White British Shorthair: Facts, Genetics & Health (With Pictures)

White British Shorthair cat and a glass vase with red tulips

The British Shorthair is known for its plush coat that comes in 250 different colors. However, did you know that the white British Shorthair is one of the most sought-after colors of this breed?

The white British Shorthair has caught the hearts of many feline lovers because of its pure, snow-white-like fur.

If you consider owning a white British Shorthair or simply want to know more about the breed, you came to the right place.

In this guide, you will learn everything about the white British Shorthair. From their appearance, genetics, and health down to this adorable kitten’s price tag — it’s all in here.

What Is a White British Shorthair? Can British Shorthairs Be White?

White British Shorthair cat with blue eyes close up portrait

A white British Shorthair is a purebred cat that is regarded as one of the most uncommon variants of the breed. Alongside cinnamon and fawn, white is one of the rarest colors of the British Shorthair breed. In fact, according to some reports, only around 5% of British Shorthair cats have this color. 

There are several types of white British Shorthair: solid white, tabby and white, blue patched tabby and white, brown patched tabby and white, silver patched tabby & white, and van tabby & white. 

Although the above colors are recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), only solid white British Shorthairs are accepted in the said association and on most cat shows.

For a white British Shorthair to be considered solid, it must have a pure white coat with no hinge of yellow or any other color and should have specific eye and paw pad colors.

Besides the coat color, the appearance of white British Shorthairs is much the same as that of the rest of the 250 color variations of the British Shorthair breed.

Are White British Shorthairs Rare?

Although it is not the rarest among all the solid colors of the British Shorthair breed, white is indeed a rare coloration. This is mainly due to the challenges accompanying the breeding process.

More often than not, reputable breeders avoid breeding white British Shorthairs because doing so is associated with many health issues. As a result, the chances of getting white British Shorthair cats are greatly reduced.

Unknown to many, the white gene is usually linked to problems with hearing. Hence, many breeders avoid mating two white British Shorthairs together to minimize the chances of deaf kittens.

As much as we want more of these pure white British Shorthairs to be seen around, it is tricky to produce them. It is also the very reason why their price tag goes way up high.

White British Shorthair Appearance

Handsome young white British Shorthair cat sits in a lying position and looks up

According to the Cat Fanciers Association’s standard, in order for a British Shorthair to be considered solid white, it must have a snowy, flawless, pure white coat untipped with yellow. 

In addition, their eyes are of deep sapphire blue, gold, or copper. However, there are also white British Shorthairs with heterochromia, or those whose one eye is blue and the other is gold or copper. 

Meanwhile, their nose and paw pads are expected to be pink. Aside from their pristine coat color, white British Shorthairs are also known for their compact, well-balanced body with a broad chest, rounded paws, and a thick tail. 

They also exhibit round heads, round cheeks, strong chin, and medium-sized ears.

Usually, female white British Shorthairs weigh between 7 to 11 pounds while male white British Shorthairs reach 8 to 16 pounds. Typically, they are about 12 to 14 inches in height. 

However, owners must know that it will take a while before white British Shorthairs reach this full weight and size, as it usually takes five years for this breed to reach full growth. 

Overall, although there are significant differences in terms of coat and eye colors, height, weight, and other features of white British Shorthair are no different than that of the other British Shorthair colors.

To have a visual idea of what a white British Shorthair looks like, you can watch this video.

READ NEXT: White Cats With Blue Eyes: What’s So Special About Them?

White British Shorthair Color Genetics

Genetics plays a huge role in the coat color of the white British Shorthair. The gene that is responsible for giving a white British Shorthair its unique coloration is known as the W gene

If the British Shorthair has a dominant W gene, it will hide every other coat color or pattern and result in white British Shorthairs with snow-like coat color. As cool as this gene may seem, it is actually a double-edged sword.

While the W gene makes a cat white with blue eyes, the same gene is also linked to hearing genes. Cats with this gene are often born deaf. The deafness is due to a reduction in the population and survival of melanoblast stem cells. 

It is for this very reason that responsible breeders do not breed white cats with one or two blue eyes.

Although often mistaken to be albinos, white British Shorthairs are not albino cats as there are distinctive differences between albino cats and white cats. 

While white cats exhibit the gene that makes their fur white, albino cats, on the other hand, have a genetic condition that results in a complete lack of pigmentation.

To set the records straight, white British Shorthairs are not albino cats. They simply carry a dominant W gene.

White British Shorthair Temperament and Personality

White British Shorthair cat jumping on the lawn with dandelions

If you are looking for a feline companion you can chill out with, the white British Shorthair may be the cat breed you are looking for. 

White British Shorthairs are known for their placid temper and being laid-back and lazy. They often get along with anyone — humans and animals alike.

While these white British Shorthairs can be patient around children, they do not like being carried around or picked up. So, owners must make sure to keep an eye on when toddlers are around these cats.

This cat breed has a moderate activity level. They are known to be energetic during kittenhood but start to settle down by one year old. 

However, unlike other cats, they are not the cuddly type who likes to always sit on your lap. Nevertheless, you can expect them to follow you everywhere you go around the house.

This cat is also perfect for families that may need to head out every now and then for work, as these white British Shorthairs enjoy their me-time. These cats will usually just lounge around and wait for their owner to come home.

White British Shorthair Lifespan and Health Issues

Despite being linked to an increased likelihood of deafness due to their genes, white British Shorthairs are still generally healthy cats with an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, given extra care and love. 

However, as with any other pet, there are still a couple of health problems to look out for with your white British Shorthair.

Here are some of the most common health problems of white British Shorthairs:

  • Heart Disease: White British Shorthairs are at risk of developing heart diseases and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition causes the muscle walls of the heart to thicken, resulting in a decline in cardiac function. Unfortunately, this disease can only be managed through medication and dietary changes as there is currently no known cure up until this day.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: Polycystic kidney disease is another disease common to white British Shorthairs. This is an inherited condition that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidney. These cysts are present from birth and may grow larger over time, causing disrupted kidney function. 
  • Cataracts: Senior white British Shorthairs are at a bigger risk of developing cataracts. This condition occurs when the vision of a cat develops a cloud-like substance. Depending on the rate of progression, vision impairment may be mild or severe. In some cases, it may even need surgery.
  • Obesity: Obesity is very common among white British Shorthairs because, as mentioned earlier, they are very laid-back cats that are not very active. Owners must make sure to watch what and how much their white British Shorthair eats and make them exercise every now and then to avoid this condition.

Fortunately, the diseases listed above are either manageable or preventable. As always, it is best for your fur baby to always have a regular check-up with a licensed veterinarian.

By doing so, you will have a better understanding of your pet’s health. It is also important for your pets to be seen by professionals to prevent more serious conditions later on.

READ NEXT: Autism In Cats: Can Cats Be Autistic? All You Need to Know

How Much Does a White British Shorthair Cost? Kitten Prices & Expenses

White British Shorthair kitten for sale and adoption

A British Shorthair usually costs within $1,500 to $2,400. However, if you are looking specifically for a white British Shorthair, expect prices to go up to $2,200 to $3,000, much like show-quality cats.

While British Shorthairs are very common and there may be breeders everywhere, white British Shorthairs are quite rare gems. As expected, the demand is higher for this variant, which explains the high price tag.

There may also be other factors that affect the price of your white British Shorthair, including its quality, the breeder’s reputation, and location. You may also need to pay additional charges for pet air transport if needed.

The costs, however, do not end there. You also need to consider other expenses such as vitamins, vaccines, veterinarian visits, and puppy supplies. 

Below is a summarized table of the initial expenses when owning a white British Shorthair:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$20 – $50
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Litter Box$20 – $160
Litter Sand$15 – $25
Collar and ID Tag$5 – $20
Cat Bed$15 – $30
Cat Carrier$20 – $60
Toys and Scratching Post$15 – $70
Grooming Essentials$25 – $35
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $250
Initial Vaccine Shots$25 – $50
Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medications$30 – $100
Neutering or Spaying$200 – $500
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$555 – $1,465

To cover the initial costs, owners must prepare $555 to $1,465 on top of the kitten’s price. Keep in mind that this does not include the recurring expenses of owning a white British Shorthair.

You may read this article about the cost of owning a British Shorthair so you would have an idea about the further expenses.

RELATED: How Much Does a British Shorthair Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Places to Find White British Shorthair Kittens for Sale and Adoption

While there are a lot of British Shorthair breeders, it may be challenging to find one that specializes in breeding white British Shorthairs. You may need to go on a hunt to find this rare gem. 

To start your search, here are places where you find white British Shorthair for sale:

  • Golden Whiskers Cattery – This cattery, located in Columbus, Ohio, specializes in breeding British Shorthairs. They are TICA-registered; that is why you are assured they are breeding the purest, healthiest British Shorthair cats. If you are looking for a white British Shorthair, you may check out their website to know about their available and upcoming litters.
  • Buffbarbies Cattery – Located in the sunny California area, this cattery has produced healthy, well-socialized white British Shorthairs since 2019. Unfortunately, all of their future litters are booked for their waiting list. However, should you be willing to join their waiting list, you may head to their website and apply.
  • Furever Felines – This TICA-registered cattery in Denver, Colorado, carefully selects its British Shorthairs for breeding. Their kittens undergo full Optigen DNA screening tests to ensure that they are clear for a variety of disorders.
  • British Dynasty Cattery – If you are looking for white British Shorthairs in the Southern Washington area, then British Dynasty Cattery may be for you. They have been breeding quality British Shorthairs with the pedigree characteristic of modern style, muscular body, short plush coat, and well-balanced character since 2005.

If you still haven’t found the white British Shorthair for you in the list above, don’t lose hope. Adoption is also another way to find the fur baby you’re looking for. 

Here are some places where you can find white British Shorthair for adoption:

  • Kitten Rescue Los Angeles – Kitten Rescue is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization in Los Angeles. It has found loving new homes for unwanted, homeless cats and kittens since 1997 and has grown to be LA’s most respected animal welfare group. You might want to check them out to get a really adorable white British Shorthair.
  • Portland’s Cat Adoption Team – Chances are quite high for you to find a white British Shorthair here as they are the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Aside from adoption, they also offer foster care and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens. To date, they have already adopted over 56,000 cats in total.
  • Meow Cat Rescue – Meow is another non-profit organization that has been running since 1997. They have cats and kittens of different breeds up for adoption from various sources. Most were abandoned pets that could no longer be taken care of by their family. If you are looking for a white British Shorthair, you may check their website to see if they have any. 

Undeniably, white British Shorthairs are rare, and they are tough to find, even with the organizations listed above. 

If you need more help, you can refer to these tips for finding free kittens in your area. Who knows? The white British Shorthair kitten you are looking for might be in one of the places mentioned in that guide.

READ NEXT: 11 Ways to Find Free Kittens in Your Area for Adoption (2023)

Frequently Asked Questions

White British Shorthair cat running in summer

Do White British Shorthairs Shed?

Yes, white British Shorthairs shed but not excessively. However, you need to prepare yourself to deal with extra cat hair around the house during spring and fall as they shed more during these seasons. 

Do White British Shorthairs Have Blue Eyes?

While most white British Shorthairs have blue eyes, not all of them have this eye color. Others have a gold or copper eye color. 

There may also be instances when a white British Shorthair has two different sets of eye colors because of heterochromia. 

Are White British Shorthairs Hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, white British Shorthairs are not hypoallergenic. Since white British Shorthairs are moderate-shedders, there is a high probability of triggering allergies. They also produce dander or dry skin that causes allergies.

What Is the Rarest British Shorthair Color?

The rarest color of the popular British Shorthair is cinnamon. Cinnamon British Shorthairs are characterized by orange or amber eye color and nose and paw pads that can be either brown or pink.

This color is so rare that in Australia, for example, only one breeder can breed British Shorthairs to create this color.

Final Thoughts: Is a White British Shorthair the Right Cat for You?

A white British Shorthair is a good option for almost everyone — families with

small children, seniors, those with other animals around, and even busy individuals. 

Appearance-wise, they are also probably one of the most adorable cat breeds on the market today. No wonder why they are called living teddy bears.

If you have the means, time, love, and commitment to take care of a white British Shorthair, then I’d say, go for it. However, prepare for a pretty challenging hunt.

But if you’re just up for the thrill of it, I’d suggest you think otherwise. Keep in mind that cats like the white British Shorthair require lifetime commitment from their owners.

Do you think the white British Shorthair is the right cat for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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