A friend called me the other day to ask ‘do British Shorthair cats meow a lot?

She was planning to adopt a young Brit kitten from one of her friends’ cat’s litters.

“I work from home, so I simply want a cat that won’t disturb me when I’m working”, she explained.

If you too want to know the answer, keep I have all the information you need about how vocal a British Shorthair cat actually is, so keep reading!

Check: Most Quiet Cat Breeds

Do British Shorthair Cats Meow a Lot?

British Shorthair cats generally do not meow too much. This breed is typically easy-going, non-destructive, and silent [1].

Their meows are not too loud as well. Mostly, they only meow when they want to communicate with their owners.

Now, their purrs on the other hand…well, we’ll talk about that later.

3 Personality Traits That Make British Shorthairs Fairly Quiet

Here are some of the reasons why Brits generally do not meow too much:

#1. They are lovable and family-oriented pets

lady carrying a british shorthair

According to Jill C. Wheeler [2] the author of British Shorthair Cats, this lovely breed is extremely lovable and easy-going.

Typically speaking, they’re a little bit lazy and usually content to spend the entire day on the couch next to their owners.

Wheeler also explains that these personality traits make the Brit Shorthair ideal for families with children.

My British Shorthair – Alice – displays all these traits described above, so I completely agree with Ms. Wheeler.

In fact; Alice got along with my kids perfectly from day one and she even gets along with Orbit, our rescued Labrador retriever.

Since they’re pretty mellow cats overall, it means they don’t spend a lot of time howling and yelling.

#2. They’re Not Attention-Seekers

As Cat Fancier explains [3], once they mature beyond kittenhood, “They are easygoing in nature and talk infrequently.”

They’ll let you know when they need something, sure, but overall they just aren’t one of those attention-seeking cat breeds that meow and cry when you’re not focusing on them.

I have noticed this with Alice as well – she rarely meows. In fact; the only time she does meow is when I am late in serving her dinner!

#3. British shorthairs Have Very Balanced Temperaments

One of the main reasons behind the British Shorthaired’s popularity is its well-behaved nature. It is little wonder that the breed features so much in videos, memes, and in celebrity photos as well.

According to ZooPlus Magazine, [4] the reason behind the Shorthaired’s popularity is its balanced, quiet, and mild temperament.

These cats do not have overly energetic or aggressive natures and nor are they too playful like some of the other cat breeds.

These qualities make them excellent pets for apartment dwellers. So, if you live in one, you won’t have to worry about your Brit meowing noisily and disturbing the neighbors.

Most Brits are also content being indoors and will gladly entertain themselves.

Of course, as a responsible cat parent, you may want to buy some toys and cat furniture to keep your Shorthair mentally and physically stimulated.

Without activity, any cat would get bored and destructive and will even make it a point to ‘voice’ their opinion on it.

Here’s a great video that I found very informative about the debate on whether a British Shorthair cat needs to be an indoor cat.

Of course, like all cats, we are bound to find some variations in the Brit’s personality.

I’ve talked to owners with VERY different answers to the question ‘do British Shorthair Cats meow a lot?’

A few even said that their cats meow at everything that movies!

However, most Brits typically only meow when they want to “converse” with their humans.

So, generally speaking, if your Brit suddenly turns into a Chatty Catty overnight, there’s probably a good reason. Let’s look at a few of the more common ones.

Read this guide if you also want to learn more about Russian cats!

7 Reasons Why Your British Shorthair Cat Maybe Meowing a Lot

According to PetMD, [5] here are some of the common reasons why your British Shorthair might meow a lot:

Reason #1. Physical problems

orange british shorthair

If your normally silent Brit suddenly starts meowing, then it’s absolutely vital to rule out physical issues first.

In other words, call your vet.

A cat that is sick or in physical discomfort will look up to you to alleviate its pain.

Likewise, an older Brit might develop feline cognitive decline [6] and could start meowing because of senility and disorientation. Your vet can help you rule out the problem.

Reason #2. Unmet needs

Your British Shorthair, like all cats, will meow when hungry, thirsty, or bored. If your cat has been fed and watered, then he may simply be bored and just wants you to play.

Here’s a video to check if your British Shorthair needs exercise.

Reason #3. Stress

Like humans, cats too can get stressed and anxious.

Any change in your Brit’s routine, commotion such as vehicular or construction noises in the neighborhood, and even emotional changes in the household can trigger stress and anxiety in cats.

In such cases too, it might start meowing frequently.

Cats are sensitive creatures and they know when their humans are stressed. So, if you’re stressed, your cat might sense that and get stressed too.

Reason #4. Learned Behavior

Sometimes, we unknowingly encourage our cats to become chatty.

For example, when your Brit meows do you offer him a treat? Perhaps you pick him up and give him a good snuggle? (I know I am guilty of doing these things!)

Think about the message you’re sending.

By giving him attention, you’re rewarding his excessive vocalization and saying, “This is how you should behave if you want me to do something.”

So, the next time he wants those things, he will start meowing for no reason.

Check: Most Vocal Cat Breeds

Reason #5. Meowing is your Brit’s way of greeting you

brirish shorthair meowing but do british shorthair cats meow a lot?

Sometimes, your Brit might simply meow to ‘talk’ to you or greet you. She might do so when you come back home from work in the evening.

Some Brits even meow when you have guests. Alice often does that: she meows several times when my mum comes over for a visit, just to say, “Oh, hi! It’s so nice to see you!”

Reason #6. Loneliness

British Shorthair cats love company. Without companionship (either a human or another cat) they tend to get depressed and lonely.

So if you leave kitty home all day and she meows like crazy, chances are she’s feeling blue.

Reason #7. Unfixed cats meow more

An unneutered male British shorthair might meow loudly to attract the attention of a neighboring female cat in heat [7].

Likewise, a female cat in heat will meow to attract intact males in the vicinity.

Meowing, in this case, is a mating call and the cat may be simply fulfilling an urge. This is a natural and instinctual sexual behavior in all animals.

How to Stop Your British Shorthair Cat’s Meowing

Here are some tried and tested ways to stop your Brit’s excess meowing:

#1. Rule out underlying medical issues

Before you do anything else, make an appointment for a checkup. Your vet will examine your cat and rule out pain, indigestion, fever, etc.

In the case of an older cat, it could be cognitive decline or feline dementia. Some mild medicines and lifestyle changes can help reduce these symptoms.

#2. Get Them spayed/neuetered

According to experts, [8] the best way to prevent annoying sexual behaviors like excess meowing and territory marking in cats is to have them ‘fixed’.

Neutering or spaying surgery helps make cats more docile and early-age neutering/spaying can even prevent many behavioral issues in cats.

Spaying/neutering also has many other advantages such as prevention of certain feline cancers, etc [9].

#3. Reduce stress

As far as possible, try to avoid changes in your cat’s environment. This is very important to prevent stress and anxiety in your cat. You may also want to provide it with some exercise, especially if it is an indoor cat.

According to Dr. Joe Alcorn, DVM, [10]  exercise releases endorphins in cats and this can go a long way in reducing anxiety and stress in them.

Invest in some interactive toys, cat running wheels, treat dispensing toys, and/or cat furniture/condos.

Cats love climbing on these and climbing is a great exercise for indoor cats. You can also encourage your children to play with your Brit to help it burn off that energy.

Here is a great video with some great ideas on how to play with your cat at home.

#4.get Your Cat a Friend

If your Brit cries continuously when you leave her alone, you could consider hiring a pet-sitter to come over and watch your pet during the day.

Alternatively, you could consider getting a second cat. Make sure your cats get along well first – otherwise, it would be even more of a hassle dealing with two felines that are bickering all the time.

In our case, Alice is never alone because I work from home and she always has our Labrador, Orbit, for company. Thankfully, they get along extremely well too.

#4. Ignore the behavior

Sometimes, it is best to ignore your cat’s meowing, especially if your cat has been fed and exercised. If you keep giving your pet a response every time it meows, s/he will continue doing it just to get your attention.

Even a cranky response from your end will teach your Brit to be more persistent. So, ignore the bad behavior.

FAQs

ARE BRITISH SHORTHAIR CATS QUIET?

british shorthair resting on the floor

Yes, a majority of British shorthairs are docile and quiet. They are affectionate loving pets that make excellent companions.

ARE BRITISH SHORTHAIRS AGGRESSIVE?

British Shorthairs are generally not known for aggression. They are well-behaved, quiet, affectionate, and mild mannered cats.

Conclusion – Do British Shorthair Cats Meow a Lot?

British Shorthair cats generally do not meow too much. They are generally quiet and their meows are also rather silent.

As with any breed, no two Brits are the same. Therefore, you might always find some British shorthairs that are rather vocal.

However, a vast majority of them are fairly silent and typically only meow when they want certain needs fulfilled.

References

  • 1. Patterson J. The British Shorthair Breed [Internet]. Tica.org. 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.tica.org/british-shorthair-breeders?view=article&id=1249:the-british-shorthair-breed&catid=48
  • 2. Jill. British shorthair cats [Internet]. Mst.edu. 2012 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: http://link.library.mst.edu/portal/British-shorthair-cats-Jill-C.-Wheeler/PQ2ChqTJTYs/
  • 3. British Shorthair – The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc [Internet]. Cfa.org. 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://cfa.org/british-shorthair/
  • 4. British Shorthair| zooplus Magazine [Internet]. zooplus Magazinee. 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.zooplus.co.uk/magazine/cat/cat-breeds/british-shorthair-cat-breed#what-kind-of-temperament-does-the-british-shorthair-have
  • 5. Eckstein S. Cats and Excessive Meowing [Internet]. WebMD. WebMD; 2010 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-excessive-meowing#1
  • 6. Cognitive Dysfunction [Internet]. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 2017 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/cognitive-dysfunction
  • 7. Meowing and Yowling [Internet]. ASPCA. 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/meowing-and-yowling
  • 8. Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Cat [Internet]. Best Friends Animal Society. 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/reasons-spay-or-neuter-your-cat
  • 9. Five Good Reasons Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet [Internet]. Brown.edu. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.brown.edu/Research/Colwill_Lab/CBP/spaynueter.htm
  • 10. How Much Exercise Does a Cat Need? – Care Animal Hospital [Internet]. Care Animal Hospital. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 14]. Available from: https://www.careah.com/cat/how-much-exercise-cats-need/

What do you think? Do British Shorthair cats meow a lot in your opinion? Is yours chatty? Share below!

Tamsin
Tamsin

Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals.

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