British Shorthair

Grey tabby British Shorthair show cat sleeping on grey litter at a cat show
At London cats show 2008
One of the original cat fancy cat breeds, the British Shorthair is a purebred cat of singular appearance that has been developed over one and a half centuries of selective breeding from the British moggie (random bred cat), which itself goes back to the Romans.

Although I say selectively bred it should be noted that after the second world war there was a need to cross bred with other cat breeds to keep the breed alive (why wasn't it crossbred with British street moggies?). This has taken the Brit SH away from its origins. Even earlier in the early 1900s the breed was crossed with Persians. Personally I don't find this so much "selective" breeding and reckless breeding.

Robinson's Genetics says that the breed originates in the UK in the 1870s. The first cat show was at the Crystal Palace London in 1871. I have a page on the history of the British Shorthair.

SKY - a British Shorthair Cat living with Ken and Helmi Flick
"Sky" - blue Brit SH.
By the way, "British" in this context means a cat of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (the UK) and including: the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the British overseas territories. So Britain is bigger than the UK. And bearing that in mind I think it would be more accurate to say that this cat is more the English Shorthair as at the outset it would have been developed from cats in the south of England. Although as mentioned it was outcrossed. I find this bizarre. Why couldn't we just keep the original cat? Is the Brit SH actually a hybrid cat breed  - it looks like that. There appears to be nothing pure about it, sadly. Sorry if that sounds a bit tough but...

The Brit SH is a popular cat ranked 8th out of over 100 cat breeds on my long standing poll.



British Shorthair Cat Facts

A short bulleted list of facts of British Shorthair breed information:
  • Date of origin: 1870s.
  • Place of origin: Great Britain (Britain).
  • Ancestry: British moggie and then crossbred.
  • Weight: 4 - 8 kg or 9 - 18 lbs.  
  • Temperament: relaxed and gentle.
  • Cat Associations: GCCF, FiFe, CFA, TICA, AACE, ACFA, ACF, CCA (as expected completely accepted by all cat registries.
  • Colours: All colours and all divisions of the traditional category (ref: legacy of the cat - taken from breed standards.
  • Breed Standard: See CFA breed standard.

British Shorthair Temperament

Undemanding and gentle. They are famous for their silent voice. The mouth opens and nothing comes out! Or the sound is very gentle and quiet. Apparently they don't like being handled that much. They have been described as "unflappable".

British Shorthair Health

There is a health screening test for this cat breed for hip dysplasia, indicating that there is a possibility of inheriting a predisposition to this condition. This cat has a low incidence of inherited diseases on my assessment and this page mentions two. The coat is dense. It is suggested that the home should not be too warm.

British Shorthair Photos and Pics

Daisy British Shorthair cat
Classic chubby cheeky face by nick@
You can see from Helmi's wonderful photos below that this is a sturdy, semi-cobby, medium to large cat. The face has been developed to look chubby and cheeky! It is slightly flattened but far short of the excessively bred flat faced Persian.

This cat is strong, muscular and heavy. The most outstanding feature is probably the coat  - dense and springy, it is a pleasure to put your fingers through it.

British Shorthair catAll the photos and text on this page are protected by copyright © except where indicated. Violations of copyright are reported to Google.com (DMCA).

British Shorthair cat
"Nox" lives with the Flicks. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick
British Shorthair cat
Blue and fawn (?) coloured British Shorthair cats
Photo: copyright Helmi Flick

Nox (above) is all black. He has the most gorgeously dense and even coat. It is a pleasure to stroke. He is a nice balanced and pleasant cat. What more do you require in a domestic cat?

The British Blue is the original show cat colour. The two cats/kittens below on the outside are British Blues as is the cat on the left in the photo above.

This page has a bit about the genetics behind the coat colours. And this page discusses the differences between the Brit, American and European SHs.

British Shorthair Bicolor

British Shorthair cat
The 2 in the middle are solid blue and white bicolor Britis Shorthairs
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

British Shorthair Kittens For Sale

Always visit the breeder. You can check out facilities and ask direct face to face questions. Watch out for overbreeding. My sister bought two British Shorthairs. She eventually gave them back to the breeder (or someone else) as they were stupid - yes, inbred to the point where the cat was affected mentally. I have seen before in Burmese. Not sure how prevalent it is but in any case you want the cat to choose you and you can only do that in the presence of the cat before purchase. Helmi Flick highly recommends visiting the breeder.

The cat clubs, Yahoo Groups and major cat associations are good sources of cat breeder listings. A Google search will list the best established cat breeder high up in the search results.

In the USA, TICA list seven breeders, all in the USA except for one Canadian. The CFA list twelve. They are all in the USA as the CFA is a US cat association. You can do your own breeder search on their website by going to this page.

In the UK the British Shorthair Cat Club has a very long list of breeders. You won't need to look any further.

This page: Yahoo Groups for British Shorthair has quite a nice list of groups. I recommend these groups as it is a good networking resource for info about a cat breed and they are easy to join and get started.

British Shorthair Rescue

Rescue is best of course but purebred cats don't usually need rescuing. Nico needed rescuing though.

The UK club for this cat breed have a rescue section. There is a page on PoC about purebred cat rescue too. And there is a website dedicated to purebred cat rescue. Finally Yahoo groups are a good source for cats that need a home. I would therefore refer you to the link above.

British Shorthair Link Exchange

If you would like to exchange links with me please leave a comment. You can get my code from this page.

British Shorthair Gifts

Amzon.com do a lot of gifts based on this breed. Here is a selection:





Allevatori British Shorthair

The word "allevatori" is Italian for farmers according to Google translation. In this instance I am guessing that it means breeders. Italians are also fond of this cat breed.

Le British Shorthair & Chats British Shorthair

This heading is a reference to the search phrases people make. In this case it must be French people who are demonstrating an interest in this long established cat breed.  I hope this page helps.  The all French Chartreux is similar to the British SH blue with a similarly long history. French people wanting to buy a Bristish Shorthair are probably better off jumping on the Eurostar (train direct from France to England) to visit English cat breeders (see links above).

Michael Avatar

Comments

Popular Posts