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British Shorthair

Origin: United Kingdom

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Similar in looks to the American Shorthair; medium- to large-sized, compact, well-balanced body; round head.

United Kingdom
Short, dense and plush.
British Shorthairs come in a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, red, cream, smoke, tabby and calico.

The British Shorthair is likely the oldest breed of British cat, and its origins are rooted as far back as the first cats taken to the United Kingdom by the Romans. Englishman Harrison Weir, the "father" of the cat fancy, was passionate about this native breed from the streets,and in the late 1800s, was essential to its promotion and development. British Shorthairs were very successful at early cat exhibitions in the 1900s, but their popularity was supplanted by exotic foreign breeds. After World War II, their numbers were extremely low, but dedicated fanciers helped them steadily increase--mostly through crosses with Persian cats--and today they are once again popular in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. Brought to the United States as early as 1900, British Shorthairs are gaining popularity there as well.

The British Shorthair is a charming cat. Smart and gentle, he has a steady temperament. At times quiet and loving and at others aloof and playful, he is also independent minded and intelligent. He can learn tricks easily, and his laid-back nature makes him a great companion. He is slow to mature, usually not reaching full maturity until after three years of age.
At home: 
British Shorthairs make wonderful pets for just about any living situation. Although they are happy to be with their family, they are equally content to spend time amusing themselves. Active and curious, they take an interest in whatever happens to be going on in the house. They prefer to have four paws on the ground and aren't often thrilled about being picked up. They are not known as great jumpers and are not overly vocal.
British Shorthairs enjoy their food. They need a high-quality diet that keeps them at an appropriate weight.
The patient British Shorthair gets along excellently with children and other pets.
The life span of the British Shorthair is 14 to 20 years. This is a hardy cat with no reported breed-specific health problems.
Fun fact: 

The British Shorthair was originally known as the "British Blue" because that was the first acceptable color.

Grooming blurb: 
The breed's plush coat doesn't need much in the way of grooming. Occasional grooming with a steel comb can help get rid of loose hair.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.