European shorthair

European shorthair

A portrait of the popular domestic cat

The  European Shorthair  is a purposefully bred domestic cat that evolved in Europe over centuries. Find out everything about the history, nature, keeping and care of the popular short-haired cat in the profile.

History and origin of the European Shorthair

The origin of all modern cat breeds lies in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians kept cats in granaries as a defense against mice and worshiped them as gods. The formerly wild wild cat was slowly domesticated and spread all over the world. As early as the year 1000, cats were everywhere in Europe. Without targeted breeding efforts, a certain type of domestic cat developed , which is known to this day. In the 1980s, the first breeders, especially in Scandinavia, began to specifically breed the widespread forest and meadow cat. They set a standard and named the slim and elegant cat European Shorthair, EKH for short. At the same time, the stockier . The breed is therefore a typical domestic cat that has been refined in type and fur markings through targeted breeding. Even today there are supposedly ordinary house cats on farms that are purebred EKHs. Only since the 1990s has there been an increasing number of EKH breeders in Germany.

essence and character

The character of the individual animals is just as varied as their coat colour. There are both particularly anxious and affectionate or wild specimens. The nature of every cat is different. In general, the European Shorthair is considered a friendly and down-to-earth cat breed. They are usually more trusting than their wild counterparts because they have been living in people’s homes for generations. Cats are often shy and reserved towards strangers.Many EKHs are cuddly and enjoy contact with their two-legged friends. Even with children or dogs, the cats usually have no problem, as long as everyone adheres to certain rules.

Appearance of the European Shorthair

The European Shorthair is a relatively large, muscular cat with a large head and round eyes. The nose is generally short, the ears are wide apart and the cheeks are slightly prominent. The medium-length tail is thick and has a rounded tip. The short coat has a dense undercoat and a shiny top coat. All coat colors are allowed , but the colors should be pure and the markings clearly defined. A total of almost 70 colors are recognized, with only 30 being specifically bred. The most popular colorations include black, white, red tabby, black tabby and tortoiseshell. All colors can also appear in combination with white. Only specially bred colorings such as Point or Chocolate are not desired.

attitude and care

Outdoor cat or indoor cat?

Since the European Shorthair has evolved as a semi-feral domestic cat on farms for centuries, it has a freedom- loving character. She will definitely be happy as an outdoor cat if the conditions in your neighborhood allow it. You should be prepared for the fact that the cat regularly brings home “gifts” that it has caught itself. Whoever has a problem with that is with a cat, its hunting behavioris so pronounced, not good advice. If you want to keep the EKH purely as an indoor cat, you should offer it enough space and activity. A cat-proof balcony or yard would be ideal in this case, so she can get some fresh air and roam around. You still have to teach some cats to use the litter box, which is of course indispensable for an indoor cat.

How much exercise does the European Shorthair need?

As an outdoor cat, the European Shorthair keeps itself busy and loves to hunt and defend its territory. As the owner, you are responsible for providing a replacement if you live purely as an apartment. A large scratching post with climbing and play facilities is definitely a good start. It would also be great if the intelligent cats were mentally challenged in the form of It is enough to hide treats and let the cat look for them – but there are no limits to your creativity. Anyone who is out of the house a lot should get a second cat so that the four-legged friend does not feel lonely.

grooming and feeding

With its short, dense fur , the EKH does not require any special care. Nevertheless, it helps the cat if you help it to remove loose hair by brushing it regularly. Especially in the spring, the change of coat can be exhausting for short-haired cats. Most cats enjoy the extra stroking once they get used to it. Feeding a species-appropriate and healthy cat food is just as important. If your four-legged friend only lives in the apartment, you should take care to avoid being overweight. Try to avoid too many snacks and stick to regular feeding times.

Purchase of a European Shorthair

If you buy a cat, you have to be aware that with a  life expectancy  of more than 18 years, you will become attached to the animal for a long time. Before you buy, you should be very sure and inform yourself well about the breed. In Germany, targeted breeding of the EKH is not particularly widespread. However, if you want a cat that closely resembles the European Shorthair in character and appearance, you will definitely find it. Not only on farms , but also in animal sheltersyou will always find little kittens looking for a new home. Here you can often get a healthy and loving kitten or an adult cat in need for a small fee. For purebred cats with papers and pedigree, the price can be slightly higher at up to €400.

Interesting and worth knowing

  • If your ordinary domestic cat has the characteristics of a European Shorthair, you can have it subsequently recognized as an EKH. You can then take part in exhibitions and breed officially.
  • The breed has been the national cat of Finland since 2017.
  • The EKH is also known as the Celtic Shorthair in some countries.
  • The well-known black and white cat from the FELIX Purina® advertisement is an EKH cat.

Are you also a big fan of the European Shorthair or do you want to get one soon? Tell me in the comments what makes the house tiger so special!

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