What you should know about the British Shorthair cat? Let us have a look at the basic information.

Weight: 3-7 kg

Origin: England

Colour: black, brown, grey; multicoloured

Fur: short, dense

Life expectancy: 12-18 years

Character: quiet, modest, serene, patient

Origin and breed history

The British Shorthair is one of the oldest domestic cats bred for a certain appearance and character. Already in 1871 the first cats were exhibited in London’s Crystal Palace under the name British Shorthair.  Today they are available in numerous colours. The blue, also called British Blue, is by far the most famous and at the same time one of the most popular pedigree cats in Germany. Until today, the British Blue is also known in Germany under the name Carthusian cat. This name is both correct and wrong. The fact is that Carthusians and British Blue formed a common gene pool until the 1970s. It was purely a matter of discretion, whether it was called Carthusian and British Blue, it remained the same cat.

It was only later that breeders began to draw a dividing line here and proclaim two separate breeds. Certain distinguishing features were devised for both creations and have been bred specifically for them ever since. The Carthusian cat remained in its shape of a rather slim domestic cat, but at the same time it got a narrow head with oversized eyes. Today it is also called Chartreux. The British Blue was bred rather compact, stocky with a broad, round, almost plush head. This body type is a characteristic of all British Shorthair cats as well as their short but fine standing fut with a good underfut.

Finally the community of purebred cat breeders came up with something new again and separated two more new breeds from the British Shorthair, the European Shorthair and the American Shorthair. In this way the today more than 40 domestic cat breeds recognized by the big international associations were created.

Description of the Britsch Shorthair

The British Shorthair is a medium to large domestic cat. With its plush fur, the big round head and its rather stocky shape it reminds a little bit of a teddy bear. And so she is also of her nature, which we will discuss below.

British Shorthair cats have a distinctive fur. It is short but at the same time fluffy, so it should never lie flat. It has fine dense hair with a good underfut. The fut should have a non-slip texture. Their strong body stands on short, round and sturdy legs with strong paws. The tail is rather short. The round head sits on a short, very strongly developed neck. Her chest is broad. The small ears are set wide apart. The nose shall be broad and rather short. The Fédération Internationale Féline permits practically all fut colours. Depending on the fut colour the eyes may be orange, blue, yellow, green or copper according to the standard. A British Blue for example with bright yellow eyes is a very aesthetic and impressive appearance.

Character and nature

The British Shorthair is the cool type among the domestic cats. Hectic or nervousness are foreign to her. She reminds a little bit of a teddy and behaves like you would expect from a teddy, just lovely! Always looking for closeness to her humans, a close bond can develop here. She is a real family cat. British Shorthair cats like to move in nature like any domestic cat, but their urge to do so is not very strong. She also catches a mouse when the opportunity is good. Suitable cat toys are just as suitable for her. She is very cuddly and one likes to stroke and cuddle her because of her plush fur. British Shorthair cats are not very shy of water by cat standards. They are very sociable and get along with other animal housemates without any problems. The British Shorthair have a very high stress tolerance for cats.

The well trained cat

The British Shorthair can be well trained. If she comes from a serious breeder, who has taken good care of her parents and puppies and socialized them, she will adapt to the rules and habits of her family by herself. With a little guidance she will be house-trained quickly and easily. British Shorthair cats need a long time, sometimes up to two years, to become adult.

Care and health

The fur of the British Shorthair only needs to be brushed here and there. With a little bit of feeling and skill, brushing the fur can be turned into a ritual of social bonding, which does cats and humans a lot of good emotionally.

Breed-specific  diseases

Some breeds of British Shorthair suffer from strong inbreeding. This can lead to diseases like immunodeficiency, sickness and shortened life expectancy. In British Shorthair cats a genetic defect is common, which can lead to a kind of sudden cardiac death even at a young age, as well as a hereditary kidney disease (PKD).

Nutrition and Feeding

The British Shorthair is usually a problem-free eater by cat standards. Of course it can also become very fussy and take only the best and most expensive food.

Life expectancy

A British Shorthair, bred in a healthy way, can live 12 to 15 years. Inbreeding drastically shortens the life expectancy.

Buying a British Shorthair

If you want to get a British Shorthair, you can first look around in animal shelters. At the breeder you should make sure that the parents and puppies grow up in good conditions, especially with a close social connection to the human family. You should look at the family tree. No ancestor should appear here twice to exclude too much inbreeding. Both parents should definitely be tested negative for the hereditary diseases described above. Serious breeders state this of their own accord in their advertisements. Of course the kittens should be vaccinated, dewormed and chipped several times. A serious bred British Shorthair puppy should cost around 600 dollars.

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If you want to learn more about cat behavior, have a look at the British Shorthair (British Blue): Cat Breed Profile

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What you should know about the British Shorthair