THE BRITISH SHORTHAIR CAT

The British Shorthair is an ancient cat breed that originated from the U.K. It is thought that this cat breed dates as far back as the first century AD. Historians believed that the Egyptians took domesticated Egyptians cats to the U.K, resulting in the interbreeding of these cats with the European wildcat population.

Brief History

The British Shorthair was the only pedigreed cat breed at cat shows during the Victorian era. During WW1 and WW2, the British Shorthair almost vanished, but thanks to cat breeders in the U.K, this breed was kept alive. By 1967, the British Shorthair was recognized by the American Cat Association. The Cat Fancier Association recognized this breed in 1980. Today, all cat associations recognize the British Shorthair. This cat breed is renowned for its strength and hunting ability. Many are under the assumption that this cat breed is blue in color. The British Shorthair comes in various colors of which blue –grey or “British Blue” is the most popular.

Physical Features

The British Shorthair is a large cat breed with a broad chest. Their legs are strong with large paws. The tail is blunt-tipped, and of medium- length. With a round head, and large round eyes, the British Shorthair has a short muzzle and round cheeks. 

The British Shorthair matures slowly, and will reach peak physical development at three years of age. This is a dimorphic cat breed, in which males are larger than the females. The coat is plush and thick with no undercoat.  There are noticeable “crisp” hairlines that are raised when the British Shorthair walks or runs. Coat colors can be found in solid colors, colorpoint, tabby, shaded, and bicolor patterns.

Average Height:

12-14 inches

Average Weight:

8-14 pounds

Life Expectancy:

14-20 years

Temperament

The British Shorthair is an intelligent cat breed that adapts easily to new surroundings, and enjoys being around people, even children. The British Shorthair gets along well with other animals like rabbits, dogs, other cats, and even horses. This breed tends to be clumsy, yet is moderately active. This is a kind and sweet-natured cat breed that is devoted to family. The British Shorthair does well with being an indoor cat.

british shorthair cat

Special Needs

The British Shorthair does best as an indoor cat. This breed thrives on affection, and plenty of cat toys. This breed is proud, and enjoys positive clicker training. It is non-aggressive with other cats. Eye tearing may be a problem with this cat breed. Inactive cats tend to pick up weight, and are prone to more medical conditions, like liver disease. Daily grooming needs to be a priority with this breed.

Exercising cats is more difficult than with dogs, yet cat parents can do so by purchasing certain cats toys to promote exercise. 

Possible Health Concerns

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disorder where the heart walls of the left ventricle thicken. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs. Fluid may also accumulate in the lungs, and in the space between the lungs and chest wall. 
  • Gingivitis: This is when the gums become inflamed due to bacterial plaque. Gum color in cats will change from a light pink to red or purple. The gum edge wills well. Symptoms include bleeding and bad breath. This can be reversed with proper teeth cleaning. However it can worsen and result in periodontitis. 
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease. This occurs when there are numerous cysts within the functioning part of the kidney, resulting in enlarged kidneys. Consult with your veterinarian if your cat vomits frequently, has a decreased appetite, and increased thirst or urination.

Exercise

Playtime for indoor cats is extremely important. 

The British Shorthair cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. 

This cat breed is a moderately active cat breed that thrives on being with family members. Cat gyms, cat scratchers, and interactive cat toys within a cat friendly home environment work best for this breed.

Grooming

The British Shorthair needs daily grooming for skin and coat health. Because this breed is a shorthair cat breed, taking care of this cat breed is super easy. This cat breed has a short and smooth coat. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity.

 

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