Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Brazilian Shorthair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Brazilian Shorthair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Brazilian Shorthair cat outdoors

The Brazilian Shorthair is the only purebred cat breed that originated in Brazil. It’s believed that they were brought to Brazil in the 1500s by European sailors, where they started as street cats until they developed into the Brazilian Shorthair that we see today. In Brazil, they are known as “Pelo Curto Brasileiro,” which translates roughly to Brazilian short hair.

Breed Overview


Medium to large


10–22 pounds


14+ years


All patterns and colors

Suitable for:

Single people or families with or without pets


Playful, loving, inquisitive, smart, energetic, friendly

These cats tend to be medium to large in size and have a short, sleek coat of soft fur. They come in almost every pattern and color out there, and their eyes are round and tend to be colored in correspondence to their coat color.

Brazilian Shorthair Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Brazilian Shorthair Kittens

brazilian shorthair kitten lying on a chair
Image By: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Brazilian Shorthairs are quite energetic and active cats with long lifespans. They are a healthy and robust breed that is quite friendly. Training is possible thanks to their intelligence.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Brazilian Shorthair

Brazilian Shorthairs are energetic and active and usually want to be the center of attention. They are outgoing and friendly cats that are happy to meet new people, and since their origins were as street cats, they also have that smart street-cat persona.

This also means they are an intelligent breed that tends to be curious and loves to explore. They can be just as happy playing as they are having a good snuggle with a family member.

Brazilian Shorthair cat lying on grass
Image Credit: Caio Carvalho Studio, Shutterstock

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Brazilian Shorthairs make fantastic family pets! Their highly active and playful personalities make them perfect playmates for children of any age. Just remember to teach your children how to treat your cat (or any other animal, for that matter) with respect and a certain amount of gentleness. Brazilian Shorthairs will enjoy playing with just about anyone and forms close bonds with all family members.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

As long as the other pets in the home are cat-friendly, Brazilian Shorthairs will get along with them. However, be careful with smaller pets, particularly rodents, because Brazilian Shorthairs will attempt to hunt them unless they are socialized to these small animals at a young age.


Things to Know When Owning a Brazilian Shorthair

Standard care goes into owning any pets, so here are the more specific needs of the Brazilian Shorthair breed.

Food & Diet Requirements

Cats are classified as obligate carnivores, so most of their diet is found in animal proteins. This means you should look for food high in protein and low in fillers. Your best bet is to stick with commercial food specifically made for cats. Canned food is a good option as an extra source of protein and water.

You should also ensure that your cat has constant access to clean and fresh water, which can be done with a cat fountain. Cats are prone to developing kidney disease as they age, and getting enough water into their bodies can help slow it down or prevent it.

Exercise 🐈

Brazilian Shorthair cats can do a good job at exercising themselves, so you’ll want to ensure that they have space to run and plenty of interactive toys to play with. This breed loves to climb and explore, so you could consider cat shelves and a cat tree for these cats. Spend time playing with your cat, and you’ll not only keep them healthy, but it can also strengthen the strong bond between you two.

Training 🧶

Training is possible with the Brazilian Shorthair. They are smart and curious enough and enjoy being around their families. But while they are trainable, it also depends on how willing the cat is to do anything that you ask of them.

Grooming ✂️

This is the easy part, given that these cats have short hair. It still means they need brushing at least once a week. This can help get rid of excess shedding fur, as short-haired cats are still prone to getting mats.

You’ll want to trim their claws about once a month, so be sure to invest in a good cat scratcher. Check their ears on occasion for redness or excessive dirt, which should be gently cleaned with a damp cloth. Finally, most cats don’t necessarily need their teeth regularly brushed if they eat dry food, but you can also give them dental treats to help remove excess tartar.

brazilian shorthair cat lying on top of the car
Image Credit: Oak Tree Studiostock, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

Brazilian Shorthair cats don’t have any known health conditions specific to their breed, but there are a few health conditions that most cats are susceptible to.

Male vs. Female

The male Brazilian Shorthairs tend to be a little bigger than the females. They’ll typically have larger heads and bodies and might weigh between 11 to 22 pounds, whereas the females might weigh closer to 10 to 16 pounds.

Another notable difference between the sexes is whether you get your cat spayed or neutered. Neutering the male will help reduce troublesome behaviors such as aggressiveness (particularly around a female in heat), spraying, and wandering behavior. Spaying the female will stop her from the discomfort of being in heat and her attempts to run away.

It’s possible that there might be a difference in temperament, as it’s generally thought that females might be more standoffish and males more outgoing and social. But how the cat has been raised and how they’re treated over the course of their life will determine the cat’s personality.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Brazilian Shorthair

1. The Brazilian Shorthair is not a recognized breed in North America

They haven’t been recognized by The International Cat Association or the Cat Fanciers Association. However, they were recognized by the World Cat Federation in 1998.

2. The Brazilian Shorthair’s development is attributed to one man

Engineer Paulo Samuel Ruschi founded the first Brazilian Cat Federation. He was interested in creating a purebred cat from the street cats in Brazil in the 1980s. He worked with other breeders with a focus on Iberian Peninsula breeds until the Brazilian Shorthair was the result.

3. The Brazilian Shorthair cat needs space

While they can live in all sizes of homes, they are quite active cats and need enough space to run, roam, and explore.

brazilian shorthair cat on a fence
Image Credit: b_marcos, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

If you’re hoping to find one of these cats, look online on social media, and try posting your interest in finding one of these cats. Someone out there might be able to help you. Finding a Brazilian Shorthair will absolutely be a challenge, but they are well worth it! They’re playful, energetic, loving, perfect family cats, friendly — what’s not to love?

Featured Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets