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The British Shorthair cat is UK’s most popular purebred feline. No surprise there, considering this stocky kitty originated in Britain. More so when her easy-going, sweet, and calm demeanour are added to the mix.
British Shorthair cats are fantastic family pets as they bond with not just one but all humans in the household. They also get along with other pets and are good with children. Grooming is a breeze as they only require weekly brushing.
Are you interested in getting a British Shorthair kitten? Here is a brief background of this cat that closely resembles Puss in Boots from the Shrek movie.
The British Shorthair cat breed is said to have arrived in Great Britain through the Romans. When they invaded the British Isles in 43 C.E., they brought their cats to the new territory. It has been said that such felines were Egyptian domestic cats.
The British Shorthair cat emerged from interbreeding with the local wildcats.
Despite being an old cat breed, this feline was only recognised as a distinct breed in 1870. Selective breeding of the best specimens also began during the 1800s, with the blue-grey type being the desired variant.
This feline was featured in the first-ever cat show in 1871 London, making her popular amongst cat fanciers.
With the British Shorthair’s status as a pedigree cat, her popularity steadily increased. In fact, the characters of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland and Puss in Boots in Shrek were said to be based on this cat breed.
At the turn of the 20th century, interest in the long-haired British Shorthair cats declined in favour of the short-haired ones. When breeders ceased developing these cats during World War II, they nearly died out.
Thankfully, several cat fanciers were able to preserve what's left of the breed. They initiated British Shorthair breeding programmes, wherein they cross-bred these cats with Persians, Burmese, and Russian Blues.
This saved the British Shorthair cat breed from extinction. She later regained her popularity, ranking at the top of the list of most registered cats in the UK.
The International Cat Association acknowledged the British Shorthair as a breed in 1979. The Cat Fanciers Association followed suit in 1980. She is also recognised by the American Cat Fanciers Association.
Known as the “Bulldog of Cats,” the British Shorthair is a large, solid, and strong cat. Male British Shorthair cats weigh around 5–8 kilos (12–18 pounds), whilst female British Shorthair cats weigh approximately 4–6 kilos (9–15 pounds).
The British Shorthair cat breed is well-proportioned with a cobby body and a big head. She has a round face and lush cheeks. These, plus her large and round eloquent eyes, lend her an irresistibly endearing appearance.
Her small ears are rounded at the ends and are set proportionally apart on her domed head.
British Shorthair cat has a deep, broad chest and sizeable shoulders and backside. Her legs are short but strong, ending in round paws with close-fitting toes.
Her back feet only have four toes, whilst the front ones have five. Her tail is thick with a rounded tip and is a little on the longer side.
The British Shorthair cat breed’s coat colors and patterns are as many as 30. The most common coat colors are black, blue, red, cream, and tortoiseshell.
Greyish blue is the most favoured coloration in the breed, which is why the British Shorthair cat breed is nicknamed British Blue.
Although very dense, the British Shorthair cat breed’s coat does not include an undercoat. As such, the texture is firm and plush like a teddy bear. Its pile is crisp and breaks in places that are engaged in movement.
Yes, British Shorthair cats do smell, but not as bad as other cat breeds. They need a bath every 4–6 weeks to get rid of the stink. After washing, their short, thick coats should be blow-dried thoroughly.
Make sure to clean their ears weekly and brush their teeth daily as well. These grooming tasks will prevent ear infections and periodontal disease that can cause bad odour.
Yes, British Shorthair cats shed throughout the year. There will be a noticeable increase of loose hair around spring.
That's because their thick winter coats will be replaced with a lighter coat in preparation for the hot summer season. Weekly brushing will help manage their shedding.
No, British Shorthair cats are not hypoallergenic as their short and dense coats shed moderately to heavily. Thus, they are not the ideal pets for cat lovers with allergies.
Yes, British Shorthairs can be left alone for a few days so long as they are provided with enough food and water. They can amuse themselves when their owners are away, making them less prone to separation anxiety.
Yes, British Shorthair cats are friendly. Despite their powerful and large build, they are sweet, calm, and loving kitties. They are not lap cats, but they love to stay close to their humans. They like attention, although they are known to be quiet and undemanding.
Yes, British Shorthair cats tend to be lazy and have relatively low levels of energy. They may not be active kitties, but they like to play with cat toys or engage in interactive games. They also like to explore the outdoors.
As indoor cats, British Shorthair cats adapt well as long as they are given enough attention or opportunities for physical and mental stimulation.
The British Shorthair cat breed’s diet should be mostly composed of animal proteins and should be low in carbohydrates. Ideally, it must have 25% protein and just 5% carbohydrates.
Cat food that contains beef should be avoided as it can cause allergic reactions in British Shorthair cats. Better alternatives would be poultry, duck, and rabbit meat.
Avoid buying cat food that is full of grain fillers such as barley, rice, and wheat. These are hard for your British Shorthair cat to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset.
The serving size of your British Shorthair cat’s meals should depend on her weight, age, and activity level. Make sure to observe portion control as this cat is prone to obesity.
Divide your British Shorthair cat’s meals into 2–3 smaller servings to keep her from overeating.
British Shorthair cats tend to be highly energetic during kittenhood. They are less active as they grow into adulthood. They are relatively placid and like to lounge around.
Because of this, British Shorthair cats are more likely to gain weight compared to other breeds.
British Shorthair owners should make time for play sessions and engage them in a game of chase or fetch for them to get enough exercise. Providing them with a wide variety of smart toys, cat towers, and scratching trees could also help avoid obesity.
Yes. Although a fairly healthy breed, the British Shorthair cat will likely develop hereditary health conditions. She is prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a cardiovascular problem that causes the heart muscles to thicken.
Polycystic kidney disease is also common in the cat breed. These can be avoided with proper nutrition and exercise, and by visiting the vet regularly.
The British Shorthair lifespan ranges from 14–20 years. For your kitty to live a healthy and happy life, she should be provided with a stress-free and comfortable home, a balanced diet, and plenty of affection and love.
Your British Shorthair kitten needs premium-quality cat food to provide her with sufficient nourishment. Budget at least £10–£15 for her monthly food expenses.
Catifying your home is crucial to ensure that your British Shorthair kitten will quickly adjust to her new life and family. Cat essentials including cat bed, toys, and food and water bowls will cost you a total of around £50–£400.
Monitoring your British Shorthair kitten’s health regularly will help keep diseases at bay. Every check-up session at the vet has a fee that may range from £30–£60.
Parasite problems are common in young cats. Get rid of them by applying medications including flea and tick treatments, which cost around £50–£60 each year. As for heartworm treatments, it will set you back £60–£120 annually.
Medical care for your British Shorthair kitten isn't cheap. Ease the burden in your pockets with the help of pet insurance. A lifetime coverage typically costs over £10 a month. On the other hand, a time-limited coverage has a monthly fee that can range from £6–£15.
The British Shorthair price typically goes from £1,200–£2,000. These felines are quite expensive to obtain because they are popular amongst the cat community. This prompts British Shorthair cat breeders to increase the price.
Are you sure the British Shorthair is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Cat Breed Selector Quiz
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