Everything about the British Shorthair
Breed standards description and major characteristics.
British shorthair are compact, stocky and strong cats which have wonderful thick plush coat. They have sturdy and square body. Males have quite big and massive bodies, females have a bit smaller sizes.
Let’s take a better look into distinctive characteristics of the British Shorthair.
How to distinguish a true British Shorthair cat and to verify if it belongs to British Shorthair breed species:
Cheekbones are wide, cheeks are very well developed and have round shape (by the way the thing which conquers every breed expert’s heart is these very cute “hanging” cheeks). The nose is straight, wide and short (transition from the top of the head to the nose is obvious, with a visible dimple). Chin is sturdy, firm and steady. Full face forehead should have a round shape. Nose and chin together forms a solid vertical. British Shorthair cats have short and thick neck. The head is rounded and should look very proportional and well balanced.
British cats are famous for their bright yellow color eyes. Depending on color and shade of their coat British shorthair cats can also have blue or green eyes. Big open eyes are widely placed and have beautiful rounded shape. The eyes should have clear and deep color.
British shorthair cats should have medium size ears which are widely and low set and have a rounded and straight shape. Sometimes breeders pluck pieces of hair from the edges to make ears look more rounded thus to emphasize the quality of the breed.
British Shorthair cats have sturdy and strong paws of rounded shape.
The body is stocky, medium and low, sturdy and very proportionally balanced. Big bone is the quality which shows that the cat is a true British Shorthair. Massive hips, shoulders and chest are large, full and wide. Rather short straight back of a British shorthair cat by standard should be flat and wide. In general British shorthair cats have from medium to big sizes.
Tail. The tail of the British shorthair should be thick and wide in the beginning and rounded in the end, the length is medium, hairs lay very close to each to each other. The ticker the tail the better.
British shorthair cats have short fur (which is not very tight to the body), all hairs have same length, coat is thick and shiny, quite soft, should be pretty dense, undercoat is very thick and normally has different color.
Colors and Shades
British shorthair cats has a huge variety of colors and shades.
For a long time the classic color of the breed was solid blue. But nowadays the demand for new interesting and exotic colors is high, that is why breeders do their best to breed new colors and shades but preserving all the standards of the breed. Nowadays there are about 200 different variations of colors and shades of the British Shorthair.
Sometimes people confuse British Shorthair cats with Russian Blue cats – since blue was always considered as the classic color of British Shorthair. But British Shorthair cats are totally different from Russian blue breed not just by their look but by their personality as well as character and it is hard to find any similarities between these two different breeds.
Personality. Habits. Behavior.
Personality of British Shorthair cats is a big plus of this breed and their behavior make you love them even more. They are affectionate and playful, cheerful and unpretentious cats which are very clever and cleanly.
British cats are well behaved moderately curious pets with very sweet temper.
They love company and easily get along with other pets.
Since birth the cats of this breed are well behaved, clean and neat. Even newly born kittens – as soon as learn how to walk they start using litterbox right away. And they easily learn how to use a scratch post/scratch board – the most important thing is just to show them what it is. The result will not take long.
British shorthair cats do very well with being alone and if you are absent for a long time they will find what to do or just will be sleeping or resting quietly and you can be sure that they won’t destroy furniture, chew flowers or tear curtains. British shorthair cats are very attached to their owners and as soon as you come back home they will greet you and “will tell you about their day”.
Two of the most significant characteristics of their personality are intelligence and tact. They have very appeasable character and always wait patiently while being petted and “squeezed” (because they do not really like that) and only after will try to get out carefully.
British cats are excellent hunters and will never miss an opportunity to hunt a mouse or a bird. In spite of their massive body size they are very fast and agile. And what is even more impressive is that they are very careful about home furnishings at the same time and you can feel certain that they won’t break small or fragile things in the house while running around.
In conflict situations British shorthair cats act very calm, most of times they just leave to the other room and wait the storm to pass. They use their claws very rarely only if it is truly necessary. They are very patient cats – sometimes people compare them with service dogs. You can truly appreciate this quality of them when bringing your pet to a veterinarian checkup or if you have little kids in the house. British cats get along with kids very well. British shorthair cats love kids and especially if they have grown around kids since being a kitten they get used to it and sleep next to them or next to their feet, cuddle and play with children.
The behavior of British kittens is very funny and entertaining – they are always friendly, cheerful, playful and curious. In spite of their little age they try to copy behavior of adult cats which is especially cute.
Personality of British Shorthair cats – very aristocratic pets – consists of only great qualities which makes the love of their owners for them boundless.
Care and Nutrition
It is very easy to take care of your British shorthair kitty, it doesn’t require a lot of time, effort or money. British cats are very hardy pets. Like any other cats everything they need is well balanced nutrition, fresh water and toys. Nutrition includes dry cat food of good quality (grain free), wet canned cat food, meats like beef or chicken, milk products without additives in accordance to cat’s age.
The thing you might want to get is a rubber brush, you need it to take of your cat’s coat – since these cats have pretty thick coat you need to brush cat’s fur coat once a week to remove dead hair and keep the coat healthy and shiny. Also it is recommended to give your cat a bath (twice a year), clean your cat’s ears when needed (only superficially but not deep), clean cat’s litter box and wash their food bowl once a week.
British kittens require a little bit more attention to their eyes. Before they turn one year old kitten’s eyes might have some little discharge – it is absolutely natural – you need to clean their eyes with a cotton disk smeared with boiled water or use special eye tissues.
British shorthair cats have excellent health. These cats can live up to 20 years and they stay active, affectionate and playful until very old age. All you need to do it to love and pet your adored kitty.
True purebred British Shorthair
It is needed to emphasize that only true purebred British shorthair cats have all these qualities mentioned above – like look, character and personality, behavior and health. If you were told that British shorthair cats are aggressive and angry and have behavioral problems – I would assume that they must be not a pure breed but some mutts or mixed breeds.