The British Shorthair stands out as a breed due to its chunky good looks, plush coat, and a broad but dignified face. This breed is one of the largest breeds of cat available, with the males being much larger than the females.
Small rounded ears sit atop a broad round head supported by a thick neck. A short nose, large round eyes, and a strong chin which lines up vertically with the tip of the nose complete the impression of a cat with aristocratic airs. Their short legs are strong and the tail is of medium length, and quite thick.
Often described as the gentle giant of the feline world the British Shorthair is a relatively quiet breed, confident in its own company, and fairly undemanding of human companionship. If left out in the garden your British Shorthair will more than likely find a comfortable spot in which to quietly contemplate, rather than indulge in any energetic exploration.
Perfect as an indoor cat the British Shorthair is more than likely to get on well with other pets. However, teach your children that their furry friend is not to be hauled around like the typical stuffed animal, as they detest being manhandled and aren’t afraid of forcibly resisting the indignity. They will generally be shy around new owners but will open up once they get to know you.
Did You Know?
Originally known as the British Blue due to the fact that this particular breed was only available in that color, the British Shorthair is now available in a choice of colors and patterns numbering well into the hundreds due to selective breeding.
The two world wars of last century had a devasting effect on breeding and in 1950 the British Shorthair breed almost became extinct. Dedicated breeders revived the breed and by the 1970s the British Shorthair was back and starting to become popular in the United States.
Caring for Your British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is generally a healthy breed, although they can be prone to hypertophic cardiomyopathy, a common form of heart disease in cats. Reputable breeders will test their cats for the disease and remove them from breeding programs.
This is a big cat and inclined to become obese, so watch their food intake (especially if neutered), as they are not the most active of breeds. You may need to actively encourage your feline to chase fishing-pole toys or feathers to ensure their daily exercise requirement is met.
This is an ideal breed if you don’t like grooming, as the British Shorthair’s coat pretty much looks after itself.
If you have a British Shorthair cat in your life, please share your experiences below.
Image: jans canon via Flickr