Difference between the British Shorthair and Russian Blue Cat Breeds
By Rachel Jones - July 3, 2023

When comparing the British Shorthair and Russian Blue cat breeds, they may appear to be the same gray cat at first glance. This is because they seem to have similar personalities as well. However, while both cats are affectionate and gentle, they have major distinctions.


The British Shorthair is a large purebred cat initially bred to keep large rats out of houses and barns. Romans also employed them at sea to keep the vermin population of the ship minimal.
The Russian Blue is a naturally occurring breed that is said to have originated in the Russian port of Arkhangelsk. They are also known as Archangel Blues since sailors used to buy these cats for their alleged healing properties.

British Shorthair vs. Russian Blue

Compared to the Russian Blue cat, the British Shorthair is a heavier cat. It can weigh up to 16 pounds, particularly in males, and may reach a height of 14 inches and a total body length of 25 inches. On the other hand, the Russian Blue cat is a slimmer breed. They weigh up to 12 pounds, stand 10 inches tall, and have a complete body length of 18 inches.

The Russian Blue Cat has lovely green eyes that are first yellow when a kitten. Meanwhile, the British Shorthair has a variety of eye colors, with copper being the most well-known. It also has a single coat of thick fur that gives the impression that it has a double coat. On the other hand, the Russian Blue cat has a double coat of hair. The fur coat is blue, gray, and black with guard hairs that culminate in silvery ends, giving it an overall shimmery blue appearance.

The Russian Blue cat is noted for being bright and lively and can even learn tricks, although it is apprehensive of strangers. The British Shorthair is a lively, easygoing, and independent breed.

Comparison Chart
  1. Stocky body with round, wide head, large jowls, and copper eyes
Slender body, thin tail, a wedge-shaped head, and emerald green eyes
  1. Native to the British Isles
Native to Russia