The history of the British Shorthair cat is a fascinating one. This ancient breed is believed to date back to the first century A.D. When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought cats with them. These early domesticated cats were tasked with the important job of keeping Roman camps clear of mice and other pests.
The Romans’ cats bred with local wildcats and as time passed, the offspring developed a distinctive look. Contemporary British Shorthairs retain the appearance of their ancestors, which were large and robust, with dense, short coats that provided protection from the elements.
Cat fancier and artist Harrison Weir is credited with helping to develop the breed as we know it today. During the 19th century, he – and perhaps other breeders – began selecting for the blue-gray variant that ultimately became the British Blue. The newly standardized British Shorthair took pride of place at the first cat show in history, which was held at the Crystal Palace in London in 1871.
Incredibly, the British Shorthair cat nearly became extinct during the first world war and along with many other breeds, was nearly wiped out again by the end of the second world war.
In an effort to save Britain’s favorite cat, British Shorthair breeders introduced Persians to their bloodlines, ultimately creating British Longhair cats. Shorthaired offspring were also bred with Russian Blue cats and French Chartreux cats in an effort to emphasize desirable blue-grey coloring.
The British Blue was recognized by the American Cat Association in 1967.
By 1980, the British Shorthair had gained recognition from The International Cat Association and the Cat Fanciers Association. All cat associations now recognize the breed.
These days, the British Shorthair cat is available in nearly every color and pattern imaginable. Blue remains the most prevalent – and the most popular – British Shorthair cat color.
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The British Shorthair is a relatively powerful-looking large cat, having a broad chest, strong thick-set legs with rounded paws and a medium-length, blunt-tipped tail. The head is relatively large and rounded, with a short muzzle, broad cheeks (most noticeable in mature males, who tend to develop prominent jowls) and large round eyes that are deep coppery orange in the British Blue and otherwise vary in colour depending on the coat. Their large ears are broad and widely set.
The British Shorthair’s coat is one of the breed’s defining features. It is very dense but does not have an undercoat; thus, the texture is plush rather than woolly or fluffy, with a firm, “crisp” pile that breaks noticeably over the cat’s body as it moves.Although the British Blue remains the most familiar variant, British Shorthairs have been developed in many other colours and patterns. Black, blue, white, red, cream, silver, golden and—most recently—cinnamon and fawn are accepted by all official standards, either solid or in colourpoint, tabby, shaded and bicolour patterns
About The British Shorthair Cat
Once known as the British Blue and exclusively bred for blue-gray coloring, the British Shorthair cat now comes in a multitude of colors, but it retains its typical rounded profile and it’s delightful – yet somewhat reserved – personality.
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British shorthairs are a large, healthy breed that can live up to 20 years. However, they are susceptible to certain health problems, as all breeds are.
These kitties can be prone to a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the muscular walls of the cat’s heart; this causes difficulty breathing, lethargy, and loss of appetite in older animals. And, similar to other breeds, British shorthairs can develop urinary tract and kidney issues.
To help prevent health problems from developing, start by getting your British shorthair kitten from a reputable breeder. Lucky we got you covered, we only provide you with top notch and health British shorthair breds. And always take your cat to your vet once a year for a check-up.
In addition to regular health check-ups, exercise should play an important role in your British shorthair’s life. These cats have energy but aren’t that active, so they can gain too much weight (especially in their later years) unless you develop strategies that keep them moving when they’re young. Interactive toys, fishing wands, balls, lasers, and climbing structures like cat trees and cat shelves will all help keep your British shorthair fit and trim, physically and mentally.