Similar in looks to the American Shorthair; medium- to large-sized, compact, well-balanced body; round head.
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.
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.
The British Shorthair was originally known as the "British Blue" because that was the first acceptable color.
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.
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