European Shorthair Breed Profile
This European Shorthair Breed Profile Article is Listed in European Shorthair Cat Breed Information
The common house cat for millions of Europeans over many generations, the European Shorthair probably descended from the African Wild cat brought north by the Romans some 2,000 years ago, or by the native European Wild Cat. The widespread breed goes by many localized names, including Cyprus Cat, Marbled Cat, and Tiger Cat.
It is the purest of all breeds, replicating its characteristics naturally without any help from breeders. Each color is recognized as its own breed because of the different genes that go into producing each. The European Shorthair gave us the term “tabby,” in a round-about fashion. Weavers in Iraq duplicated the colors and patterns of the cat’s coat in the silks they exported to Europe, dubbing the fabrics with the name.
With such a natural, direct ancestry and with a large proportion of all European Shorthairs being born outside of controlled breeding situations, individual cats vary widely in temperament. However, the breed is generally territorial and combative toward other cats, but affectionate with owners that show it respect and care. Females, particularly, attach to the whole family. All individuals seem to genuinely enjoy new people. It’s an extremely active cat, with a definite need to roam large, open spaces. It is also an able mouser, with an almost manic desire for the activity.
There are many breeds of the European Shorthair: Black, which is extremely widespread and has a glossy black coat with yellow, orange, or copper eyes; White, with snow white coat with yellow or copper eyes; Albino, with white coat with light blue eyes and pupils that reflect red; Cream, which is extremely rare and has a uniform cream coat with copper or hazel eyes.
Red, with red-brown coat with orange eyes; Gray, with gray coat with orange or copper eyes; Tabby, tiger-striped; Marbled, see Classic Tabby pattern under American Shorthair; Tortie, with black, red, and cream coat with copper, orange, or hazel eyes; Tortie-with-White, with black, red, and cream coat with white on face and chest, and orange, amber, or copper eyes; Blue-Cream, with blue and cream coat with orange, yellow, or copper eyes; Black-and-White Bicolor; White-and-Blue Bicolor; Orange-and-White Bicolor; and Cream-and-White Bicolor.
The fur is short, thick, fine textured, and sometimes bristly. The body is extremely muscular and sturdy, with similar legs and medium, round paws. The head is round with a short nose, fully developed cheeks, large, round eyes, and relatively small, pointed ears. Regular brushing and stroking with a gloved hand will maintain the coat. It is a very long-lived cat.
These breeds, if given the slightest opportunities, will reproduce more frequently than any other breeds. They will also produce much larger litters.