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British Shorthair cat

British Shorthair cat
Other names: British cat , British

The British shorthair cat will be a wonderful companion for people of all ages and families with children thanks to its calm cheerful nature and philosophical attitude to the daily absences of the owners.

Brief information

  • Breed name: British Shorthair cat
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • The time of the birth of the breed: XIX century
  • Weight: 4.5 – 8 kg
  • Life expectancy: 9 – 15 years old


  • This breed has been living next to the British for so long that at home it is simply called shorthair – "shorthair".
  • Recognizable features are a round muzzle, a stocky body and thick fur of a special texture, tactilely reminiscent of plush.
  • Long before the appearance of the first "cat" organizations, the British shorthair cat was valued not for external qualities, but for the unsurpassed skill of the mouser.
  • Animals openly show their affection for their owners, but they do not like to sit on their knees and hang on a person's hands.
  • They treat other pets well (including dogs, rodents and birds), but they also feel great as a single animal.
  • Cats do not require complex and specific care.
  • After reaching maturity, the level of physical activity decreases significantly.
  • The main danger waiting for the British apartment maintenance, veterinarians call obesity.
  • British shorthair are generally considered healthy cats, with an average life expectancy of 12-17 years.

British Shorthair cat refers to the number of breeds that nature has been working on for much longer than man. As a result, we have a physically developed, harmoniously built animal with a light, accommodating character. Cohabitation with him will not give the owners much trouble. British cats are attracted by a calm disposition bordering on phlegmatic, well-mannered and incredibly beautiful, pleasant to the touch plush fur. In the famous book Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll immortalized this breed forever in the image of the Cheshire Cat.

Breed characteristics

Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Affectionate ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Sociability ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Playfulness ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the British Shorthair cat breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of cat owners.

History of the British Shorthair cat

British Shorthair cat

It is impossible to find documentary evidence of the first appearance of cats in the British Isles for many years. However, researchers suggest that domesticated animals were brought there by Roman conquerors. The legionnaires, of course, did not keep them as furry friends – someone needed to protect the provisions in the holds from the encroachments of ship rats. True, those rodent hunters bore little resemblance to today's round-faced and heavily built individuals, their physique was closer to the graceful and long-legged Egyptian animals.

But the free feline nature took its toll – and some of the small predators brought by the invaders moved from the decks to solid ground, and there, over time, they met wild relatives who enriched the gene pool.

For centuries, shorthair purrs have lived side by side with peasants, receiving a little milk and a roof over their heads for their contribution to the fight against mice. No one, of course, cared about selecting kittens according to the color of the coat, the shape of the ears and the length of the tail, so the appearance of the breed was formed naturally. I must say that the attitude towards these cute creatures was often not just indifferent, but even hostile, while dogs were considered loyal friends worthy of sugar pits and a place by the fireplace.

It was only in the second half of the XIX century that the British realized that their pets have many unique and attractive features that need to be fixed and developed. In the Victorian era, it became not shameful to be the owner of a cat, even for a representative of the upper world. The popularity of the moustaches was greatly promoted by the original and witty drawings of the famous English artist Louis Wayne. A talented graphic artist has created a whole universe in which anthropomorphic cats play golf and bridge, go on picnics, read newspapers, arrange Christmas parties, sledding, playing music, relaxing on the beach… In addition, already at the dawn of the development of photography, enthusiasts of the new art realized how advantageous fluffy beauties look in the frame. In a word, the ice was broken.

British blue color (gray, classic), which is standard for the breed
British Cat Kitten

On July 13, 1871, the world's first professionally organized cat show was held in London with great success. Garrison Ware, enlisting the support of the then manager of Crystal Palace, invited 170 participants of the event and their owners to the former pavilion of the World Exhibition. He also developed the rules of the competition, a system for awarding points and determining winners in various categories. Visitors were surprised to find that well-groomed and well-fed cats not only look charming, but also behave like real aristocrats. The next morning, the front pages of respected metropolitan newspapers were decorated with portraits of award winners – including 14-year-old blue Tabby Old Lady. By the way, it was the blue color in the last century that was considered the only correct one for British shorthair.

After the exhibition, popularity came to the once inconspicuous street animals. The breed standard, amateur clubs and the first kennels appeared. However, in the last decade of the XIX century , the UK was overwhelmed by the pan - European fashion for and persian cats . On this wave during the First World War, breeders introduced British longhair. Experts still cannot say with certainty whether a fixed spontaneous mutation took place or whether the breeders simply used "foreign" genes in breeding.

With the beginning of the Second World War, the already unfavorable situation for shorthair became truly catastrophic. Animals, like people, died massively under German bombing, and the policy of austerity of food left no chance for the maintenance of nurseries. In the post - war years , the few surviving British were actively crossed with representatives of various breeds to obtain offspring: russian blue , chartreuse , persian . Due to the large percentage of mixed blood, the breed has long been classified as hybrids and therefore has not been registered by leading regional and world felinological organizations. American Cat Association delimited American shorthair cats and immigrants from the Old World in 1967, adding the latter to the register under the name "British blue". ACFA allowed Britons to participate in their exhibitions in 1970, and The Cat Fanciers' The Association (CFA) recognized the breed in 1980.

British smoky cat
British color Point cat

Video: British Shorthair cat

Appearance of the British shorthair cat

British Shorthair is a medium to large breed. Cats are noticeably larger than cats – 5.5-9 kg versus 3.5-6.5 kg, respectively. Growth is fully completed only by the age of 5.


British kitten of marble color

Large, round, with full cheeks. The forehead is rounded, passes into a flat area between the ears, the "stop" is weakly pronounced, but still noticeable.


The eyes of British shorthair cats are large, round, expressive. Wide and straight apart. The look is open and friendly. The color is in harmony with the coat color and can be yellow, copper-orange, blue, green. White cats may have heterochromia – eyes of different colors.


Short, wide, straight. The nose and chin form a vertical.


The ears of the British are small, wide at the base, with neatly rounded tips. They are set wide and low on the head.


Short, muscular.


Well balanced, powerful and strong. Not loose! The chest is wide and deep. The back is short, muscular.

The muzzle of a British cat


Legs are short and powerful. Paws are rounded, strong, with tightly fitting toes.


The tail of the British shorthair cat is thick and moderately long, wide at the base, the tip rounded.


Short, thick, dense. It has a healthy shine and a thick undercoat. Elastic to the touch, "plush".


Blue, purple, chocolate, white, black, red, "deer", cinnamon, cream, two-tone, tortoiseshell, tabby, color point, "chinchilla" – about a hundred options are allowed in total.

Black Briton
White British
British golden chinchilla
British silver chinchilla
British tortoiseshell
British bicolor
British blue color
Briton of cinnamon color
British spotted tabby

Character of the British shorthair cat

I love scratching!

The British cat is a rare example of complete conformity of appearance and inner world. By nature, these plush bumpers really resemble your favorite stuffed toys from your childhood. And a special "smiling" expression of a round face once made them a real prototype of the Cheshire cat from stories about Alice's adventures. Good-natured and unpretentious companions fit perfectly into the life of almost any family, without requiring absolute attention to their person.

However, the latter does not mean that they are indifferent to the owners. On the contrary, representatives of the breed are very attached to "their" people and often move from room to room with them, but they do it unobtrusively. Fluffy intellectuals love affection, however, they prefer to receive it on their own terms – they will be happy to sit next to you on a soft sofa and will purr quite in response to stroking, but they will not be too enthusiastic about the idea of lying down on their knees or being in a gentle embrace. Personal space for the subjects of the British Queen is not an empty phrase!

The time that the household spends at work or school, the cat will spend not on organizing a pogrom in the dwelling, but on peaceful sleep or contemplation of the surroundings from a window with a wide window sill. If some trinkets dear to your heart suffer from his paws, it will happen completely by accident. The fact is that short-haired sturdy men are not too graceful. Their cute clumsiness is also quite consistent with the image of a club-footed bear cub.

Cat Fight

Despite the fact that for a comfortable life, the British do not have to have a playmate, due to their light and friendly nature, they easily let other pets into the circle of close communication: cats, dogs of different breeds and sizes, reptiles and (contrary to strong hunting instincts) rodents, birds. They get along well with children – provided that the kids will not be zealous in showing tender feelings or treat them rudely.

In addition, the British will not cause misunderstandings with neighbors, even if the walls in the house are very thin. Of course, little kittens and teenagers love noisy games. But with the onset of maturity, they are restrained in English, calm and silent.

However, British shorthair cats from time to time can surprise their owners with unexpected bursts of activity, turning into carefree scamps at such moments, rushing around the house at great speed for a real ball or imaginary prey.

I am extremely dissatisfied!
I think they suit me better than you

Care and maintenance

British cats don't give their owners much trouble. Their dense and thick fur practically does not tangle and does not fall off, so it is enough to walk through the fur coat once or twice a week with a special brush and remove the fallen hairs. During the periods of seasonal molting (spring and autumn), the procedure should be carried out more often, otherwise furniture and clothes will become unexpectedly fluffy.

Combing a British kitten

The ears are cleaned once every two weeks, it is advisable to wipe the eyes with cotton swabs soaked in boiled water once a week.

It makes sense from time to time to give the pet drugs to dissolve the wool, since when licking part of the thick wool gets into the stomach and can cause serious health problems.

Frequent washing of the cat is undesirable, since the natural fat cover is a barrier to many infections and bacteria. If the animal is so dirty for any reason that washing is unable to solve the problem, be sure to use the soft remedies recommended by veterinarians and make sure that water does not get into the ears - this can provoke inflammation of the auditory canal.

Time for yogurt

The immunity of the British allows them to take long walks on the street without health consequences when the air temperature does not drop too low, however, in large cities, heavy car traffic, dog attacks and the actions of intruders pose a serious danger, so home maintenance will be preferable.

This breed is prone to obesity, which is the root cause of a number of diseases. Relatively low physical activity of adults leads to a rapid accumulation of excess weight. A balanced diet and strict adherence to the recommended serving volumes will help to avoid problems. With a natural diet, do not forget about the need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.

Regular routine checkups at the vet clinic, timely vaccinations and regular care of teeth and auricles will help to ensure a good standard of living for your pet. Please note that all respected organizations of breeders and cat owners categorically protest against the practice of removing claws and performing tendonectomy (a surgical operation during which a part of the tendon responsible for the mechanism of releasing claws is cut out). The most humane ways to protect your furniture and wallpaper is to carefully trim the sharp tips and accustom to the scratching post.

Health and diseases of the British shorthair cat

The health of the breed does not cause serious concern to specialists. But breeders who claim that British shorthair are not prone to diseases at all are shamelessly deceiving. Yes, there are no diseases specific to British, but there are those to which any purebred cats are susceptible – including those caused genetically, therefore, appropriate medical studies should be carried out before allowing animals to breed.

Neighborhood watch

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a thickening of the wall of one of the ventricles (more often the left one), which leads to a violation of the heart rhythm, heart failure and death. When detected at an early stage and taking a whole complex of drugs for life, the development of the disease can be significantly slowed down. Animals with such a diagnosis cannot participate in breeding.

Hemophilia B – reduced blood clotting, as a result of which any injury is fraught with serious blood loss or extensive internal hemorrhages. The risk of the disease increases closely related crossing. There is no full-fledged treatment, blood transfusions are given to sick animals, and iron preparations, hepatoprotectors, vitamins B6 and B12 are prescribed to combat anemia and stimulate hematopoiesis. Gene carriers and individuals suffering from hemophilia are excluded from breeding.

What do you allow yourself!

Polycystic kidney disease is the formation of hollow tumors filled with fluid, which disrupts the normal functioning of the excretory system. A typical disease of Persian cats, from hybridization with which the British suffered. At the initial stages, there are no noticeable changes in the behavior of the pet, so it is often diagnosed only in the advanced stage. There is no effective therapy. If the cysts are isolated, they can be removed during surgery, but with a serious lesion, only medical treatment is possible, which will prolong the life of the animal for several months or years.

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, in which ligaments and bones are affected. In the absence of proper treatment, tooth loss and the spread of infection with blood flow occur.

How to choose a kitten

Let me in!

Like all purebred cats, real British shorthair are not sold in subway crossings, at "bird markets" and through free ads on the Web! The saddest consequence of such a "profitable" acquisition will not even be that a cat completely unlike a British cat will grow out of a fluffy lump. He can inherit a whole bunch of congenital diseases from unknown parents, and the lack of veterinary support and non-compliance with the rules of nutrition of a nursing mother and babies is the cause of poor immunity and acquired diseases.

The choice of a kennel should be given enough time, because only breeders who value their professional reputation, provide complete and reliable information about the pedigree, take care of the welfare of the cat and her kittens. Even if your target is not a show-class Brit, pay attention to the successes of the "graduates" at regional and international exhibitions – this is a good evidence of healthy genetic lines.

A responsible breeder does not give kittens to customers who have not reached the age of 12-16 weeks. Until that time, you can reserve the baby you like, but he needs socialization in the company of brothers and sisters, training in the wisdom of cat life from mom and, of course, timely vaccination, which will provide protection from many dangerous diseases.

A little Briton should be active and playful, have a good appetite and react to human society without fear.

Photos of British kittens

How much does a British shorthair cat cost

The price of a kitten traditionally depends on the fame of the kennel, the title of the parents and compliance with breed standards. But in the case of British shorthair, color also matters. The most common blue and chocolate with copper-yellow eyes are at the same time the most affordable in their class. But unusual individuals, for example, a blue-eyed color point or a chinchilla with emerald eyes will cost much more.

Britons who are suitable for living in a loving family, but do not have the makings of a future champion or interesting qualities for breeding, can become yours for $50-$100. Then the price increases depending on the pedigree and personal prospects. The cost of show-class kittens reaches $350-$500.

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