Smiling Teddy Bear

The British Shorthair Cat

by | Breeds | 0 comments

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 7-17 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Absolute couch potato. Needs a lot of exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

14-20 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 7-17 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Absolute couch potato. Needs a lot of exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

14-20 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Large. Chubby body.

Weight:

Middleweight Tom. From 7-17 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Absolute couch potato. Needs a lot of exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

14-20 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a week. Moderate shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.
The British Shorthair Cat is one of the oldest breeds known today. This is a large cat with a well-boned chunky body, dense coat and broad face. Whisker pads and cheeks are also round and the upturned mouth gives this breed a smiling teddy bear face. The British Shorthair comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The most famous variation being the ‘British Blue‘ with a distinctive solid blue-gray coat and copper eyes. The easy-going and mellow British Shorthair Cat is perfect for people of all ages. This is an affectionate cat that likes following its owner. This is a pretty laid back breed that doesn’t demand a lot of attention. Female British Shorthairs have a sober look, while males are more easy going.

Breed History

The British Shorthair Cat is regarded as one of the most ancient cat breeds in existence. It is presumed that these cats have been around since the first century AD. It is believed that Roman invaders brought Egyptian domestic cats with them to Great Britain. Later these cats bred with the local wildcat population. Thus, creating a distinctively large breed with a robust body and thick coat that’s able to sustain harsh conditions. Sturdy build and excellent predatory skills were put to a good use. People started using them to protect their food stores from rodents. Their easy going and likable nature ensured that these cats found their way in people’s homes as well. Until the end of the 19th century, there were no attempts to standardize the breed. Some sources say that Harrison Weir was the first who attempted to improve the breed through carefully selected pairings. His efforts were successful and the British Shorthair Cat was featured at the first ever cat show at Crystal Palace in 1871. At this point, the breed gained huge popularity. However, by 1890 the newly imported long-haired breeds stole the spotlight from the British Shorthair. During the World War I the British Shorthair breed was almost extinct. To regain the numbers, breeders started to mix Persian cats into British Shorthair’s bloodlines. The new genes introduced were the foundation for the British Longhair Cat. To preserve the standard after the war, the Governing Council of the cat Fancy decided to accept only third generation of Persian/ British Shorthair crosses. This decision placed the breed on the verge of extinction once again by the World War II. This time, breeders include Persian, Russian Blue and Chartreux into the mix. After the war, breeders worked to reintroduce the real British type. It was not until the 1970s that the British Shorthair Cat gained formal recognition. The American Cat Association recognized the breed in 1967. However, the Cats Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1980. Today, the British Shorthair is recognized by all cat registries.

Size Standards

The British Shorthair is medium to large powerful looking cat. These cats have a broad chest, strong thick legs, rounded paws and a medium-long thick tail. The head is a study of roundness as well, with a short muzzle, broad cheeks, large round eyes and broadly set wide ears. There is a significant weight difference between male and female British Shorthairs. Males usually weigh from 9-17 pounds. Females are quite smaller and weigh just 7-12 pounds. This is a slow maturing breed that will reach its full size at approximately three years of age. Because of the chunky and powerful body, it is hard to notice if a cat is overweight. Make sure that you use high-quality dry cat food like Orijen. Furthermore, feed your cat according to her age and activity level.

British Shorthair Cat Personality Traits

The British Shorthair is a laid-back cat with a calm and mellow personality. This breed likes to follow its owner around the house without being demanding. This isn’t an attention seeking breed. However, they will reciprocate any affection given to them. The British Shorthair can seem reserved when meeting new people. But once she gets to know them, she will welcome all guests confidently.
The British Shorthair isn’t a lap cat. This breed doesn’t like being carried around. However, it will more than gladly sit by its owner on the sofa. This is an undemanding breed that can be left at home alone for longer periods of time. The female cats have somewhat more serious personalities. While males have a more happy-go-lucky temperament. This is a smart breed that enjoys puzzle toys. Toys like the Treat Maze will keep a British Shorthair occupied and help stimulate her brain. This breed is usually energetic until it reaches one year of age. After that these cats spend most of their days napping. Invest in scratching posts and cat trees to encourage your kitty to move around. This is a low energy breed without destructive tendencies. But their clumsy nature can cause small damages to your home.

Adaptability

Thanks to its history, the British Shorthair Cat is a highly adaptable breed. They react well both to lifestyle changes and new environments. Their mild and calm nature helps them accept other animals and children. When it becomes adult, the British Shorthair becomes an absolute couch potato. You will have to interact with your cat daily to keep her active. Teach your cat to play fetch and make her run after foam balls to get her burning calories.

Health and Potential Health Problems

The British Shorthair Cat is known for its robust health and long lifespan. However, like most cat breeds, they are prone to some health issues. The following conditions are seen in this breed. But that doesn’t mean they will affect your cat specifically.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart condition that affects all cat breeds. It causes a thickening in a heart and affects its ability to pump blood. A DNA test for this condition is available. So check if your cat has been tested for this condition.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: It’s a hereditary condition that causes forming of multiple cysts in the kidneys. These cysts are present at birth, but grow with time and can cause kidney failure. There isn’t a specific therapy for this condition.
  • Obesity: The low energy British Shorthair can put on the pounds quite easily. Any additional weight can put the cat at risk of other health problems. Feed your cat with diet cat food like the Hill’s Science Healthy Weight formula to help her shed pounds. Additionally, include extra activities to help your cat burn fat more easily.

Lifespan

On average the British Shorthair Cat can live from 14-20 years. The above-mentioned health problems can affect this breed’s life expectancy. Thus, we recommend getting your cat from a reputable breeder and having her tested. With proper care and regular vet check-ups, the British Shorthair can thrive for many years.

Grooming Needs

The thick and dense coat is one of the defining features of this breed. The fact that the coat doesn’t have an undercoat makes it easy to maintain. Brush your cat two times a week with a grooming brush. This way you will take care of any loose hair and give your cat a massage too. This breed sheds during spring and fall so you will have to groom it more often then.

British Shorthair Cat Coat Colors

The ‘British Blue‘ remains to be the most famous color variation of this breed. These cats have a solid blue-gray coat and distinctive copper eyes. However, this breed can be found in almost any imaginable color and pattern. The most common colors include Black, Blue, White, Red, Silver, Cream, Golden, Cinnamon and Fawn. The coat patterns can range from solid, colorpoint, tabby, shaded, bi-color and tortoiseshell.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

The gentle and docile nature of the British Shorthair Cat ensures that this breed gets along well with children. Unlike other cats, this breed doesn’t avoid toddlers. Since they are less energetic, they are perfect companions for this low energy cat. However, the British Shorthair likes the company and attention of older kids too. As long as they don’t try to pick and carry this cat around, otherwise the Shorthair won’t be pleased. This breed gets along with dogs and other cats if they are introduced properly. The British Shorthair Cat is a sedentary breed, that needs to be stimulated to play. Get your cat moving with toys like these. It is best to play with your cat twice a day for 15 minutes. This way you will prevent obesity and provide a happy life for your feline.