Why Is My British Shorthair So Small?

My British Shorthair, Marble is 7 months old and weighs 6.5 pounds. She eats a lot of food, yet she appears to not be gaining much weight. I noticed growth in her length and height when she reached her 6th-month milestone; however, I have not seen any increase in her 7th month. My veterinarian insists that she is healthy and well; nonetheless, I couldn’t ignore the nagging impulse to research more about this matter. The answer to my questions was not what I expected, but it did satisfy my curiosity. I would like to share with you what I found.

Why is my British Shorthair so small? British Shorthair cats are small when they are in the kitten and junior life stage. At 6 months they are typically 7 pounds, 12-16 inches in length and 10-14 inches in height. After reaching their 6th-month milestone, they will grow very slowly until they reach adulthood.

Why Is My British Shorthair So Small?

General knowledge about the weight, height, and length of your cat given his or her age range will make you more aware of their diets and the importance of feeding them the right type of food that will help them to grow healthy. This article will give you more insight into the topic of animal obesity and how to prevent it from happening to your cats. Most cat owners don’t know much about the breed of their cats; however, this knowledge will enable you to treat your cat better and strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Small But Beautiful

British Shorthair cats are known to mature quite slowly compared to other domestic cat breeds; nonetheless, pet owners agree that the final result is very much worth the wait. Like all cats, they start off as kittens small enough to fit into the palm of your hands weighing a few ounces.

By the time your British Shorthair kitten is 10-14 days old, they would have doubled their birth weight, gaining nothing more than a quarter to half an ounce each day. At 3 months old your cat should weigh about 2-4 pounds and at least three times the size it was at birth. Their weight, length, and height will steadily increase until they reach their 6th-month milestone.

Most British Shorthair cats weigh 6-7 pounds; however, as mentioned earlier, British Shorthair cats mature at a slower rate than other domestic cats. He or She will appear to be small while in the kitten life stage and even in the junior life stage. In fact, they grow so slowly that you may be concerned or alarmed as I was; however, if you are feeding your cat healthy nutritious food and taking them for regular checkups at the vet, then you can rule out any medical complications.

british shorthair kitten

Your British Shorthair cat will grow up to become a beautiful medium or large lap cat, but unfortunately, you may not see substantial growth until they are 2-3 years old, when they have become more independent and acquired the necessary social and predatory skills they need to survive on their own. Some British Shorthair cats do not attain their full size until they are 5 years old.

The female cats are relatively smaller than their male counterparts, so if you have a male cat and a female cat and notice that there is a difference in size, this is because the male cats are heavier, and a few inches longer in length and taller in height. After realizing this I now understand that my pet Marble is not small, but she just has not reached her full size as of yet. British Shorthair cats grow up to be a medium size or even large lap cats. Their build is often described as storky and they are nicked named the teddy bear cat because of their shape and size.

Can Shedding Cause My British Shorthair to be Small in Size?

Can british shorthair shedding causes affect the size of my cat? Shedding is a normal process, but it primarily affects the fur quantity and texture rather than size. The shedding pattern varies among individuals, but overall, it doesn’t directly impact the breed’s size. Factors like genetics, diet, and exercise tend to have a more significant influence on a British Shorthair’s size.

Does The Lack Of Nutrition As A Kitten Affect A Cat’s Growth?

The answer to this question is yes. Just like infants, cats require a certain about of nutrients as kittens for them to grow at a normal rate and reach their expected adult size. If for any reason, a kitten was separated from his or her mother or abandoned by the mother due to a birth defect that the mother detected in the kitten at birth, and the kitten did not have the opportunity to feed on her, it is highly possible that this could affect her growth as she gets older, causing a significant decrease in growth.

Another reason could be that the mother became sick after giving birth, did not have sufficient milk or had a large litter of kittens. Competing with feline brothers and sisters to drink from their mother or a milk bowl at feeding time can also play an important part in your cat being small.

Can British Shorthairs Go Outside?

So, if you own more than one kitten, it is imperative to make sure that they each get the required amount of calories and nutrition in their diet to ensure that they grow at the expected rate in order to reach their full size.

Due to these factors it is highly possible that even though your British Shorthair should grow up to be a medium or large lap cat, it may remain small; however, that does not mean that your cat is not healthy, it just means that it did not get the required nutrients as a kitten to reach its full potential in size. It is important to take your pet for a check-up at the vet to rule out any illnesses, of course.

Does My Cat’s Genes Or Ancestors Play A Role In Their Size?

Genes are like a lottery ticket, and we can’t predict which number it will land on, well, this analogy applies to cats as well. Although your cat is a British Shorthair cat, it is possible that it may not be a pure British Shorthair breed. Somewhere along the way the breed was mixed with a cat that is of a smaller size, or a stray cat resulting in a mix breed generations later. This means that your cat may be small because of its ancestry and the genes that were simply passed down from generation to generation.


This type of situation is not uncommon with cats, and if your British Shorthair cat is healthy but relatively small for the size that it should be, then this is definitely one possibility that you should consider. Gene inheritance occurs in cats just like it occurs in human beings, and it is something that is very normal, yet very hard to trace in cats.

So there may be no way of knowing what your cat’s ancestry was mixed with; nonetheless, if the size of your cat was inherited due to a mix in their breed generations before it, then packing your cat with calories or nutrients trying to get it to grow most likely would not work. It is simply something that must be accepted.

What Can I do About My Cat’s Size? Can I Help My Pet To Grow To Its Full Size?

If your cat was not abandoned by its mother at birth, or was not separated from her for any reason, and was strong enough to feed as a kitten to get all the required nutrients to grow in the kitten and junior stage, yet it is still relatively small, then there is a strong chance that is hereditary and there is actually nothing that you can do to make them grow despite your efforts.

If your cat is small, but healthy then that is definitely something to be happy about. Focusing on enjoying the companionship of your cat rather than what size it should need to be a priority. Since British Shorthair cats are late bloomers then patience is recommended. He or She may be small now, but with a good diet filled with nutritious foods, they can grow to their expected size after 3-5 years.


You might be able to do something about your cat’s weight gain by feeding them foods that are high in protein and fat, but if their growth was stunted in their kitten or junior stage, then they will remain the same length and height regardless of what you feed them. As mentioned earlier the most important thing is to make sure that your cat is healthy, so regular check-ups are recommended to ensure that your cat is doing well. Once illness has been ruled out, if you still do not see growth in your cat, then acceptance is the next best thing.

Don’t try to grow your cat to be the size that you want it to be, instead, appreciate it for simply being unique in its own way. Marble is eating healthy and doing great. I continue to take her for her check-ups, now I am not sure if she will grow to her potential size because before I got her she was a stray; however, I can say that the information that I have learned in my research has made me more aware and accepting of her. Whether she grows up to be a large lap cat or remain small, she will always mean the world to me regardless of her size.

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