About British Shorthairs
The British Shorthair cat
history can be traced from the time of the Roman Empire, being the
domestic cat of Rome.
With its long, steady history the British Shorthair cat is one of the
least altered cat breeds, which makes it robust and healthy. The
original color for most British Shorthair cats was blue and at one
point was known as the "British Blue". This cat has
long been regarded for its physical strength and hunting ability but
later became more known for its equally gentle nature and loyalty.
The British Short Hair cat
has a broad, round head with a short, thick neck. It has large,
round eyes that are wide-set and copper in color. This cat can
grow to either a medium or large body size and has short, but strong,
well-proportioned legs. The tail is medium length but thick and
rounded at the ends.
The personality of the
British Short Hair cat can be described as gentle, calm and loyal. This
cat may be aloof with others but becomes extremely devoted to its
owners and is an undemanding companion, fitting well within family
One of the most appealing
features of this cat is the built-in smile caused by the round
prominent whisker pads. This smile was never displayed better than in
Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat; originally a tabby British Shorthair.
A very sturdy and strong
cat with a body shape that is almost square, since they are almost as
broad as they are long in length. A British Shorthair has thick, short
legs on a heavily muscled body. With broad shoulders and powerful hips,
the British is affectionately referred as the body builder or bulldog
of the cat fancy.
While the male British is
noticeably larger, broader and rounder than the female, both male and
female British Shorthairs are an imposing cat presence. Growing very
slowly, a British Blue Shorthair does not reach full maturity until
four to five years of age.
The head of a British
Shorthair is very massive, broad, and round. Chubby cheeks give the
British Shorthair a Cheshire cat appearance, and large, brilliant
copper eyes are prominent facial features. Medium to small sized ears
with rounded tips are set wide apart on the domed top head. A snub nose
on a short wide muzzle, with firm, slightly rounded chin emphasizes the
roundness to the head and powerful jaw.
The coat of a British
Shorthair is unique. No other breed of cat has the thick plush,
well-bodied coat of the British. With the texture and density of lush
rich velvet, a British Shorthair feels like a sheered lamb or a rich
The thick, naturally
protective short hair of a British seldom sheds if living quarters are
kept cool and hand grooming (petting) is done on a regular basis.
British Shorthairs don't like water, but will accept the indignity of a
bath provided it is done with tender loving care.
The blue colour of a
British Shorthair can range from a pale light silver to a dark
charcoal, with the lighter shades being preferred. The colour should be
solid and even throughout the body, with ghost tabby rings on the tail
allowed only in immature specimens. A British Shorthair must have deep
copper eyes that are large and round, giving the British a sweet, open
Just because the British
Shorthair is a big, massive cat, it does not mean it is a fat cat. A
British Shorthair should be the same width at the shoulder as at the
hips. Their body should not pouch out or cave in. They should have a
firm tummy that does not sag or wiggle. Sound muscular body type is
obtained through sound genetics, quality food, and plenty of exercise.
Shorthairs are very affectionate, quietly following you from room to
room until they can settle contentedly by your side. Gifted with
lasting patience and confidence, Brits are especially good with
children and other types of pets. A moderately active cat, they are not
destructive as a breed, adapting well to any size household. British
are very easy going and are affectionate to numerous people in the
circle they consider family.