, the British shorthair we see today was fine-tuned by adding Persian, Russian blue, French Chartreux, and domestic shorthair cats into the mix. Then in the 1970s, the British shorthair was finally given formal recognition around the world.


The British Shorthair cat is medium to large in size. It is a well-developed breed, with a broad chest and powerful muscles. The British Shorthair has a gorgeous coat that is thick and dense, and becoming longer and thicker during the winter months.

The most popular color is grey-blue, but the British Shorthair is bred in more than 100 color and coat pattern combinations. The British Shorthair’s most common range of colors are; chocolate, lilac, red, cream, white, and black but there are many other color combinations.


As the name implies, a great many British Shorthair cats have distinctive deep blue – gray coloring. Some other names for this color include slate gray, solid blue, and Maltese. Blue can also be used to describe a light gray color, so the term may reference a medium or light gray instead of the darker blue-gray.


British Shorthair cat breed Chocolate

Chocolate British Shorthairs obtained their coloring from cross-breeding with chocolate Persians. Like British Shorthair Blues, any white hairs or hair of other colors are not considered true. However, the coat color in this breed can vary in any shade of chocolate ranging from dark to light chocolate milk. Their coat tones are often referred to as Havana or chestnut. This coat color usually paired with rich orange or copper eyes, and their paw pads and nose tips are either chocolate or pink in color.

Red or Ginger

British Shorthair red or ginger cat breed

The Red or ginger British Shorthair inherited it’s genes from Persian cats and other red-colored cat breeds. These flaming cats often show up with tabby markings on the paws and foreheads. This kitties coat colorings rarely have a solid or consistent ginger color and usually come in an uneven distribution of blends. The eyes are a slight orange or copper color while the tips of the nose and paw pads have some red or brick color.


Lilac British Shorthairs have a combination of gray, blue, and pink tones in their coats. You can find mixed variations, from cold lavender to warm pinkish gray mixed in the fur. This color comes from a chocolate cat with the dilution gene. This gene reduces the pigment in the cats fur so the chocolate ends up looking lilac. The tips on the nose and paw pads blend with the appearance of their fur. While their eyes are bright, orange-copper, or amber in color.


Cream-colored British Shorthairs have a pretty light red color, which appears if a white gene is present in the cat. These cats have a soft, pastel shade of pale off-white fur. These creamy cat’s noses and paws are a nice pink color. Their eye pigments are the typical British Shorthair orange, gold, or copper color. This gives them that rich contrast from their light fur. Just like the red British Shorthairs some cream colors have tabby markings.


White British Shorthair cats are adored for their pure, snow-white fur. The coat should be without smoky or yellow undertones, spots, and stripes. A white-colored British Shorthairs paw pads and muzzle should be pink without any other colors, too. All white cats are actually colored cats but they have a white gene which in effect masks their actual colors. These beautiful cats have sapphire blue eyes, also known as blue-eyed white British Shorthair. There are also orange-eyed white British Shorthair cats with copper, amber, or gold color eyes. There are even odd-eyed white British Shorthair cats are also, with one sapphire blue eye and one golden eye.


A Black British Shorthair is not easy to find and appears almost magical and mysterious with its jet black coat. There are times when a British Shorthair kitten is born black and its color changes to chocolate as they grow older. Like their solid color coats, these cats paw pads and tiny noses are also black. The beautiful contrast of their black fur goes well with their classic copper, orange or golden color eyes.


Nothing describes a British Shorthair cat better than words like laid back, quiet, and a bit lazy. This breed is a typical lap cat and absolutely loves to cuddle up with their favorite humans. British Shorthairs by nature, are obedient and can make a great companion for anyone seeking a low-maintenance cat. These cats get along well with children and are good with dogs.

The female British Shorthair tends to be more reserved than the males who can be goofy in nature. British Shorthairs are highly intelligent and they love playing with interactive toys and their humans.

Final Words

British Shorthair cats come in many different colors, patterns, and even eye colors. Every cat’s color has its own unique characteristics and traits. Hopefully this article gave you a better understanding of all the shades, tinges, and hues of the British Shorthaired felines.


Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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