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The British Shorthair is the descendant of cats brought to Britain by the Romans who were later crossed with native wild cats. [2] [3] Historically it is known that the British Shorthair lived in the wild or at least was not recognized and bred as a separate breed until the 19th century. In the second half of the nineteenth century Harrison Weir decided to select the breed of this cat in its blue variety and presented it for the first time at the cat show of the Crystal Palace in 1871. British blues were for a long time confused and crossed with cats. French Carthusians. The characteristics of the genotype of these two breeds are somewhat different. The breed’s popularity has declined since 1940, but since the end of World War II breeding programs have intensified and the breed’s popularity grew again. For a time, British Shorthairs were crossed with Persian cats to make their bodies fluffier and head rounder. The round cheeks and the folds around the mouth that simulate the smile are reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland [4]



According to the legend, the ancestor of the British Shorthair did not live in Great Britain, but in Egypt, and was the favorite cat of the Egyptian general Gasthelos and his wife Scota, a well-fed and cuddled cat, considered a living effigy of a deity . Gasthelos, by order of the pharaoh, chased the fleeing Jews to the Red Sea and, when his troops were swallowed by the waters that had miraculously opened to let the fugitives pass, to save himself from the wrath of the pharaoh, he decided to gather the soldiers survivors and to try their luck outside Egypt, setting out into the unknown to found a new nation. Naturally the cat followed him and was invoked as a propitiator of good luck. Gasthelos and Scota first stopped in the kingdom of Brigantium, today’s Portugal, then they continued on to Great Britain and settled in that land they called Scotland in honor of Scot. The cat showed a lot of appreciation for the new home, he mated with many cats that lived in the wild and from these unions the first examples of British Shorthair were born.

Breed standards

The breed standard (ANFI / FIFE) is the following: the British Shorthair is massive, with a very thick hair that makes it similar to a plush, very soft to the touch and defined in English as crisp. The eyes are large, round and very expressive; they can be of many varieties of color: copper, golden yellow, green and blue; the majority have them orange or copper. The cat’s head is round and full, with plump cheeks (especially in males). The body of this feline is large, sturdy and muscular (cobby in English), characterized by a broad chest, sturdy shoulders and hips, and short legs, with round paws and a well-furry tail, which ends in a rounded tip.

The difference in size between males and females is particularly conspicuous in this breed: males have an average weight of 5–8 kg, while females can weigh up to 4–5 kg. The average lifespan is 14-20 years.

Test: 30 points according to the FIFé Standard. Medium to large size. Round and massive shape with a broad skull. The head rests on a massive, short, well developed neck. Short, broad and straight nose, with a depression but not with a stop similar to that of the Exotics and Persians. Strong chin. Small ears, set well apart and slightly rounded at the tip.

Eyes: 10 points according to the FIFé Standard. Large, round, spaced and well opened. The color varies according to the color of the coat; in the British Shorthair blue they are orange, golden and copper; they tend to discolour slightly with age.

Body: 20 points according to the FIFé Standard. Muscular and gathered structure, of medium-large size (a fit male weighs 5-6 kg), stocky trunk and all of the same width, broad shoulders, rounded chest and developed ribcage, the body is slightly longer than the cobby. Strong sexual dimorphism: the female is smaller than the male. Massive and short legs with round and firm feet. Short and bushy tail, with a slightly rounded tip.

Hair: quality and texture: 10 points according to the FIFé Standard. Short and thick, texture with good dense undercoat. Not overly soft, but crisp and pleasant to the touch.

Coat: color patterns and sizes: 25 points according to the FIFé Standard. The color of the hair must be uniform from tip to root, except for the tabby and silver varieties.

Condition: 5 points according to the FIFé Standard: must be in excellent health conditions.

Total: 100 points representing the perfect British cat.

British Shorthairs come in many colors. For many years, the most popular variant was the blue one and until a few years ago this cat was also called “British blue”. However, blue remains one of the most popular colors of the breed, although there is now a great variety of other colors and so-called “pattern accepted” variants recognized by many bodies and associations. These include black, blue, white, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, cinamon (cinnamon) and fawn (buckskin) colors. The British Shorthair can be single-colored (the most common) or have a coat with multiple colors, such as colourpoint, tabby, silver and golden (shaded) and bicolor. All dark colors can also occur in females in the different tortoiseshell varieties (black tortie, chocolate tortie, blue tortie and lilac tortie),

The colors can be summarized as follows:

among the single colors blue: it is the best known color. The British blue has a gray / blue coat and, like the other solid colors, must not have tabby markings.

black, white, red, cream, chocolate (brown like milk chocolate), lilac (pinkish gray), cinnamon and fawn;

black tortie (black turtle scale), blue tortie (blue or blue-cream scale), chocolate tortie (chocolate scale), lilac tortie (lilac scale), cinnamon tortie (cinnamon scale), fawn tortie (deer scale).


tabby: blotched, mackerel, spotted;

silver tabby: blotched, mackerel, spotted;

all colors with white: harlequin, two-tone, depending on the prevalence of the colored or white part;

colourpoint: seal, chocolate, lilac, blue, red, tabby, silver, golden, tortie, bicolor, cinnamon, fawn.

tipped or chinchilla (chinchilla) or silver shaded (shaded) in all color varieties from black to red, to tortie; (with emerald green eyes edged in black).

golden shell or golden shaded: with a charming golden appearance (with green eyes).

Typical faults: coat too long or too soft, indicating the prevalence of the contribution of the characteristics of the Persian cat with which in the past it has been hybridized, lack of undercoat, delicate bone, white spots in single-colored coats, head too thin, flat cheeks, eyes with oriental cut (almond) and obesity.

, British Shorthair, Nuova Fattoria Pet Food


British Shorthairs are a breed with a very distinctive character among cats. They have a stable temperament which makes them very suitable as indoor-only cats, i.e. for apartment life. These are in fact the typical short-haired indoor cats. They do not require a lot of attention, so even if the owner is absent for a few hours this type of cat will not suffer from loneliness, as it has a very strong tendency to play, even alone. British Shorthairs, despite the propensity to play, are not hyperactive, are very quiet and can even sleep many hours a day, preferring to be close to their owners rather than on them. They could supervise family activities from a comfortable perch or perhaps from the floor.

British Shorthairs are very suitable cats for working people, as they have no problem simply lazing around the house while their owner is out. These cats do not have destructive stimuli and generally do not need other pets, although they do not have a problem cohabiting with another British Shorthair or another cat with a similar temperament.

These cats particularly love to be cuddled and are not a particularly noisy breed, although there is no lack of meowing, especially when feeding or playing. British Shorthairs have a tendency to follow people from room to room to be with their owner and see what’s going on. Others don’t mind being pampered and most of these cats prefer to keep their four legs on the ground while being pampered rather than being picked up.

The breed has become a favorite of animal trainers due to its nature and intelligence and in recent years these cats have appeared in many Hollywood movies and TV commercials. [6] They can learn small tricks spontaneously.

The character of this cat can be described as follows:


The British Shorthair is as solid a cat physically as it is psychically. The British are very staid, they do not let themselves go to neurasthenic crises and they do not raise their voice, they do not scratch and they do not bite out of anger or fear (at most they nibble to play, but always taking great care not to exceed the permitted limits and when they put paws on the face of the master always pulls in the nails).


The British is a dominant, independent and very proud cat with a great sense of personal dignity. He loves being in company and tends to follow the owners around the house like a dog, often settling on tables or chairs or in some position from which he has an overview of the movements of the human family. He does not like being squeezed and scrambled unnecessarily and he decides when it is time for cuddles. If too manipulated, he recoils with his forelegs and retreats for a while on his behalf.


He is an affectionate cat, sweet and extremely attached to the family of which he feels like an equal member.


The British are more attached to the owners than to the house. It adapts well to changes and travels. The change of environment is indeed an opportunity to explore new horizons, with the innate curiosity that distinguishes it. The British is also very patient with children and if he just can’t take it anymore, rather than hurting them he hides somewhere where he can be at peace for a while.

Hunter and playful

The British have a hunting instinct that reveals itself in the countryside with rodents, birds and lizards and that, in the apartment, vents on insects of all kinds. At the sight of a gnat, the British lights up and begins to approach cautiously emitting a characteristic high-pitched sound of alarm, until it falls on its prey. The British also loves the game very much, in particular the one that reminds him of hunting, he loves chasing the ball that is thrown at him and can learn to bring back small objects (ropes or stuffed mice).

British Shorthairs don’t require a lot of grooming, although a few brushing would do them once in a while. British Shorthairs can be prone to obesity, especially if spayed or kept indoors, so their diet should be taken care of.

Source Wikipedia