A Guide to the Domestic Short Hair Cat

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

22 September 2016

domestic short hair cat breed profile infographic


The history of the Domestic Short Hair cat is about as old as the history of cats in general. Don’t confuse them with the British Shorthair or American Shorthair: this is the cat - classic Coke, original potato chips, the Godfather I. This breed is of varied ancestry, incorporating more or less every breed that has existed, with a bit of local Aussie flavour somewhere in the mix. They are often called moggy, common cat, house cat, or alley cat, but we think they probably prefer ‘friend’.

The Domestic Short Hair cat is by far the most common cat breed out there, and these beautiful creatures make a fantastic pet for nearly everyone. Domestic Shorthairs are always available for adoption, and we strongly encourage you to give one of these gentle, affectionate animals a loving home. For more information, see our guide to adoption.


The Domestic Shorthair can come in quite literally any combination of coat type, coat pattern and eye colour. If you’re looking to identify your Domestic Short Hair cat, have a look through our other breed profiles.

  • Does your cat have a leopard print pattern? It could be part-Bengal.
  • Does your cat have a ticked pattern, and bright copper eyes? It could be part-Abyssinian.
  • Is your cat as round as a teddy bear? It could be part-British Shorthair.
  • Is your cat’s fur curly? It could be part-Cornish or Devon Rex.


The Domestic Shorthair’s personality is even more variable than its looks. Like most any cat, you’ll find them affectionate and loyal, perfectly capable of training their humans to fetch food, and provide toys, pats and company. But, as any cat lover will tell you, every feline is as unique as their human companion.


We recommend following a grooming routine, which includes regular combing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, dental care and bathing. However, as with anything to do with this breed, your cat might need more or less attention. Do what’s best for your furry pal!

Although most Domestic Shorthairs might feel at home exploring the neighbourhood, letting your cat roam freely exposes it to numerous dangers, including disease, other animals, cars and theft. We recommend buying your cat an outdoor enclosure to let it climb and play in safety, and to keep native wildlife off kitty’s dinner plate.


Allergy sufferers may want to look at adopting a breed that sheds as little as possible: although some Domestic Shorthairs may fall in this category, you don’t want to bring your new friend home only for your whole face to fill with fluid.

Suggested names

Domestic Shorthairs come in all shapes and sizes, and we recommend naming your cat to suit his or her unique looks and personality. That said, we’re big fans of cats with ‘human’ names - remember, they’re a part of the family now! Here are our suggestions:

  • Joe
  • Samantha
  • Felipe
  • Jacqueline
  • Hermann

If you still need convincing, let us help you fall in love with the Domestic Shorthair; or maybe you want a more predictable breed? It’s okay, we won’t judge. Find the cat that’s right for you here.


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