True to his English heritage, the British Shorthair is a cat that is known for being a tad standoffish at first. But once you get to know one, they’re as lovable and sweet as they come. This hearty cat breed from the UK has long since been a favorite. Or should we say, favourite–for many cat lovers worldwide.
Many of us recognize the lovely gray British Shorthair with mesmerizing orange eyes. But these thick and fluffy cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. Do you know much about about this old cat breed? Check out our fun collection of facts about British Shorthair cats….Cheers!
Buff Body, Dense Coat
Looks are not deceiving when it comes to the British Shorthair’s appearance. This is a solid and sturdy cat with a dense coat to boot! Their frame is broad and muscular; their dense coat requires routine brushing as they shed more than most shorthair cat breeds. This thick coat serves as a protective layer, and becomes much thicker during the cold winter months. British shorthairs are notorious for shedding as their fur lets loose year-round.
The British Shorthair is known by many for it’s easy-going attitude and chill temperament. These cats make great companions for people of all ages, and even other pets in the home. They are not your skittish scaredy cat, and they are devoted and loyal to the people and pets in their life that they care about. And although they like to be nearby, don’t expect this to be your lapcat. The British Shorthair purrfers to be close, but they aren’t the clingy type that insists on being in your lap 24/7.
Celebrity British Shorthairs: Church in the original Pet Semetary film was a British Shorthair, and it’s thought to be that the Cheshire cat from Alice In Wonderland was, too! And there are even rumors that Puss in Boots (my purrsonal fav!) was inspired by a British Shorthair as well.
Want to know how the pedigree British Shorthair we know today came to be? Check out a brief history on the breed here:
The British Shorthair, while originally coming from the farms and streets of Britain, is also considered to be the first cat of the cat fancy. The “father” of this breed is Harrison Wier, who is thought of as the first professional cat breeder. He is known in cat fancy history as the “Father of the Cat Fancy.” Not only was he the first professional breeder, but he also determined the rules for the first cat show, which was held in Britain in 1871.
As if this were not enough, Harrison took the humble street cat of Britain and, through an intensive breeding program, transformed it to the pedigreed breed that he named the British. The British fell in love with their new now-pedigreed breed. When the Persian was introduced into Britain, it nudged out the British for the most popular breed temporarily. During the Second World War, as in the First World War, the British Shorthair breed was decimated. But it always reemerged into the top ranks of popularity. Today, the British shorthair is accepted in cat registries worldwide. At one time, it was known as the British Blue. Since it comes in a variety of colors though, it is called either the British or the British Shorthair.
Cat Got Your Tongue?
While there are many cat breeds that are known for those meows, the British Shorthair is not one of them. These cats are more the strong and silent type, and their meows are infrequent. This is a cat that is sure of themself, goes with the flow, and doesn’t feel the need to be chatty to get your attention. Like I’m here, I don’t need to sound the alarm, thank you very much.
The Purrferred Cat of Choice Across The Pond
People of the UK love cats just as Americans do, and it turns out that the British Shorthair is the most popular cat of choice for those living in the United Kingdom.
Check out this fun cat map of facts about cats from the UK reported by their owners in a recent poll:
Kitty or Teddy Bear?
This one is probably easy to imagine with their chubby cheeks, large frame, stocky heads and large saucer-like eyes. For many, the British Shorthair is referred to as the teddy bear cat breed. And the most purrfect part? Many British Shorthairs live long, healthy lives–some even live an upwards of 20 years. I don’t know about you, but I’d be super happy to have a “teddy bear” kitty in my life for that long!
Oldest Cat Breed In Europe
The British Shorthair has had a long history living amongst the people of Europe, but it’s speculated that they are the OG cat breed of Europe. It’s been speculated that the original British Shorthair cats came from the the British Isles with the Romans, who in their turn had brought cats from Egypt. As time went on, the wiry African cats grew thicker fur and more fat padding to survive harsh winters, and got larger as they interbred with European wildcats. They soon became prized for their strength and hunting ability.
Are you lucky enough to share your life with a British Shorthair? Leave us a comment and share!
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We have a British Blue called Margot. She was a rescue cat, she has an amputated tail and looks like a little Koala bear! She loves belly rubs more than anything and lap time at her own discretion! She is very talkative, but VERY quietly – just one loudish meow first thing in the morning. She has loads of personality and we love her so much.
I’m bringing two BSH kittens into my family in June…two adorable brothers….one is lilac colourpoint and the other is lilac bi colourpoint. I can hardly wait to shower them with love and attention. ?????
Last summer I got Misu from a shelter, She’s a (probably) BSH Silver Tabby, and people fall in love with her at first glance. Despite being 10 years old, she’s very active and playful. Her soft voice is rarely heard, but mostly comes out at feeding time. I call her Missy, and she is certainly a most excellent companion.