Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat whose features make it a popular breed in cat shows.  It has been the most popular breed of cat registered by the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) since 2001, when it overtook the Persian breed.

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.

These cats come in many colours and patterns.  For many years, the more popular blue variant was common enough to have a breed name of its own the "British Blue".  It remains one of the most popular colours though there is now a large variety of other colour and pattern variants accepted by most feline governing bodies and associations.  These include the colours black, blue, white, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn.

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:

These cats are an easygoing breed; they tend to be safe around children as they will tolerate a fair amount of physical interaction and hiss or scratch very rarely.  They have a stable character and take well to being kept as indoor-only cats, making them ideal for apartment living.  they are not very demanding of attention, though they will let their owner know if they feel like playing.  They often prefer to sit close to their owners rather than on them.

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.


  1. That's the one I would like...they have such 'catittude'.

  2. They are truly beautiful. All our cats have been 'moggies', but ae British short-hair, a Russian Blue, a Turkish Van, and a Maine Coon cat are on the wish list. And a Scottish Fold. And a few more.
    And of course the BIG cats.
    A girl can dream.

    1. And snap on waking to find a cat on the bed giving birth. No matter how many times we moved her/them after the birth as far as she was concerned that was where she and her kittens belonged. She won.

    2. You have a large variety of cats on your wish list EC and yes, never stop dreaming. I think Precious will be our last of a long line.
      Cats can be very determined when it comes to giving birth. They know what they want and need even if we think we know better.

  3. I like a cat that amuses itself without getting destructive in any way. And one that prefers to sit beside3 instead of on you is even better. I've never seen a cat give birth, but I remember a tiny kitten hubby brought home once in his shirt pocket, before we could get her desexed she had a litter of kittens, then another, then another, when she showed pregnant yet again, hubby took her and the latest kittens to a shelter. She just kept having them one litter after another, with no time off in between. A Maine Coon is on my wish list, but I'll settle for one of grey tabby's babies.

    1. Maine Coons are very special aren't they but also very expensive. Our Precious has the looks of a Maine Coon but she is shy and not outgoing. We have no idea where she got her looks from but we often think there is a breed there that we can't quite place.
      Fingers crossed that it all works out and you are able to get one or two of tabby's babies.

  4. One of my daughters has a Maine coon and he is totally large and gorgeous! The other daughter has two older cats and 2 foster kittens and an aging pooch - all of which I'll be grand-sitting this coming weekend!

    1. My word Rose you will be a busy lady with cat sitting and dog sitting all at once. Hope they all get on OK together.

  5. Our cat Mulberry is a British Blue (hence the name - even though technically mulberries are more purple, and a British Blue is more grey...) His best tendency is to play like a dog - he loves chasing a ball down the hallway, but won't fetch. I have to walk back down and roll it in the opposite direction!