The European shorthair cat remains veiled in obscurity. It is presumed to be a direct descendant from the Egyptian domestic, which supposedly, was brought to Greece as early as 500 years before Christ. If this was the actual situation, the cat must have spread very rapidly towards the north since it already existed in mid-Sweden during the Time of the Great Migration 370 – 600 after Christ. Judging from early reproductions from earlier ages as well as the later Middle Ages, the body of the European domestic was already sturdier than the Egyptian cat.

In 1946 it became possible to register Swedish shorthaired cats. At first under the name of “No Suggestions house cat” later converted to European Shorthair. Unfortunately, the early European shorthairs were judged by the standard of the British Shorthair. This was a great disadvantage since many typical Europeans failed due to some detail, often the eye colour, not being in accordance with the British Shorthair standard.

In 1981 FIFE finally ruled that the two breeds should be judged by separate standards and thereby acknowledged the European Shorthair.

Type and characteristics

The body should be rectangular in shape with substantial bone structure and good muscular development. The neck should be medium-length and muscular. Chest is well developed and rounded. Legs should be of medium length, sturdy and muscular, tapering towards round feet.

The head should be quite large in proportion to the body. From a front view, it should give the impression of being rounded but is actually somewhat longer than wide. The forehead and skull should be slightly rounded. The transition between the forehead and the nose is marked by a shallow indentation between the eyes. The nose of medium length, straight and uniformly broad. Cheeks should be well developed with a strong chin.

The eyes should be of medium size, rounded and slightly oblique in setting, somewhat more than one eye width apart. Colour is clear and pure. Open expression.

The ears should be medium size and slightly rounded at the tips. Approximately as wide at the base as tall. Setting rather high and fairly upright on the head so that the beginning of the ears is in line with the pupils. May be tufted.

The tail should be medium-long, rather thick at the base and gradually tapering towards a rounded tip. The coat structure is short and dense.

The coat should be short and dense, firm and glossy. Cover hair should be fairly coarse and approximately 3-5 mm longer than under hair. Characteristic is that coat does not get soaked when put through normal wetness like rain, wetness stays in hair tips and is easily shaken off.

In general, the European Shorthair is a vivid, playful and good-natured creature. It is very affectionate.