Tuesday 26 July 2011


The British Shorthair cat is one of the first cat breeds of the cat fancy. Harrison Weir, one of the founders of the cat fancy (the founder perhaps) breed and kept British Shorthair cats (Brit SH).  Apparently he bred British Blues, the coat color most associated with this cat breed. So this cat breed goes back to the very start of the cat fancy.

Of course the Brit SH, then, was not quite the same cat as it is today. The cat fancy started in the late 1800s in England. The phrase "cat fancy" means the group of people who breed and show purebred cats at cat shows. Non-purebred cats can also be shown at cat shows.

This cat has been described as "the working cat of Great Britain" by an American cat fancier. This may come from the fact that the Brit SH originates in the moggie cats of ancient and indeed Roman British Isles. At that time they would have been mousers earning their keep.

Remind ourselves that long-haired British (actually English) cats were the stock from which Maine Coons are made (probably). The Brit moggie started a number of breeds: Selkirk Rex being one example.

OK this is a venerable cat breed. Selective breeding has changed its appearance. The Americans overbreed it to create a face that is too extreme in my opinion. They tend to overbreed all cat breeds - sorry. It is a land of extremes.

The blue Brit SH is the cat we associate with this breed but many coat colors and patterns are allowed by the cat associations and it is the cat associations that dictate how these cats look through their breed standards.

Blue British Shorthair Cat
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

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