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The Natural British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is considered a "natural" cat breed because it evolved from Roman times and was not created through hybridisation for example. The Romans it is said introduced domestic cats to Britain. The British moggie is not a domesticated Scottish Wildcat as far as we know.

Most of the cats in post Roman times to the 1800s were semi-feral or loosely domesticated, "earning" their keep by catching rats etc. In India cats are still doing that job. Then in the mid to late 1800s they became a cat breed. This means that they were bred pure and according to rules laid down by the cat association at that time. I guess there was only one cat association at the beginning of the cat fancy! There are many more now.

It could be argued that the British Shorthair, before it become a recognized cat breed, was more purebred than it is now.

It is also said that the British moggie (random bred cat) that is the precursor to the purebred British Shorthair is also the founder and ancestor of the American Shorthair as they were imported with the pilgrims in the early 1600s.

The semi-cobby body shape evolved due to the colder environment of the British Isles. The super dense fur evolved for the same reason. Go to the warm Mediterranean and you will see slender white bicolor cats more often than not.


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