The British Blue: blue British Shorthairs

The British Blue is quite possibly the most recognisable cat on the planet. Discover their origins and what makes them so popular.

British Blue British Shorthair cat

The British Blue, or blue British Shorthair, is the best known and most recognisable of all of the many colours of the British Shorthair cat. The picture above is our British Blue queen. What a beauty she is! 

History of the British Blue

Originally, all British Shorthair cats were tabby cats. We can trace the ancestry of some of our cats back to 1908, and we have even found some photographs of the original British Shorthair cats that started the line all those years ago. They are all tabby cats.

The blue colour, which is in fact a beautiful grey colour, was introduced to the breed from the Russian Blue breed. British Shorthairs were bred with Russian blues. This resulted in the blue colour that we know and love entering the British Shorthair breed to create the British Blue. Below is an image of an early British Blue.

An early british blue cat

Russian blues are beautiful cats. They are not as cobby as the British Shorthair, and they do not have the beautiful round head shape. Their ears are larger, and less rounded. The Russian blue also has green eyes, whereas the blue British Shorthair should have orange or amber eyes. If you see a Russian blue today, you will no doubt see some similarities between the British blue and the Russian blue. We have found that British blues that have been bred from a long line of purely blue British Shorthairs do tend to have more of a look of a Russian blue in the face, and share their slightly more crazy personalities! 

Once the blue from the Russian blues had been bred into the British blue line, breeders then had to work very hard to get the lovely British Shorthair type back: the large cobby body and round head with small ears and orange eyes.

Fortunately, the British Blue is a very popular cat and this means that it has been bred extensively. This has allowed the type of the British Blue to become very well developed, and also kept a lot of genetic diversity within the breed, which keeps the breed healthy because less inbreeding is required to continue the line.  There are so many famous Blue British Shorthair lines that we have a lot of stunning cats to choose from!   

Popularity of the blue British Shorthair

The British Blue is the cat that most people think of when they think of a British Shorthair. It is an iconic colour, and an iconic cat.  The orange eyes set against the grey are striking, and the exceptionally cobby body and large, round face make for an adorable combination. There is no wonder the blue British Shorthair is a firm favourite.

Blue British Shorthair kittens for sale

We have noticed something very interesting: when people come to view our kittens, they very often contact us saying that they would really love to have one of our blue British Shorthair kittens. When they arrive for the viewing, they see the whole litter, and very often in a litter we have some British Blues and some more unusual colours. In a recent litter we had 2 blue British Shorthairs, 1 blue bicolour and 1 blue tortie and white colourpoint. Our four kittens went to two new homes. Both couples who took them came for a blue British Shorthair kitten….and both left with a British Blue and another kitten of a more unusual colour! The first couple very nearly left with the 2 more unusually coloured kittens! So keep an open mind when looking for your kitten, because until you see them, you just don’t know which one might win your heart.

Our personal favourites continue to change over time. The truth is, every single British Shorthair is adorable, provided he or she is well bred, well socialised and healthy. They are an incredible cat both in temperament and appearance, and we love having them in our home.  Explore our website to discover some more unusual British Shorthair kitten colours.

Blue British Shorthair kittens

See if we have any British Blue kittens available

Something a bit different? 

- consider the bicolour British Shorthair 

If the classic British Blue isn't for you, have a look British Shorthair colours article. 



We are expert breeders of British Shorthair kittens. All of our cats and kittens live in our home with us as part of the family. Read more about our philosophy to discover what makes our kittens so very special. We have blue British Shorthair kittens, along with lilacs, the occasional chocolate and black, and occasionally we also have silver tabby and colourpoint kittens.