Why are British Shorthair cats so expensive?

Extreme bred blue british Shorthair probably Russian bred
Extreme bred blue british Shorthair probably Russian bred. Photo in public domain
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As there is nothing to compare the price against except other popular pedigree cats it is hard, in all fairness, to claim that British Shorthair cats are expensive. That said, the same question could be asked of other popular cat breeds. There is a sliding scale with respect to cat breeds in terms of their cost. As the overheads of cat breeders are all very similar, because they are nearly always hobby breeders creating purebred pedigree cats from home, any variation in price of a purebred cat must come down to market forces. In this instance ‘market forces’ refers to popularity i.e. demand. If the demand is high for a particular cat breed then the breeders will take advantage and put up the price.

With respect to overheads, wild cat hybrids can cost more to create and I’m thinking of the first filial hybrids such as the Savannah F1, which is the product of a mating between a male serval and a female domestic cat who has been selected for the purpose. I know that these matings can be difficult which partly accounts for the high costs of first filial Savannah cats. Another obvious factor is that they are very desirable among society’s ‘elite’. They are perhaps the most expensive purebred cats on the market today at anything up to $50,000 for a particularly fantastic specimen.

People do query the high price of British Shorthair cats, hence the title. The answer, as I’ve stated, is that the price is high because breeders can ask that price. This method of pricing products is the same across the board. Rarity is a factor. The rarer the cat, the higher the price. The British Shorthair is not a rare cat but it is in the top 10, perhaps, in popularity which forces up the price. It is the same modelling which causes house prices to rise in desirable areas. Ultimately it’s about supply and demand but even if supply meets demand the price can go up because the seller can get away with it.

Today, prices for British Shorthairs are up to US$1,200 as far as I can tell. There will be a variation in price within a specific cat breed because of the quality of the cat. The highest quality cats are those that most accurately meet the cat associations’ breed standards. This will be a top quality show cat with all the features considered desirable by cat show judges. Breeding these cats is not an exact science and therefore there is natural variation. In addition, there are good and bad breeders. You do see some very poor quality purebred cats which look no different to random bred cats in appearance when a purebred, pedigree cat should stand out.

This is not, in any way, to malign or disrespect the random bred cat. Personally I prefer random bred cats and have always lived with them. The best cats to adopt are rescue cats, particularly an adult one who has been overlooked and who needs a forever, loving home the most.

P.S. The blue British Shorthair is the most popular of this breed. These are grey cats with a hint of blue in the coat. People don’t know about the British Longhair a cat which is one of the most beautiful, which is why there is a list of articles on the longhaired variant just below.

British Shorthair Cat


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