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Cat Breeds
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British Shorthair
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Breed Profiles
Cat Breeds

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Select the cat breed you are interested in from the list below.

British Shorthair

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

You may want to post any specific questions that you have about this breed in our Pet Talk area to ask people with first hand experience.

British Shorthair

Breed Classification British Shorthair
Lifespan 9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size 5
General Physical Description The British Shorthair is one of the largest breeds of cat. It is chunky and substantial and the male is much larger than the female. The face is round with full cheeks and the nose is short and broad. The chin is deep and strong. The tip of the chin is in line vertically with the tip of the nose. The ears are small and rounded and set so as to blend with the round contour of the head. The eyes are large and round. The head is set on a short thick neck. The body is cobby with a short level back. The chest is deep and the shoulders are strong. The legs are short and strong with round paws. The tail is thick and of medium length.
Weight Height Range
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The British Shorthair is a large cat and will require approximately 70 Kcals per kg bodyweight per day of food. However, many British Shorthairs are prone to obesity, particularly neuters, and some restriction on their diet may be necessary.
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The British Shorthair is a sturdy healthy breed and suffers from no specific health problems. They are capable of living into their teens but an annual health check from about the age of eight is advisable. This may include teeth cleaning and a blood test for liver and kidney function.
Show Characteristics
The British Shorthair is an immensely popular show cat and with the huge combination of coat colour and pattern available it is one of the biggest breed sections at major cat shows. They are relatively easy to prepare for shows because of their short coat and their easy temperament means that most cats enjoy a trip to a show. The competition is always tough and the standard is high. Prizes are withheld for long or fluffy coats, unlevel bite, incorrect coat colour or pattern, incorrect eye colour, white patches on anything other than a white cat as well other faults such as skull deformities, entropion, squints, tail kinks etc that apply to all breeds.
Country Of Origin
Energy Medium
Compatibility With Other Cats High
Compatibility With Other Animals Medium
Suitability For Children High
Character & Temperament The British Shorthair is a big soft lump of a cat. These are the ‘gentle giants’ of the cat world. They are loving and affectionate. They are good with children and other animals. They do not continuously demand human attention and are quieter than their foreign counterparts. Nor do they have the curious nature that gets many foreign breeds into trouble and if allowed out in the garden they are unlikely to roam. However they are often more than happy to be indoor cats.
Noisiness Low
Playfulness As An Adult
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Grooming & Upkeep One of the reasons that the British Shorthair became so popular in the last century was because it needed no grooming. The coat is short and dense and the cat can easily look after it itself.
Coat Length Short
Colour The British Shorthair is bred in over one hundred colour and coat pattern combinations. The coat is short, dense and should not show any tendency to softness or fluffiness. Self Coloured British Shorthair. The coat is one single colour and shows no shading to the roots. In all colours except the white there is no white hairs. 'White' - pure snowy white with no yellow tinge. Nose leather and paw pads pink. Eye colour can be deep sapphire blue or deep gold, orange or copper. In the odd eyed white there will be one eye of each colour. 'Black' - jet black. Nose leather and paw pads black. 'Chocolate' - any shade of rich chocolate. Nose leather and paw pads chocolate or pink. 'Lilac' - frosty grey with a pinkish tone. Nose leather and paw pads pinkish lilac. 'Red' - deep rich red. Nose leather and paw pads brick red. 'Blue' - light to medium blue. Nose leather and paw pads blue. 'Cream' - pale cream. Nose leather and paw pads pink. Eye colour in all the above colours except the white is deep gold, orange or copper. Tabby British Shorthair - The tabby is the oldest colour of British Shorthair and is indicative of its wild cat origins. Classic Tabby - The tabby markings must be clearly defined and intense in colour. The forehead will show the classic tabby trademark of the ‘M’ which gives the impression of a frown. Unbroken stripes run from the outer corners of the eyes and there are narrow lines on the cheeks. There will be numerous unbroken necklaces around the neck and chest. The ears will show the other classic tabby trademark the thumbprint, a patch of base colour surrounded by the colour of the markings. Over the top of the head run stripes, which extend down into the shoulders. The markings on the shoulder resemble the outline of a butterfly. An unbroken line runs down the spine and there will be stripes on either side running parallel to it. ‘Oyster-shaped’ patches appear on both flanks surrounded by one or more unbroken rings. The tail has as many unbroken rings as possible and the tip is the same colour as the markings. The legs have even bracelets from the body to the toes. The toes and tummy are spotted. The cats will have symmetrical markings on both sides. The eye colour is deep gold, orange or copper. Mackerel Tabby - The difference between a Classic tabby and a Mackerel tabby is in the body markings. In the Mackerel tabby there is a narrow unbroken spine line and on either side of this is a broken line running parallel to it from which numerous narrow lines run vertically down the body. This forms the Mackerel pattern. The tail rings are numerous and may be broken or unbroken. Spotted - The Spotted cat has the same head pattern as the Classic and Mackerel tabbies but the body is patterned with oval, round or rosette shaped spots which form a tabby pattern. The tail has numerous narrow rings or spots. Tortie Tabby British Shorthair - In the tortie tabby the tabby pattern is overlaid with shades of red or cream. The coat is mingled or patched with red in the non-dilute colours and cream in the dilute colours. The tortie colours and tabby patterns must both be obvious. The eye colour in all but the silver varieties will be deep gold, orange or copper. In all the above patterns the silver gene may be evident. This shows as a silvery base colour and silvery roots to the marking hairs. The eye colour in the silver varieties will be green or hazel. Tortoiseshell British Shorthair - The tortoiseshell is a mixture of the base colour with red or cream hair forming mingled colours. The mingling should be even over the whole cat and both colours clearly evident. There should be no obvious patches of any one colour but a small blaze on the face is allowed. The tortoiseshell can be blue, chocolate, lilac or black. The nose leather and paw pads will be appropriate to the colour but may be mottled with pink. The eye colour is deep gold, orange or copper. Tortoiseshell & White British Shorthair - This cat has patches of any of the a
History And Uses Although there are only written records for the British Shorthair back to the beginning of the century the breed has been in existence for hundreds of years. The first shorthair cats were probably brought to Britain by invading Roman troops and they feature in engravings and paintings through the centuries. They were exported in large numbers to the New World where they were very popular. The variety of colours and coat patterns available today have come about from the selective breeding of the best street cats during the nineteenth century and continuing careful breeding plans to the present day.
Shedding Little
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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