British Shorthairs have dense, plush coats that are often described as crisp or cracking, referring to the way the coat breaks over the contours of the cat's body. Their eyes are large, round and widely set and can be a variety of colour, though the copper or gold eyes of the Britsh blue are the best known. Their heads are round with full, chubby cheeks and their bodies are large and muscular. The breed has a broad chest and shoulders, short legs, round paws and a plush tail with a blunt tip, the adult males may develop prominent cheek jowls that distinguish them from their female counterparts. The average weight of a British Shorthair was 4.1kg (9 lb) and the span 2.2-8.3 kg (5-18 lb) in this study.
A black-silver British Shorthair with the classic/blotched tabby markings:
Male cream kitten and a female blue tortoiseshell and white kitten. These colours are not new but not as widely bred as blue:
Traditional blue shown in the newer bicolour pattern. This cat is being judged at a cat show while waiting for his box:
A fawn and white bicolour. (Fawn and cinnamon are the newest colours:
A 'dilute' calico (blue-creme bicolour or blue tortie bicolour):
A 2 months old blue British Shorthair:
British Shorthairs are wonderful cats for people who work, as they are very happy to simply lay around the house while their owner is out. They do not get destructive or need other animals for company, though they do enjoy having another British Shorthair or a cat with similar temperament around.
They are not a very vocal breed but will miaow to communicate with their owners, for example when they are hungry and their food is being prepared. Some do not mind being cuddled, but more prefer to keep four paws on the ground and be patted rather than picked up.
They do not require a lot of grooming as their fur does not tangle or mat easily. However, it is recommended that the coat be brushed occasionally, especially during seasonal shedding since they may develop hairballs at this time. They can be prone to obesity when desexed or kept indoors, so care should be taken with their diet.
They have become a favourites with animal trainers because of their nature and intelligence, and in recent years have appeared in Hollywood films and television commercials They can learn small tricks.
When I was 7 years old dad bought us a female kitten. She was grey/blue in colour and I believe may have been a British Shorthair. She was a beautiful cat and could be very playful. I remember at the time we were renting a duplex and she would hide in doorways and jump out at us as we walked down the passage. She never once had her claws out and it was all just very good fun. Way back then in the late 1930s people didn't usually have their cats sterilised and I remember Molly did have several litters of kittens all of whom were found good homes. Once, when I was about nine, I awoke to find Molly was having a litter of kittens on my bed. I was quite fascinated and remember sitting up in bed stroking her head as she gave birth. It was a wonderful experience for a young girl to have. The lady from whom we were renting the house was horrified but mum wasn't in the least upset about it and said that after all I had lived on a farm with cows and hens for the first 6 years of my life.