Brazilian Shorthair: Cat Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

Appearance, Personality, History, Care, & Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Brazilian shorthair cat

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Descended from Brazilian street cats, today, the Brazilian Shorthair is admired for its beautiful, short and shiny coat, and loved for its friendly, playful, and intelligent personality.

A larger cat breed, the Brazilian Shorthair can weigh anywhere up to 20 pounds. They are muscular and agile while still maintaining their elegant, cat-like grace. These felines boast very expressive, wide-set eyes and almost any coat color under the sun. Full of energy and a love for exploration, these cats are characterized by their playful antics and make fun, friendly pets.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Pelo Curto Brasileiro

Personality: Confident, inquisitive, playful, friendly, energetic

Weight: Up to 22 pounds

Length: 12 to 16 inches

Coat Length: Short hair

Coat Color: Any natural feline color, including black, white, gray, red, brown, and cream

Coat Patterns: Any natural feline pattern, including solid, bi-color, tabby, tuxedo, calico, and tortoiseshell

Eye Color: Any natural feline eye color, including green, gold, amber, blue, and brown

Life Expectancy: 15 to 20 years

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Brazil

Brazilian Shorthair Characteristics

The Brazilian Shorthair is a friendly and outgoing cat that loves to spend time interacting not only with its human family members, but also with other household cats and dogs. This is a fine breed for a family, as it requires a lot of attention, play time, and affection, which many children are more than happy to supply. But although it can seem that the breed has endless energy, once playtime is over it is happy to cuddle up with a favorite human for some quality time and petting.

If you bring a Brazilian Shorthair into your home, be prepared with plenty of toys to keep it occupied, as well as one or more cat trees to provide opportunities for climbing, exploring, and exercising. These are active cats that like to keep busy.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Brazilian Shorthair

The Brazilian Shorthair originated from the common street cats of Brazil. It is thought that these felines first entered Brazil around the year 1500 CE aboard the ships of Portuguese sailors. The breed’s development is credited to Paulo Samuel Ruschi, an engineer who became interested in the appearance and genetics of the street cats in Brazil. With help and input from other cat breeders, he began breeding Brazilian street cats in the hope of creating a set breed.

In 1998, the World Cat Federation approved the Brazilian Shorthair as a recognized purebred cat breed. However, the breed has not yet received recognition from TICA or CFA. 

Brazilian Shorthair Care

The Brazilian Shorthair is a friendly cat breed with an outgoing personality. The social street-cat mentality remains in these purebred felines, making meeting new people and exploring new places right up their alley. These cats thrive with plenty of attention, play, and snuggle time. Their social, playful, energetic nature also makes them perfect feline companions for children.

These cats love to run around and explore, so be sure to give them enough space for adventuring and expending energy. Playtime is a perfect way to both exercise and spend time with your Brazilian Shorthair. Cat trees, playgrounds, and scratching posts are well-loved by this breed and will ensure that your cat is happy, enriched, and entertained. However, when it is time to wind down, your Brazilian Shorthair will be just as happy snuggling on the couch with you. 

As suggested by its name, the Brazilian Shorthair has a very short coat that does not shed much or produce much dander, although the breed is not truly hypoallergenic. This makes grooming very simple. Brushing once a week should be plenty to keep your Brazilian shorthair's coat clean and in good condition. Remember to regularly brush its teeth and check its nails and ears as well. 

Brazilian Shorthairs have retained the street-smarts from their ancestors, making them sharp, intelligent felines. They learn new things quickly and love to be challenged. This makes them an excellent breed to teach tricks.

Common Health Problems

The Brazilian Shorthair is a relatively robust and active breed with no common, breed-specific health problems known. However, cat owners should be on the lookout for common issues that may arise in any breed, such as obesity and ear infections. And of course, any cat might develop a health problem or disease during its lifetime, so be sure to take your Brazilian Shorthair for regular checkups with the veterinarian. This makes it likelier that you'll detect potential health problems before they become serious.


The Brazilian Shorthair is a large cat; males can weigh more than 20 pounds. These cats are longer than they are tall, and while they are muscular, they aren't too stocky in build. They have large, pointed ears set well apart and equally large eyes. Their fur is short and sleek, with very little undercoat. This means that they don't shed much.

When it comes to color, just about anything goes. Your Brazilian Shorthair can be any color that naturally occurs in felines, including black, white, gray, brown, red, or cream. And any coat pattern is acceptable, including solid, tabby, calico, tortoiseshell, tuxedo, or bi-color. The one coat pattern that isn't allowed in a purebred Brazilian Shorthair is "points," which are the darker face, legs, and tail typical of the Siamese cat.

Brazilian Shorthairs can have any eye color, including blue, brown, amber, orange, green, or yellow.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding your Brazilian Shorthair high-quality cat food will help ensure that it lives a long and healthy life. Every cat will have its own likes, dislikes, and dietary needs, but in general, cats require a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fats, and low in carbohydrates. Most adult cats do well with two meals per day, while kittens need three to four smaller meals. Your cat should always have access to clean water.

You can feed your cat all kibble, all canned food, or a mixture of both. They key is not to overfeed your feline, as obesity is a common concern among indoor cats. Consult your veterinarian for more information on your cat’s unique dietary needs.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Brazilian Shorthair

Because the Brazilian Shorthair is an uncommon breed outside of its native country, it may be a bit tricky to find a rescue or breeder in the United States. However, always be sure to check your local shelters and rescue groups since a wide variety of circumstances can result in this rare breed being surrendered. The links below will help you find shelters, rescues, and breeders in your area.

Brazilian Shorthair Overview

The large and active Brazilian Shorthair is a great breed for families, as this playful cat loves opportunities for play and interaction with humans young and old, as well as other household pets. Curious and intelligent, this is a breed that likes to have ample chances to explore, climb, perch, and observe, but it is also affectionate and outgoing.

It's short, easy-care coat makes this a fairly low-maintenance cat, which adds to its suitability for life in a busy family. But your Brazilian Shorthair won't be happy if it's left alone all day long, so be sure that your lifestyle allows for plenty of time spent with your feline.

  • Little shedding

  • Loving and affectionate

  • Does well with children and other pets 

  • Inquisitive nature means they like to get into things

  • Requires lots of mental and physical stimulation

  • Rare breed that's difficult to find

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

Every cat breed has its own typical personality traits. Careful research will help ensure that you find the perfect breed to suit your home and lifestyle.

If you’re interested in other cat breeds similar to the Brazilian Shorthair, check out:

Otherwise, check out all of our other cat breed profiles.

  • How much does a Brazilian Shorthair cost?

    As a rare breed, you'll pay quite a bit for a Brazilian Shorthair, if you can find one. As a rough guideline, a show-quality cat can cost over $1,000, but breeders sometimes sell "pet quality" cats for much less.

  • Are Brazilian Shorthair cats hypoallergenic?

    Although these cats shed very little, they are not truly hypoallergenic. Still, for those with very mild cat allergies, this breed might be a good fit.

  • Do Brazilian Shorthair cats like to be held?

    Every cat is an individual, and some enjoy being held more than others. But as a general rule, Brazilian Shorthairs are friendly, outgoing, and affectionate cats who enjoy interacting, cuddling, and playing with their favorite humans, so there is a good chance that your cat will also enjoy being held.