If someone is in search of a tall and strong cat with a calm demeanor, the British Shorthair is one such cat. The pleasant and peaceful appearance of this one of the oldest cat breeds makes it adorable for everyone. The British Shorthair has a dignified and sweet nature and it has elegance in its every action. It would be a great choice for the ones who like silence and peace around them.
The British Shorthair is also called ‘Teddy Bear’ for its cute round face and the dense short hair coat. This cat breed has a slow maturity process and it gets fully matured at the age of 3 to 5 years.
History of The British Shorthair Cat
The British Shorthair is one of the oldest traceable and known cat breeds of the world. Do not get deceived by the name. This cat breed has its origin in Rome. The Romans brought this cat breed along with them during the invasion of England. Romans kept these cats to get rid of the mice, insects, and bugs. Later these cats remained as the common street cats for centuries.
The common street cat became a domesticated cat in the late 19th century. This breed started earning fame in London in 1871. This was the first time that this breed was presented in any cat show of London. With the import of long hair cat breeds like Persian, its popularity again started decreasing and became quite rare by the First World War. Both the world wars devastated this cat breed and affected its existence.
That street cat went through a cross-breeding process and resulted in the British Shorthair. The breed was about to get extinct in the crucial situation of the Second World War. It was crossbreed with Persian and Russian breeds to prevent extinction.
This cat breed was first recognized by the American Cat Breed Association in 1967. Today, all the cat associations recognize this cat breed.
The British Shorthair cat has been presented in many famous movies like ‘Alice in the wonderland’ and ‘Puss in Boots’.
Physical Characteristics of The British Shorthair Cat
Height & Weight
The British Short Hair is a tall and strong cat breed. It stands up to 22 to 25 inches high which makes it quite prominent. This strong and firm body cat breed weighs about 7 to 17 pounds.
This amazing cat breed enjoys a long and healthy life and lives up to 12 to 20 years of age.
Appearance of The British Shorthair Cat
The British Shorthair is a heavily muscled cat breed with a compact body, and heavy and solid bones. This cat breed has a round, large, and powerful built. It has a broad chest and strong medium legs to support its large body.
Almost all of its body parts are round. It has a big, broad, and round face, with a round head, round chubby cheeks, big round eyes, and a medium-long thick tail with a round tip. Its cute pinky paws are also rounded in shape. The nose and ears both are triangular where the ears have rounded ends.
The British Shorthair cats have prominent, round, sparkling, and deep eyes of different colors. The most common color of the British Shorthair eyes’ is coppery orange color. Other colors like blue, gold, odd-eyed, and green appear according to the coat colors.
Coat and Stripe Patterns
The British Shorthair is famous for a thick and short coat. This coat is dense with an absent undercoat. This dense coat protects the cat and helps to survive in harsh weather conditions. The coat texture is not fluffy like wool but plush. Some of the patterns in which the coat of the British shorthair appears are Bi-color, tri-color, smoke, shaded, colorpoint, and tabby.
The coat of the British Shorthair is available in many colors. The most common color is blue and it gave this breed the name ‘Blue Shorthair’. Other colors include black, silver, lilac, chocolate, brown, white, golden, red, cameo, fawn, cream, and cinnamon.
Personality and Temperament of The British Shorthair Cat
The British Shorthair has a calm, docile, and pleasant nature. It has a low meowing voice and has a very low tendency to make noise.
It is an easygoing cat that is quiet undemanding and develops normal ties of love and affection with all the family members and remains loyal to them. It follows the owner at every corner of the house, even outside the house, and would like to sit or stand nearby. It is a dignified and very intelligent cat.
The British Shorthair does not need much attention. It likes to play with itself and with the cat toys and teasers. It is not an energetic cat that would love to have athletic activities and jumping and it can spend all day in the same room, playing and napping.
It is not the usual ‘lap loving’ cat. It doesn’t like to be picked up and carried frequently. It loves to relax on a rug and couch. The British Shorthair cat is a peace-loving pet and doesn’t get involved in any destructive activity in the absence of family members. It can easily tolerate being left alone at home for a long time.
Health Problems of The British Shorthair Cat
With a life span of 20 years, the British Shorthair cat is considered as a long-living cat breed with good health and doesn’t have many genetic problems. However, certain health issues can become problematic for a cat’s life.
This is a hereditary disease in which if the bleeding starts from any part of the body, the blood clotting factor is not there to stop it. It can cause excessive bleeding leading to death.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
During this disease, numerous fluid-filled cysts start growing in the kidney. They make the size of the kidney grow bigger and affect the proper functioning.
It is a common disease of all cat breeds. This causes a portion of the heart to get thickened and the blood pumping and circulation are highly affected.
Due to its inactive and less playful temperament, the British Shorthair is prone to obesity. This problem can lead to many other health issues like heart problems, kidney failure, etc.
Nutrition of the British Shorthair Cat
In the first year, when the British Shorthair kitten is quite active and playful, a good amount and high-quality cat food, chicken, and fish will make a good diet for the growing kitten.
The adult British Shorthair becomes inactive and less playful so it won’t require more food. Overfeeding can make the cat obese. 2 meals a day with proper water intake will be enough for this grown-up cat breed.
Care of The British Shorthair Cat
By following the below care tips, a British Shorthair can have a healthy and long life.
- The thick and dense coat of the British Shorthair cat needs regular grooming and brushing to avoid hairballs, dander, and hair loss, especially in the seasons when the coat is thickening or thinning.
- A monthly bath will be good for its dense coat.
- Brush its teeth daily to prevent periodontal disease.
- Weekly trimming with cat nail clippers will keep the nails tidy and prevent scratching.
- The British Shorthair often has watery eyes. Wipe the sides of the eyes with a soft piece of cloth to avoid stains on the face.
- Provide 2-time quality cat food to keep their weight controlled.
- These inactive strong cats can catch obesity. Involve them in playful activities and encourage them to do exercise.
- Keep their litter box clean.
- Provide them with cat toys, teasers, and a cat playhouse to remain active and playful.
- Keep the British Shorthair cat indoors to protect it from infections, injuries, accidents, and most importantly from being stolen.
Friendliness of The British Shorthair Cat
The British Shorthair is an easygoing cat that behaves well with everyone. They are not too affectionate with the family members but remain close to them. They are friendly towards children, strangers, and also with other pets. They can live with dogs that tend to be cat-friendly. They go well with the children who deal with them with care and politeness. They do not like to be carried or to sit in the lap. Let them sit on the floor rug or the couch.
The British Shorthair is a fabulous pet for the people who like to have a peaceful, less active, and beautiful cat as a pet. If treated with politeness and care, a British Shorthair cat can become a lovely companion that will always remain by your side.