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About this cat

Welcome to the British Shorthair cat microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other British Shorthair pages.

- Kitt Killion

British Shorthair Breed Information

Country of origin - United Kingdom

Breed standards - AACE CFA(*) ACFA TICA(*) CCA ACF(*) FIFe(*)

The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat that is said to resemble a teddy bear. Its features make it a popular breed in cat shows. It has been the most popular breed of cat registered by the UK's GCCF since 1999 when it over took the Siamese breed.

1. Breed Description

British Shorthairs have very dense, plush coats that are often described as crisp or cracking which refers to the way the coat breaks over the cat's body contours. Eyes are large, round and copper in colour. Domesticated Shorthairs have round heads with full, chubby cheeks. Most have a body that is rounded and sturdy. British Shorthairs are large and muscular, and are described as having a "cobby" build. The breed has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush but not fluffy tail. These are the characteristics listed in most governing bodies breeds standards to which show cats must conform.

The males of this breed are larger than the females, and the size difference between them is more easily noticed compared to other breeds. As with many breeds the adult males may also develop prominent cheek jowls that distinguish them from their female counterparts.

The typical lifespan of this breed is 9 to 15 years.

2. Colours

British Shorthair Cats come in many colours. For many years the more popular blue variant was common enough to have a breed name of its own: the 'British Blue'. It remains one of the most popular colours in the breed however there is now a large variety of other colour and pattern variations accepted by most feline governing bodies and associations. These include the colours black, white, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn as well as the colourpoint, tabby and bicolour patterns. All colours and patterns also come in the tortieshell pattern as well which is a combination of red and cream with other colours.

Chocolate and it's dilute form lilac are receently developed colours. The British lilac is described as having a "pink-grey coat." Even newer is British Shorthair cats in cinnamon and it's dilute form fawn. British are also bred in a shadded (tipped) coat pattern in both silver and golden form.

3. Origin

F. M. Rowley, in her book "British Shorthair Cat", traces British Shorthair ancestral stock directly back to the domestic cats taken from Egypt to Rome, and later to Britain. Most likely, the ancestors of modern British Shorthair cats arrived to Britain after the 2nd century AD when the Roman Empire spread to Britain.

Almost all British Shorthairs disappeared in the 1940s, but programs started up the breed's popularity once again.

4. Temperament

The British Shorthair is an easygoing breed. It has a stable character and can easily live in an apartment setting. It is not terribly demanding of attention, although it will make its desire for play known if its owner looks available. It is not normally destructive or hyperactive, although it can be playful.

It has become a favorite of animal trainers because of its nature and intelligence, and in recent years these cats have appeared in Hollywood films and television commercials.

5. Care

The British Shorthair does not require a lot of grooming because the fur does not tangle or mat easily. However, it is recommended that the coat be brushed now and again, especially during seasonal shedding.

The British Shorthair can be prone to obesity especially when desexed or kept indoors. They are also known to have teeth and gum issues, more so than the average cat, so keep their teeth free of tartar by brushing them about once a day with a cat toothbrush. (Never feed cats small bones as they may choke.)

6. Famous British Shorthairs

* Writer Lewis Carroll and illustrator Sir John Tenniel chose the breed as the model for the Cheshire cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
* A British Shorthair silver tabby is the face of Whiskas and a British Blue is the face of Sheba cat food. The Bacardi Breezer commercials also featured a silver tabby British Shorthair.
* In Terry Pratchett's Discworld Humour/Fantasy Novels, the Lancre Witch Nanny Ogg's cat Greebo (also known as The Terror of the Ramtops) is a British Blue.
* Winston Churchill (Church) from Pet Semetary was a British Blue.
* Happycat, an internet meme.

Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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