British Shorthair Kittens
British Shorthair History
The British Shorthair is possibly the oldest known cat breed in England, thought to be the domestic cat of ancient Rome brought back by the Romans when they invaded England all those many years ago. This breed was first called British Blue because blue/grey was the only known colour around, however, as more colours were introduced through breeding the name was changed to British Shorthair.
A cat fancier named Harrison Weir worked to establish the breed in the 1800's and because of him, the first British Shorthairs were shown at the Crystal Palace in London. After this initial introduction, the breed became extremely popular at shows, but then during the 1900's other more exotic breeds, such as Persian and Siamese came to England and took the place of the British Shorthair as the most popular breed. It wasn't until about 30 years after this that breeding of this cat became popular again and they were cross-bred with Persians and other long-haired breeds in attempt to improve the breed. This resulted in the British Shorthairs large round head, they remain a popular breed and the amount of breeding has been increasing every year. The intelligent, relaxed character of this cat has been greatly recognised by many and they have become a preferred cat to train and also a popular breed to use in the media, for example, in films and adverts.
The strength and hunting skills of the British Shorthair is what first attracted cat fanciers to this breed, however, when people began owning the cats as pets they realised other key characteristics the cats possessed such as loyalty and calmness. In the 1980s the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognised the breed and gave it championship status. This breed is is not a well known breed in America but they have a similar cat in terms of appearance and temperament known as the American Shorthair.
British Shorthair Appearance
The British 'blue' Shorthair is a stocky cat with short, dense silky fur that comes in hundreds of colour and marking combinations. This breed can be found in practically every colour of other domestic cats, however, blue is the most well known because it is the most common. The tabby is the oldest known colour, which relates to this breeds connection to its wildcat roots. The tabby's markings and coloured striped are distinctive and strong. Their short fur does not need grooming unlike other breeds, as the cats are able to groom themselves and keep the fur looking plush.
The British Shorthair has a medium to large size body and appears broad and strong. Their heads are large and round and sit on a short stumpy neck, their facial features are set close together making their heads appear even larger. Their eyes are very round and again can come in a number of colours. The most common shades are gold and coppers (almost orange) but silver tabbies have hazel or green eyes and some newer coloured Shorthairs even have blue. Their ears are generally quite small and set far apart with rounded tips. Then there's their mouth - perhaps their most irresistible characteristic due to the continuous smile created by their whisker pads. These cats have quite short legs compared to other breeds and their tails are thick with a rounded tip.
British Shorthair Personality
This cat is a perfect addition to the family if you are looking for a calm, gentle friend who doesn't demand continuous attention. Although quiet, these intelligent creatures are very affectionate, confident and aware of their surroundings. They have a playful nature (especially when kittens) but are also quite happy to be a 'lap cat' if someone at home is sitting down.
British Shorthairs love company and like to know someone is around. (Usually so they can be fed!) They are especially gentle and placid around children and other domestic animals and do not make much noise unless there is something wrong, like they're hungry. They are quite happy to be house cats as long as they aren't left alone all the time, they also enjoy a little time chasing leaves and climbing in the garden.
Brits can be quite shy to begin with but when they become more familiar with their surroundings they are extremely loyal pets. Many cats of other breeds tend to bond with just one person in a family rather than everyone, but British Shorthairs show their affection to the whole household.
British Shorthair Lifespan
14 - 20 years
British Shorthair Average Litter Size
The average litter size for this breed is 5 kittens which is relatively small compared to some other well known breeds.