Are British Shorthair Cats Brachycephalic?

They say that a tiger is a cat, but a British Shorthair is not. Some people think that brachycephalic cats are flat-faced and may suffer from health problems such as difficulty breathing. However, this isn’t always true! In fact, these feline friends can be healthy and happy if they’re cared for properly. Here’s everything you need to know about British Shorthairs in one place:

MUST-KNOW British Shorthair Cat PROS And CONS – YouTube
British Shorthair cats are considered brachycephalic due to their shorter and broader skull structure.
Brachycephalic traits in British Shorthairs can contribute to certain health issues, such as breathing difficulties or dental problems.
The severity of brachycephalic traits can vary among individual British Shorthair cats.
Proper care, including a suitable environment, regular veterinary care, grooming, and a balanced diet, can help ensure the well-being of brachycephalic British Shorthairs.
Regular monitoring and prompt veterinary attention are crucial to address any potential health issues in brachycephalic British Shorthair cats.

Are British Shorthair Cats Brachycephalic?

British Shorthair cats are brachycephalic, which means they have short muzzles and flat faces. Brachycephaly is a genetic condition that causes the overcrowding of teeth. It’s also known as a short-faced syndrome or mesocephaly, which just means “middle head” in Greek.

If you’re concerned about allergies, our vet answer on hypoallergenic British Shorthair cats provides insights and advice to help you make an informed decision.

Are British Shorthair Cats Large Cats Or Small Cats?

British Shorthair cats are medium-sized cats, not large cats or small cats. They weigh between 7 and 15 pounds on average, with females being slightly smaller than males.

Are British Shorthair Cats Long-Haired Or Short-Haired?

If you’re looking for a British shorthair cat, you’ll notice that they come in both short-haired and long-haired varieties. The short-haired British Shorthair is known as the Britsh Shorthair, while the long-haired version is called a Longhair.

If you’re wondering how to tell them apart, it’s very simple: look at their fur! If your cat has smooth hair with no undercoat, it’s most likely a Britsh Shorthair. 

But if he has an undercoat that grows out of his body like thick fur does on each individual strand of cotton candy (we’ve got one in our office), then he may be a Longhair.

Coat TypeDescription
Short-HairedThe majority of British Shorthair cats have a short and dense coat that lies close to the body.
Long-HairedSome British Shorthair cats can have a semi-long or long-haired coat, which is thicker and requires more grooming.

Do British Shorthair Cats Have Long Noses?

A British Shorthair cat’s nose is fairly long, but not as long as the noses of Persian and Himalayan cats. The British Shorthair has a short nose, but it’s not flat like the face of a Persian or Himalayan cat.

Why Are British Shorthair Cats Brachycephalic?

If you’re interested in British Shorthair kittens, you may have wondered if they have an abnormally long nose. 

This is because most cats with a snub nose are called brachycephalic. The word brachycephalic comes from the Greek words “brachys” meaning short and “kephale” meaning head.

In this article, we will answer all of your questions about British Shorthair cats and their unique facial features: do British Shorthairs have short noses? Are they related to other breeds like Persians or Himalayans? And why do these cats have such a different appearance than other types of felines?

Discover the joy of owning a British Shorthair cat through the eyes of experienced owners. Read their experiences with British Shorthair cats and learn why they make fantastic companions.

How Long Is The Nose Of A British Shorthair Cat?

British Shorthair cats are a brachycephalic breed with flat faces, and they have shorter faces than other breeds. This means that their noses are shorter than the average cat’s nose.

Are British Shorthair Cats Flat-Faced?

British Shorthair cats are not flat-faced. However, they do suffer from brachycephaly – a condition that affects the shape of their head and nose.

Brachycephalic cats have a short, broad head with a short nose, wide nostrils and large eyes. It is this distinctive appearance that gives them their common name: “brachy” means “short” while “cephalic” refers to the head or skull.

What Are The Signs Of Brachycephalic Feline Syndrome In Cats?

If you notice any of the following signs on your cat, it may be suffering from brachycephaly:

  • Short nose
  • Short face
  • Flat face (no prominent cheekbones)
  • Dilated nostrils (the opening is very wide)
  • Bulging eyes
Noisy BreathingAudible respiratory sounds during normal breathing.
SnoringLoud, harsh breathing sounds during sleep.
Difficulty BreathingLabored breathing or shortness of breath.
Gagging or ChokingEpisodes of coughing, gagging, or choking.
CyanosisBluish discoloration of the gums, tongue, or skin due to inadequate oxygenation.
Exercise IntoleranceInability to engage in physical activities for extended periods.
Heat IntoleranceDifficulty regulating body temperature, leading to overheating.
Facial DeformitiesAbnormal facial features, such as a flattened face or wide-set eyes.
Eye IrritationFrequent tearing, eye discharge, or conjunctivitis.
Dental AbnormalitiesDental overcrowding or misalignment due to a shortened skull.

Are There Any Health Problems Associated With Brachycephaly?

If you’re thinking about adopting or purchasing a brachycephalic cat, you should be aware of the potential health problems associated with this breed. The British Shorthair is one such breed that’s been known to suffer from brachycephalic feline syndrome.

Brachycephalic feline syndrome is a condition that causes breathing issues for cats with shorter snouts and flat faces. 

This can include difficulties breathing, eye problems, choking on food and water, nasal discharge and skin irritation from rubbing against or scratching furniture. While some breeds are more likely to get these conditions than others (the Persian being one of the worst), it’s important to know the signs so you can take steps to prevent them if possible!

Looking for an affectionate feline companion? Our collection of owner experiences with affectionate British Shorthair cats will melt your heart and give you a glimpse into their loving nature.

What Are The Different Breeds Of Brachycephalic Cats

Brachycephalic cats are also known as flat-faced cats. Not all breeds of brachycephalic cat look alike, but they do share several features in common:

  • A short nose
  • A broad head and muzzle (the region between the eyes and mouth)
  • A wide face with a round skull
  • An undershot or everted lower jaw (the bottom part of the face)

Wondering if British Shorthair cats get along well with dogs? Find out from owners who have firsthand experience in our guide on British Shorthair cats’ compatibility with dogs. Discover heartwarming stories of feline and canine friendships.

What Are The Health Problems Associated With Brachycephaly?

Brachycephalic cats are subject to a wide range of health problems. The primary cause of these issues is congenital defects that occur in the womb because the skull is too small and cannot accommodate the brain and nasal passages.

Brachycephalic cats have breathing difficulties because they can’t breathe through their noses, so they have to pant heavily in order to get enough oxygen into their bloodstreams. 

They also tend to drool since they can’t swallow properly either due to their crowded mouths and long tongues (which makes eating more difficult).

Another problem with brachycephalic cats’ distinctive faces is eye damage caused by protruding eyes that don’t open fully because there isn’t enough room for them inside the animal’s head cavity; this condition can lead to blindness if left untreated. 

Adequate grooming helps prevent infection from developing on some areas around the eyes where hair grows very close together or falls into them while grooming themselves.

Health ProblemDescription
Breathing DifficultiesDifficulty in breathing due to narrowed air passages.
Heat IntoleranceInability to regulate body temperature efficiently, leading to overheating.
Dental IssuesIncreased risk of dental abnormalities and crowding due to a shortened skull.
Eye ProblemsCommon eye conditions such as dry eyes, ulcers, and increased tear staining.
Skin Fold InfectionsSkin fold irritation and infections, especially in areas like the face and tail.
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)A combination of respiratory issues that can cause severe breathing problems.
Exercise IntoleranceLimited stamina and reduced ability to engage in strenuous activities.
Gastrointestinal ProblemsIncreased risk of digestive issues like regurgitation, flatulence, and difficulty swallowing.
Dental and Oral HealthHigher susceptibility to dental disease and oral health complications.
Surgical ComplicationsBrachycephalic cats may face increased risks during anesthesia and surgical procedures.

Is It Possible To Tell If A Cat Has Brachycephaly Without X-Rays?

You can tell by the face. The face of a brachycephalic cat is long and flat, with a nose that’s pushed up against the forehead and eyes that are set in deep sockets.

You can tell by the nose. A brachycephalic cat has a shallow nose bridge, which means there’s not much space between its eyes and its nostrils; this makes it hard for these cats to breathe easily through their noses (which is why they tend to pant or sneeze). In some cases, though not all, you may notice that these cats have long muzzles this condition is called “muzzle shortness.”

You can tell by looking at their heads overall: Brachycephaly often results in round heads on top of short necks because it affects both the muscles that attach underneath each jawbone as well as those responsible for opening them up wide enough so air can pass through during respiration.”

Curious about whether British Shorthair cats should be allowed outside? Explore the topic and more in our comprehensive guide on allowing British Shorthair cats outside, where we discuss their safety, exercise needs, and more.


We hope this article has helped you to understand some of the basic facts about brachycephalic feline syndrome. The good news is that there are plenty of other cat breeds out there for you to choose from if you don’t like these kinds of cats!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic of British Shorthair cats and brachycephalic traits: Are British Shorthair Cats Brachycephalic?: Learn more about the brachycephalic nature of British Shorthair cats and its implications for their health and well-being. British Shorthair – A Brachycephalic Breed: Explore in-depth information about the brachycephalic characteristics specific to the British Shorthair breed and how it affects their appearance and health. Health Problems in British Shorthair Cats: Discover common health issues that British Shorthair cats may face, including those related to their brachycephalic traits, and find guidance on how to keep them healthy and happy.


Here are some frequently asked questions about British Shorthair cats and brachycephalic traits:

1. What does it mean for a cat to be brachycephalic?

Brachycephalic refers to a cat breed with a relatively short and broad skull shape, resulting in certain facial characteristics such as a flattened face, a shortened nose, and wide-set eyes.

2. Are British Shorthair cats brachycephalic?

Yes, British Shorthair cats are considered brachycephalic due to their naturally shorter and broader skull structure.

3. Do brachycephalic traits in British Shorthairs cause any health problems?

While brachycephalic traits can contribute to certain health issues, such as breathing difficulties or dental problems, it’s important to note that not all British Shorthairs will experience these problems and proper care can help mitigate potential risks.

4. Are all British Shorthairs affected by brachycephalic traits in the same way?

No, the severity of brachycephalic traits can vary among individual British Shorthair cats. Some may exhibit more pronounced features, while others may have milder characteristics.

5. How can I ensure the well-being of my brachycephalic British Shorthair?

Providing a suitable environment, regular veterinary care, proper grooming, and a balanced diet can contribute to the overall health and well-being of your brachycephalic British Shorthair. Regular monitoring and prompt veterinary attention are essential to address any potential health issues.