British Shorthair Cats have plush, dense, teddybear-like coats. Their
bodies are large and muscular and should be of a chunky build. They
have broad chests, shoulders and hips with short legs, round well-built
paws and a thick plush tail, which ends in a round or blunt tip.
Their heads are round with full, chubby cheeks.
have large eyes which should be round and widely set. Eyes come in a
variety of colours - from green to the most widely known copper / gold
of the British Blue.
The males of the breed are noticeably larger
than the females. The average weight of an adult male is 5 - 10 kg,
whereas the females weigh in at an average of 5 - 7 kg. Males also
tend to develop much chunkier cheek jowls than the females, though
females can also have large cheek features.
The typical lifespan of a British Shorthair is between 14 and 20 years.
BSH is a very strong cat, with a "square" body shape. It is nearly as
long in length as it is broad. The legs are usually quite thick to
hold up their heavy, muscular body. Due to its bulk and muscle, this
type of cat is often regarded as the 'bulldog' of the cat world.
Shorthairs have large, broad heads. Their eyes stand out and tend to
be large and round. Their relatively small ears with rounded tips are
set far apart and they have pert snub noses and slightly rounded chins
which help emphasise the breed's powerful jaw and round head.
Shorthair Cats come in a large variety of different colours. The most
popular and widely known blue even has a breed name of its own ~ the
British Blue. There are also black, lilac, white, cream, red,
chocolate, cinnamon, fawn and silvers.
BSH can be bred in one
solid colour ~ known as 'self' ~ as well as tabby, colourpoint, shaded
and bi-colour. All colours also come in the tortoiseshell pattern ~
'tortie' ~ which is a combination of red and cream with another colour.
Shorthairs make wonderful pets. They have a very stable character,
and are of a very easy-going nature. They love being indoors, and are
perfect for people who have to go out to work, the elderly, or people
living in apartments.
They are not destructive or
hyperactive, and do not demand lots of attention. They are usually
very placid and happy to laze around while
their owner is out.
They do love being petted and are generally very affectionate. They
mostly prefer lying next to their owner rather than being a 'lap cat',
and even though some do not mind being cuddled, for the most part they
prefer to keep their four paws on the ground while being petted.
also have a tendency of following their owner from room to room, as
they like being close to them and being able to observe daily
activities. The breed is not very vocal, but will meow when playing
with a favourite toy, or when their food is being prepared.
to its nature and intelligence the breed has become very popular with
animal trainers and are increasingly used in films and tv adverts
eg Whiskas, Sheba and Bacardi Breezer to name but a few.
to their short coats, British Shorthair cats do not require a lot
of grooming, and their fur does not tangle or mat easily. It is,
recommended that the coat be brushed occasionally,
particularly during the shedding season, as this decreases the chance
BSH can be prone to obesity due to their relaxed nature, especially if kept indoors, so care should be taken with their diet.
British Shorthairs have been the most popular breed of cat registered with the GCCF
since 2001, when it overtook the Persian breed.
British Shorthair is a descendant of cats brought into Britain by
the Romans, and then interbred with wild native cats. Later they were
cross-bred with Persian cats to improve the density of their coats.
The breed was defined in the 19th Century and were first shown at the
1871 Crystal Palace cat show. The breed's popularity declined by the
1940's, but after the end of World War II, breeding programmes
intensified and the breed's popularity is now high once again.