British Shorthair vs Russian Blue – Differences and Similarities

Everything you need to know about the British Shorthair and Russian Blue cats

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a British Shorthair and a Russian Blue cat? I know I have. Some people even confuse these 2 breeds, so this article will be very useful for those people.

Although some of these cats can look pretty similar, there are various differences like personality, health, and care. I am also going to present the similarities, as there are some as well.

Differences in health

The British Shorthair cat is considered to be a healthy breed that is expected to live between 14 and 20 years. However, there are some health problems that are quite common in this breed. Even though they can affect pretty much any cat, both gingivitis and HCM are often found in British Shorthair cats.

HCM is the abbreviation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This means that the heart of the cat is not going to be as productive as it was before. You can easily identify if your cat has some of the following symptoms: leg swelling, shortness of breath, or even if the cat feels tired too often. However, your cat can still have this health issue even though it doesn’t present any symptoms.

You don’t have to worry too much when you are getting a cat from this breed. They may have a higher chance of developing these diseases than others, but that doesn’t mean every kitty will have those.

On the other hand, the Russian Blue is a very healthy breed. There aren’t any usual health problems for these cats. That doesn’t mean that they will never get sick, so you must still watch out for that. Despite being healthier than British Shorthair cats in general, they only are expected to live between 10 and 20 years.

Differences in size

The British Shorthair cat matures slower than other breeds. Only after 3 years, you can say they matured completely when talking about physical development. This breed is a medium size cat, with normal weight proportions. Males usually weigh between 9lbs (or 4.1 kg) and 17 lbs (or 7.7 kg) and females between 7 (or 3.2 kg) and 12 (or 5.4 kg).

The Russian Blue cat, however, is considered a small to moderate-sized cat. The males are bigger than the females, of course, and also more mature. The average weight of a cat from this breed is between 5 lbs (or 2.27 kg) to  12 lbs (or 5.45 kg). Female weighs between 7.7 lbs (or 3,5 kg) and 10 lbs (or 4.5 kg) while males are a bit heavier weighting from 10 lbs (or 4,5 kg) to 13.2 lbs (or 6 kg).

When talking about size, we can definitely tell which one is bigger from these stats. The British Shorthair is a bigger cat, in general.

Differences and similarities in personality

When talking about their personalities, those 2 breeds are pretty similar. They are friendly and loyal to their owners and also very intelligent. They also are preferred by animal trainers because of these characteristics. Additionally, both of them love the company of children and other animals. This may not always be the case, so make sure you introduce dogs or other cats step by step.

They like to be pet by children, but they don’t accept to be carried. They will be calm and relaxed only when they are respected and loved gently, so you must show your child how to do that in order to prevent any fights.

On the other hand, British Shorthair cats aren’t very active. The Russian Blue breed, however, tends to be very energetic and needs many toys for this aspect.

Differences and similarities in care

Bath and hygiene

Neither of these breeds needs too much bathing. They only need it when they are shedding, in order to remove some excess hair easier. You can brush their coats once or twice a week in order to get rid of the dead hairs.

A really important thing with cats is dental hygiene. Although not too many people do it properly, you should always worry about it. You should brush their teeth daily, but if you don’t have the time and patience to do it, try doing it at least weekly.

Be careful with the nails

If you care about your child’s safety or even your own, you regularly need to trim their nails. This advice is good for both the British Shorthair and Russian Blue cat owners. Even if your cat isn’t too aggressive, they tend to use their nails even when you’re playing with them. As an adult, a few scratches won’t kill you, but, if you have a child, it will be very dangerous for him or her. You can trim them depending on your preferences. My recommendation is to do it once a week in order to prevent any ugly scenarios.

Keep them clean

These cats are also mindful when it comes to their litter box, as they do not like using dirty areas. After they use it, you should always clean it very well. Otherwise, they might consider using a clean carpet as their litter box, and you definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.

Both are classified as indoor cats

They both are domestic cats, so you shouldn’t let them outside too much as they are very sensitive from a lot of perspectives. They have a high risk of catching some diseases spread by other animals, and they aren’t good fighters either, so exposing them to a lot of dogs or any other aggressive animal could end up being a bad situation. Also, they are expansive breeds, so people may try to steal them.

Differences and similarities in body shape, coat, and eyes color

If you ever look at a British Shorthair cat, you can observe some things. They seem powerful, having a broad chest and some really thick legs. Their cuteness comes from the short, thick coat, paired with a round head and cheeks. Also, its big eyes and big body may make you want to pet them on sight. Their tail is really beautiful as well, being thick and having a medium length.

These cats are often called British Blue for a reason. The most popular coat color among them is blue. However, these kitties can have a lot of strange and rare colors that will make them even more beautiful. If anyone would ask me to name 2 of those colors, they would surely be cinnamon and fawn. These are my 2 favorite colors for this breed and are very rare.

From this point of view, British Shorthair cats are often confused with Russian Blue cats. They look very alike. They are a robust breed as well; they may seem bigger though because of the double coat. This is one of the big differences between the two breeds.  The Russian Blue cat has a thick coat, and it is really soft.

Again, the usual color of this kind of cats is still blue. Their eyes are yellow when just they are little kitties. Over time, the yellow transforms into a dark green.


Overall those 2 breeds have both differences and similarities. No matter which one you chose, you can definitely say you got yourself a beautiful and intelligent cat. However, that can come with a price. You should always give them the attention that they need. Make sure you take good care of them and keep their weight normal in order to avoid any health issues. Which one do you prefer and why? Did you ever regret the choice that you have made when choosing one of those two?

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *