Cat Lovers guide to the British Shorthair Cat

The British Shorthair cat: England's most beloved cat

The British Shorthair is a strong, determined, intelligent, and affectionate cat that attracts all eyes thanks to his chubby appearance that makes it look like a stuffed animal.

In fact, the famous writer Lewis Carroll was inspired by these felines to create the Cheshire cat in his famous work Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

But their origin is just as fascinating as their appearance because they are one of the oldest cat breeds.

Stay here to know everything about one of these fascinating cats.


Origin of the British Shorthair

The British Shorthair are from England and they are one of the oldest and most recognized breeds in that country.

However, the first records of this breed were in ancient Egypt, in a group of felines imported from Egypt by the Romans, just as they invaded Britain.

Although their breeding began to be systematized about 100 years ago. It is also said that their origin comes from the ancient domestic cats, which lived during the ancient Roman Empire, hence their are considered one of the oldest feline breeds.

It is believed that the British cat was born from the union between the cats brought by the Roman armies to ancient Britain with the cats native to the area.

At first, they were prized for their physical strength and hunting ability but later increased in popularity due to their calm demeanor, resilience, and loyalty.

The "father" of this breed was Harrison Wier, known as "the first cat breeder" and the "Father of Cat Breeding". He was first professional breeder, who set the rules for the first cat show held in Great Britain in 1871.

Harrison took the humble Brittany alley cat and, through an intensive breeding program, transformed it into a pedigree cat that he called the British.

The British quickly fell in love with this new cat breed, but when Persians were introduced to Britain, they replaced the British cat as the most popular breed for a while.

British Shorthairs were brought to the U.S. from Britain in the early 20th century but received little attention.

Unfortunately, World War II brought them to the brink of extinction, and to avoid this, they were crossed with other breeds, such as the Persian, which was the cause of the development of the British longhair variety.

Finally, in 1970 the ACFA (American Cat Fancier's Association) officially recognized them, although at first only in blue and black.


Physical characteristics of the British Shorthair

Size: medium to large, 30 cm long.

Weight: adult females can weigh between 3.6 - 4.9 kg and adult males between 4.5 and 7.2 kg.

Eyes: they have round yellow or copper-colored eyes.

Ears: small and separated.

Coat: their characteristic lumpy, fluffy coat gives them a plush appearance that is too much like a bear. Although they can be of any color and pattern, their most popular coat is the “British blue”.

Body: their head is round with a broad, round muzzle and chubby cheeks. their body is solid and heavy, with their neck and legs short, strong, and able to move their wide-body nimbly.

Life span: Up to 15 years.


The character of the British shorthair

They are curious, independent cats with great hunting instincts, love to be outdoors, and adapt to all types of environments.

In general, this breed is famous for being affectionate, sociable, and peaceful. Although they can be a little surly and distrustful with strangers, they can get along well with children and pets at home.

They are calm, but not lazy, on the contrary, the love to play and can be very active in different situations.

Some experts believe that their personality has somehow something to do with their coat, as blue ones are generally attributed with a stubborn character, silver ones are quite sentimental, and brindle ones especially playful.

British Shorthair kittens grow more slowly than kittens of other breeds. The growth period can last up to four years of life.


Care of the British Shorthair.

Although they are well known for their appearance, British Shorthairs do not really need extra special care.

  • They should be brushed at least twice a week to remove dead hair before it is ingested by licking.
  • It is necessary to clean their eyes and ears, you should see to it that their eyes are kept clean of wax or gunk, otherwise they could suffer from various diseases.
  • You must take care and clean their teeth since they are kittens, this can be done three times a week.
  • It is necessary to make them do physical activities to avoid being overweight.



These cats need quality food and a balanced diet, especially because they are prone to obesity.

You should not overfeed your British Shorthair, but give him the recommended amounts throughout the day in the right portions.

There are high-quality brands, but you must pay attention to the protein level because sometimes a high content can cause hyperactivity in the cat.

As for breakfast and dinner, you can offer wet food, but not too much to avoid diarrhea.

Also, once a week it is advisable to give them malt to avoid the formation of hairballs.


British Shorthair Health

British Shorthairs are generally strong and healthy cats. However, some have knee problems and heart disease.

They can also be affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is an enlargement of the myocardium of the left ventricle, and by renal pathology, which is the formation of cysts with fluid inside the kidneys.

But these are diseases that can occur in any feline breed. In these cases, the best thing to do is to prevent them and keep the visits to the veterinarian up to date.


Now you know a little more about the British Shorthair!

Undoubtedly the British Shorthair is a popular choice for pet owners, couples, and families with children because of their calm character and easy care, and these cats can adapt to life in the country as well as in small apartments.

But as for the psychological aspect, they need company, that's why they are not the most suitable breed if you are never at home.

So if you have time and love to give, the British Shorthair is for you!