Cat World > Cat Breed Profiles > Domestic Shorthair Cat

Domestic Shorthair Cat

What is a domestic shorthair?

Domestic shorthair catAlso known as the "moggy or DSH", the domestic shorthair is the most common type of cat to share our home. It is not a breed of cat, rather a cat of unknown/mixed origin. As a result, they come in all manner of shapes and sizes depending on their background.

Did you know that you can show domestic cats? Most cat councils have a category for "household pets". So if you think your cat has the looks and the personality, and you would like to meet other cat lovers, why not give it a try?

Appearance of the domestic shorthair:

As has already been said, the domestic shorthair comes in all sizes and shapes. Mostly they are a fairly average sized cat, weighing in between 4 - 6 kg. Males tend to be larger than females.

There is nothing extreme about these cats, they are well proportioned. Eye colour can range from gold through to green and blue. Some domestics even have odd eyes. One green, one blue.

Domestic shorthair colours:

Every imaginable coat colour can be found in domestic shorthairs. Common colours and patterns found in domestics include black, tuxedo, silver tabby, ginger, ginger and white, calico, blue, blue and white and white.

Temperament of the domestic shorthair:

Just like the appearance and colour of the domestic, their temperament varies enormously. Even with purebred cats, you can get an idea of certain traits they may have (Siamese are known for being talkative, but I'm sure there are quiet ones out there). Temperament really depends on the background the cat has come from, the parents, and just how that cat is.

Being taken away from their mother too early can have an impact on the temperament of the cat, which is why it is usually recommended that they don't leave for their new home until they are at least 8 weeks of age. This is obviously not always possible with domestics, but definitely a plus.

I've had several domestics myself and all have been friendly, outgoing with no extreme tendencies. They got along with me, with other people, with children. They were good, all round cats.

Where to find a domestic shorthair:

Domestics make wonderful pets. There are always more needing homes than there are homes for them. If you are looking to bring a domestic (or two) into your home, the best place you can look is your local shelter. They will be able to show you around cats needing a home and match the perfect cat for your home situation.

I always think it's important to consider your home situation when choosing a cat. Are you out of the house for long periods of time? If so, an independent natured cat is better suited, or even two cats to keep each other company. Do you have young children? A laid back cat is best for families with kids. Does the cat talk a lot? Some people love a talkative cat, others prefer the strong but silent type.


The lifespan of a domestic shorthair ranges from 10 - 15 years.


Domestic shorthairs have very little needs. Regular grooming (once a week) to help get rid of loose hairs, and trimming the claws. Your cat will need to be fed twice a day, treated for parasites such as worms and fleas regularly.

Also see:

Cat breeds