British Shorthair

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(194 Reviews)

Is the British Shorthair right for you?

The basics:
With chubby cheeks, round eyes, and an enigmatic grin the British Shorthair has an iconic look that was immortalized in illustrations for the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and more recently as the face of the internet cat meme “I Can Has Cheezburger”. They’re one of the oldest breeds in England with ancestry going back to ancient Rome. Their robust frame and thick coat made them able to withstand harsh conditions, and they were prized for their skill at pest control. The British Shorthair has long since left its days as a mouser behind, much preferring a lazy day in front of the fire and a short stroll to the food dish. As dignified as Winston Churchill and as cuddly a teddy bear, the British Shorthair makes an excellent cat for families or those in need of a loyal but laid-back friend.

Appearance / health:
With a sturdy frame, broad chest, and short, strong legs, the British Shorthair can look either powerful, or pudgy. Even the tail is thick, moderate in length, and tapering only slightly to a rounded tip. It’s the head and face that give the British Shorthair its signature appearance. Sitting atop a thick neck, the head is broad and round or somewhat squarish. The nose is short with chubby cheeks and large, prominent whisker pads that, together, give you the impression that the British Shorthair is smiling. Male British Shorthairs will often develop heavy jowls that give the head and neck an even more massive appearance.

Perhaps most captivating are their large and strikingly round, expressive eyes. Eye color depends largely on coat. Most coat colors, including the most popular British Blue, are accompanied by eyes of a deep coppery orange or gold. Blue eyes occur mostly in British Shorthairs with a pointed coat, regardless of point color or pattern, and shades of green are seen with silver coats.

The British Shorthair’s coat is short and extremely dense. Rather than lying flat, it stands away from the body which adds to the cat’s apparent bulk. The texture is soft and plush. The British Shorthair comes in a broad range of colors and patterns, including the very popular blue, silver, cream, white, black, red, golden, cinnamon, fawn, and chocolate. Patterns include solids, bicolor, colourpoint, tabby, shaded, and tortoiseshell.

Unfortunately, the British Shorthair is somewhat more prone to an inherited disorder called polycystic kidney disease. Because of this, it is important to do your research before buying a British Shorthair cat or kitten. A test is now available to detect the genetic disorder, and many reputable breeders will have their cats tested and placed on an international registry.

The British Shorthair is sedentary cat with an enthusiastic appetite, so care should be taken that they do not gain an excessive amount of weight.

Behavior / temperament:
The British Shorthair is a calm and amicable companion. They carry themselves with a certain dignity, but they are sweet-natured and loyal to their owners. They enjoy attention, but they are not demanding, and don’t mind sharing quiet time by your side. Perhaps because of the heat of their thick coats, the British Shorthair is not much for laps, but they will happily cuddle up next to you

Neither agile nor particularly active, the British Shorthair likes to keep all four feet on the ground. You will not find them exploring the tops of your bookcases, or climbing your curtains. They make a great companion for those living in small spaces – they won’t mind at all if it’s not so very far from the food dish to their favorite spot on the sofa. They can be playful, and in particular seem to enjoy brief, kittenish fits of activity.

Though the British Shorthair is an even-tempered, friendly cat that you can trust around children, they may not be overly-enthusiastic about spending time with them. In particular, they don’t like to be handled roughly or carried about. They are also tolerant and adaptable to their surroundings, and usually get along well with dogs and other pets.


friendly cat, knee sitterssnugglers, Tremendous personality, MERVEILLEUSE RACE, large healthy breed


mild gingivitis problems


double dense coat, little vocalization, TEDDY BEAR CAT, looove food, doglike personalities, little snobby

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