British Shorthair Breed: What You Should Know

Posted: March 8, 2021 by Anita

british shorthair breed

If you are thinking about falling in love with a British Shorthair, I want you to have all the cool facts about the British Shorthair breed.

The British Shorthair cat is different than your run-of-the-mill moggie. It is a pedigreed version of the British domestic cat. The British Shorthair cat lineage can be traced back to purebreds.

The British Shorthair is known for its gray-blue coat, orange eyes, and medium tail called the British Blue cat. It is the Cheshire cat with the crazy smile in the book Alice in Wonderland.

To purchase a copy of Alice in Wonderland from Amazon UK, click here.

The British Shorthair (also known as the English Shorthair cat) can be described as hearty with its large body and thick coat. It is a cat built for UK’s inclement weather.

In this article, I discuss the British Shorthair cat and the:

  • History of the British Shorthair
  • different types of British Shorthair cats
  • British Shorthair personality
  • how to care for your British Shorthair cat

British Shorthair Cat History

There are a lot of stories in regards to how the British Shorthair came about. It is an ancient breed thought to be imported by the Romans when they invaded Great Britain in the first century AD.

Roman imported cat with a bit of Scottish

The Roman imported cats inbred with the Scottish Wildcats that roamed the UK countryside. And after a few centuries of natural selection, these offsprings developed into robust street cats (or farm cats) built to survive the UK winters.

The making of the British Shorthair

In the 19th century, Harrison Wier, a cat fancier, and breeder began breeding the ordinary British street cat (moggie) with various pedigreed cats to come up with a blue-coated cat. This blue-coated cat was called the British Blue or English shorthair.

Popular then faced with extinction

After Harrison Wier showcased the British Blue Shorthair in 1871 at the first cat fancier show, it became a trendy cat in the UK.

But by WWII, the breed was facing extinction. The British shorthair was considered passé, and breeders had moved on to other popular breeds such as the Siamese. To read my article about the Siamese cat, click here.

Resurgence of the British Shorthair

In the 1970s, Breeders decided to revitalized the British Shorthair breed. British Shorthair breeders began breeding with cat breeds similar in bone and coat structure as the British Shorthair. These breeds included the Russian Blue, American, and European Shorthair cats.

By 2013, the British Shorthair breed was once again one of the world’s most popular breeds.

Here’s a cute little video about the British Shorthair.


British Shorthair Cat Characteristics

The British Shorthair is just like your friendly everyday neighborhood moggie – but a pedigreed version. They can be best described as stocky, thick, and plush.

He has a square-shaped body with a broad chest; strong legs with a medium length round-ended tail.

The head is round with chubby checks and a short nose.

The British Shorthair cat matures slowly and doesn’t reach full physical potential until 3 years old. And can become a fat British Shorthair if not fed properly.

  • Weight Range: Male – 4.1 – 7.7 kg (9-17 lbs), Female – 3.2 – 5.4 kg (7-12 lbs)
  • Shedding: seasonal shedding
  • Body: large, thick, muscular
  • Coat: short and straight
  • British Shorthair Lifespan: 12-17 years

Types of British Shorthair cats

The British blue cat, with its blue-gray coat is the most recognized type of the British Shorthair. However, the British Shorthair comes in a variety of colors, and patterns:

  • Golden British Shorthair
  • Black British Shorthair
  • Cinnamon British Shorthair
  • Cream British Shorthair
  • Tabby – blend of two distinct colors with either spotted, parallel stripes, or marbled markings.  “M” shape on the forehead.
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Calico – tricolor with one of those colors being white
  • British Shorthair Bi-color

British Shorthair health

The British Shorthair cat is a very healthy breed. But it is susceptible to hereditary diseases that occur among purebreds.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy can be a problem for the British Shorthair. This condition causes the thickening of the walls of the heart muscle. It can lead to blood clots and heart failure.

These cats are subject to the same lifestyle issues that most cats are subject to, such as:

  • obesity
  • cataracts (in old age)
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • diabetes

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British Shorthair Personality

British Shorthair cats are easy-going, chilled out cats with a devotion to their owners that is amazing.

They are not really the cuddly lap-type cat and may not like being picked up. Loud and rambunctious kids might not be their thing.

For the most part, the British Shorthair is very independent and is very good at entertaining itself. However, all cats, no matter the breed, will benefit from interactive play and exercise.

To find British Shorthair Kittens for sale, check out the list of breeders by clicking here.


How to care for your British Shorthair Cat

To ensure that your British Shorthair cat has a long healthy life, you must take great care of them from day one.


Grooming

British Shorthair cats aren’t particularly hairy but may shed seasonally when it gets warm. Occasional brushing should be done a couple of times a week to keep away matted hair and hairballs. Click here to check out this brush from Amazon.

Have their nails clipped regularly by either taking him to a groomer or by doing it yourself – click here to purchase Amazon’s Choice cat nail clipper


Nutrition

No special diet is needed for your American Shorthair cat. Make sure you are not over-feeding your cat and stick to age-appropriate food.

Check to see Theo’s favorite’s cat food brand by clicking here


Activity

The British Shorthair isn’t very active, but you can provide plenty of active playtime with him, so he doesn’t become overweight.

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All cats are inquisitive, so make sure your cabinets have cat-proof locks to prevent them from getting into places they shouldn’t be.

Conclusion

The British Shorthair cat is different than your run-of-the-mill moggie. It is a pedigreed version of the British domestic cat. This means that its lineage can be traced back to purebreeds.

The British Shorthair is known for its gray-blue coat, orange eyes, and medium tail called the British Blue cat. It is the Cheshire cat with the crazy smile in the book Alice in Wonderland.

There are a lot of stories in regards to how the British Shorthair came about. It is an ancient breed thought to be imported by the Romans when they invaded Great Britain in the first century AD.

The British Shorthair is just like your friendly everyday neighborhood moggie – but a pedigreed version. They can be best described as stocky, thick, and plush.

They are not really the cuddly lap-type cat and may not like being picked up. Loud and rambunctious kids might not be their thing.

With its blue-gray coat, the British blue cat is the most recognized type of British Shorthair. However, the British Shorthair comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

If you choose the British Shorthair breed as your cat, expect a lifetime of loyalty and love.

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