Differences between the British Shorthair and the Chartreux

British Shorthair cat breed difference from chartreux

While the British Shorthair and the Chartreux share some similarities, they are two very distinct breeds. In this article, we will go over the various differences between them.

The origins of the British Shorthair and the Chartreux

The British Shorthair originated in the United Kingdom, while the Chartreux originated in Syria or Iran.

Where does the British Shorthair come from?

As its name suggests, the British Shorthair appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1870s. The history of this cat breed is defined by the many journeys that its ancestors have lived through. They were originally alley cats, who greatly resembled the Chartreux. Breeders crossed the felines, who were selected for their beauty. This resulted in the British Shorthair breed.

The British Shorthair was shown to the general public for the first time during an exposition in London in 1871. Unfortunately, this lineage suffered for a few years during the war that because it reduced the number of catteries. Breeders made many efforts to bring back this breed. Persian cats largely contributed to the return of the British Shorthair thanks to many crosses. The British Shorthair was officially recognized in France by the Livre officiel des Origines Félines (LOOF) more than a century later.

The origins of the Chartreux

The origins of the Chartreux are rather unclear. They are believed to have come from Syria or Iran. The breed was later introduced to Europe around the 16th century. The Chartreux appeared for the first time in France, in Brittany, with a cattery starting in the 1920s.

Despite the differences between the two breeds, the Chartreux is also confused with the British Shorthair. And for good reason, the Chartreux breed was also crossed with the Persian, just like the British Shorthair.

Their appearance

The British Shorthair and the Chartreux are robust cats that are particularly muscular.


Both of these cats are robust with beautiful coats and stunning eyes. The Chartreux has rather classic characteristics. It is a powerful cat with defined muscles. When it comes to this breed’s tail, it is the classic length and thick at the base. The British Shorthair has firm and sturdy body. Unlike the Chartreux, its tail is short and thick.


The predominant color of these two breeds is bluish gray for the both of them, but this coat color is not unique. This color is rather common in different cat breeds. With that being said, these two cats do not have identical coats. The British Shorthair’s coat is rather thick. It is very soft to the touch. Its fluffy fur gives them the appearance of a stuffed toy. Its coat comes in many colors and can be unicolor, have some marks (tabby), or bicolor.

The Chartreux has a predominantly blue-gray coat, with the particularity of retaining only one definitive color after a certain age. In kittens, stripes can be visible, giving them a tabby coat. With time, these marks fade away to give way to a definitive coat, generally when the cat is around four years old. Its coat is wooly and dense.


These cats have large round eyes with deep looks that make these cats beautiful. However, it also makes it confusing when it comes to differentiating these two breeds. The eyes of the British Shorthair usually are close to the color of their coat. Usually, honey amber eyes characterize the British Shorthair, but they can also have blue or green eyes if they are white or have a coat that is not bluish gray, even as adult cats.

The Chartreux have exclusively golden or orange eyes. The kittens can be born with green eyes or turquoise eyes before they start to turn a copper color. The copper shades will then become dominant within a few weeks.


Even though the Chartreux and the British Shorthair both look like they are smiling all the time, the rest of their face is different. For example, the British Shorthair has a shorter nose and slightly curved nostrils. The ears point towards the front, unlike the Chartreux who has more classic characteristics with straight ears and a muzzle that is well-defined. The British Shorthair stands out for its round face and droopy cheeks, which is why this cat is sometimes given the name “teddy bear cat”.


The differences in weight between the two breeds is also small. An adult male Chartreux can weigh up to around 7 kilos ( 15.4 pounds), while the females can reach up to 5 kilos ( 11 pounds). The British Shorthair’s weight is more significant, especially for the females who can reach up to 4 to 8 kilos ( 8.8 to 17.6 pounds), same for the males.


The British Shorthair and the Chartreux are both affectionate cats. With that being said, the Chartreux is much more independent.

A British Shorthair with copper eyes
The British Shorthair is an affectionate cat that adapts well to its environment.

The British Shorthair: an affectionate cat that likes to stay lose to its owner

This cat is dependent on its owner and asks for a lot of attention. It is important to dedicate play time and time for affection so that they can blossom in their home. They can accept living in the company of other animals and share a space with them. This cat adapts well to its environment. They can live in an apartment or a house and they know how to accept living with a family with children. With that being said, this cat is a calm cat that needs peaceful moments to rest as well.

Chartreux cat breed
The Chartreux has an independent and strong character.

The Chartreux: gentle and independent

We almost never hear this cat because they are very calm and patient. They can get used to their environment and communicate with their family rather quickly. They are very interested in their surroundings and really appreciate big open spaces. Unlike the the British Shorthair, the Chartreux has a more affirmed and independent character. They like to decide when they will spend time with their owner and when they need some freedom. It is a mischievous cat breed that can adapt to living with any animal and will be happy to live with a family with children or with an owner who is more calm and less present.


In general, these two breeds do not usually have very distinct health problems. A regular standard follow-up is still necessary, with particular attention to the Chartreux. Its coat, which is different from the British Shorthair and more wooly, can sometimes cause some problems. When the Chartreux ingests too much fur during their molting period, blockages can form. You can use cat grass and brush them more often if necessary to avoid the forming of balls of fur. When it comes to the British Shorthair, they do not have this problem.


Because the British Shorthair is not very active, this can cause them to gain weight, especially if they live in an apartment. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on what they are eating. For the Chartreux, food is not a problem. This is because they are active cats. They are capable of managing their own diet for the entire day. These two breeds, while quite similar, still have quite a few differences.