Although it bears its name, the British shorthair cat does not have its direct origin in Britain, although its development as a breed. Its history is also one of the oldest in the feline world, and certainly the oldest of the races developed in Britain.
During the attempted invasion of the Romans to Britain, specimens of cats would also arrive, from the ancient Egypt. The ones that would be the direct ancestors of the short-haired Briton. Subsequently, these specimens were crossed with indigenous British cats, thus giving rise to the first cats classified as British shorthair.
From the beginning it was a race that powerfully caught the attention of the population due to its physical strength and its characteristics, as well as a unique capacity for hunting. Their fur was designed to withstand the rainy and rather cold weather of this area, and their physiognomy allowed them to survive on their own in the most difficult conditions.
It immediately showed a loving and loyal nature to humans, calm and obedient. Hence, more and more were interested in this breed and in participating in its development. Although the truth is that the natural characteristics of the breed were so ideal, that its type varied very little over the years. Only the crosses with Persian cat around 1915 to achieve long-haired specimens, which formed another variety of this breed called british longhair, stood out.
Several typologies were also given in the british shorthair. On the one hand, the sturdy cats and rounded heads that maintained the original name of the breed.
On the other hand, more elongated and slender specimens, triangular head, which over time separated to obtain another breed that today has its own renown, the Russian blue cat.
It should be noted that the race went through a complicated time during the Second World War. The specimens were drastically reduced in number and the breeding of the breed was diminished. After the war, crosses with other races were needed to redevelop the race as it was before the war. The efforts and work of the breeders led to the British short-haired cat finally being recognised by the feline organizations GFA and TICA in 1970.
Currently, it is a very widespread and loved breed, which can be found in all corners of the world. It is more than suitable for all types of families and has a remarkable physical characteristics and temperament at all levels. Read on to learn more.
Features of the British Shorthair
Among the characteristics of the british shorthair stands out that it is a large and strong cat, compact and robust, that does not lose the proportions at any time and that can weigh up to 17 pounds (8 kilos) in adulthood.
It has a great balance throughout its physiognomy, and in general its lines are marked and rounded. It stands out for its deep chest and muscular body, and legs of medium length that are also strong and that give the breed a very remarkable strength and agility.
Among the newest short-haired physical features are a thick, rounded tail at its tip, and a rounded head with medium-sized ears that are always upright. It stands out a rather flatned and thick snout and very separate and not excessively large eyes, which can also be presented in several colors, with yellow being one of the most common.
Also noteworthy in this breed the fur, short, dense and soft to the touch, attached to the leather of the animals. Their density makes it look like they have a double layer, but the reality is that they have a single layer attached to the body.
What should be mentioned is that it is a very bright type of fur that appears in various colors, all of them accepted by feline associations. Among the most common colors of the british shorthair are pure white, pure black, red, cream or smoked grey. However, the most common of all is the blue color, by which the breed is popular and that can occur in various intensities.
British Shorthair’s behaviour
Once his physical characteristics are defined, it is time to know the temperament of the british shorthair. This breed has an excellent character to become the perfect company of families of all kinds. It is sociable in nature, and tends to get along with people of any age and with other animals. He is affectionate and is always seeking the affection of his loved ones.
In addition, it shows a loyalty that many come to compare with dogs, and an attachment that can sometimes even be overwhelming for those who expect independence traditionally associated with felines.
On the other hand, it is a playful and cheerful cat, who knows how to be calm and silent when the situation requires it. It is one of those breeds that hardly needs a strict education from puppy to become the balanced adult animal that everyone expects. With love, dedication, and good socialization, the short-haired Briton will be the perfect companion cat for anyone.
Main diseases of british Shorthair
Although it can be said that the british cat shorthair is a healthy animal in general, it can also suffer some inherited diseases. These include polycystic kidney disease and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To avoid its appearance as much as possible, it is essential to go to the veterinarian at least twice a year, and whenever some strange behavior appears in the cat. Reviews, as well as keeping up with a schedule of vaccinations and deworming, are critical to ensuring the health at all times.
British Shorthair Basic Care
The care of the british shorthair is similar to those of most feline breeds. The feautures of this breed do not require special treatment by its owners. Brushes and full baths should be done in a timely manner, as their fur does not tend to get dirty or tangled. It is a clean cat by nature, which implies that it will remain in good condition usually. As parts to consider, the cleanliness of the face and mouth, as well as the cutting of nails usually stand out.
Beyond hygiene care, it’s important to offer your cat a healthy diet, including dry, moist food, although in a smaller proportion to avoid dangerous obesity. It is best to split your daily ration into several outlets and interspersing dry food with wet ones.
Don’t neglect the education and exercise of the British short hair, essential to guarantee his health at all levels. The advantage of this cat is that it adapts easily to any situation, so you only have to pay the attention necessary to make it obedient and enjoy its playing time and also rest. Remember the importance of educating and socializing him since being puppy, and offering him all kinds of physical games and mental challenges on a daily basis.
Things to know about the Brithish short hair
Although today this breed is not as well known as others, there was a time when it surpassed the popularity record even of the Persian cat. It was around 1871, when it first competed in a feline beauty exhibition. At that time, the breeding and sale of specimens soared above most breeds, especially in Britain.
The famous cat of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Cheshire, is probably a specimen of this breed. Or at least its creator was inspired by the british shorthair to bring this charismatic feline to life.
There are many cats that may have traits similar to those of the British short-haired, but if their provenance is not assured, they may have behavioral problems over time. The effort will be worth it when you hold your new best friend in your arms, an excellent companion animal that will give you all its love for a long time.