British Shorthair Cats & British Shorthair Cat Breeders
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.
In terms of temperament British Shorthair cats are generally gentle, easy going and placid. When loved and treated well they can become very smoochy. So much so that owners say that at times they can even be a nuisance. For example they love to rub around your legs and do figure eights between them - sometimes tripping you up! They love strong smooching and head butts and most love cuddles as long as brought up that way. Otherwise they can be quite averse to being picked up or lying on your lap, and generally speaking will often sit close to their owners rather than on them. This independent streak can be a lovely balance to the smoochiness, and means that they don't require constant attention from their owners.
British Shorthairs they tend to be safe around children and will usually cope will with a fair amount of physical interaction. They have a stable character and rarely scratch or hiss. They are good indoor cats and take well to apartment living. British Shorthairs are wonderful cats for people who work, as they are very happy to simply laze 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 meow to communicate with their owners, for example when they are hungry and their food is being prepared.
The breed has become a favourite of animal trainers because of its nature and intelligence, and in recent years these cats have appeared in Hollywood films and television commercials. They can learn small tricks.
The most familiar colour variant is the "British Blue" but the breed has also been developed in a wide range of other colours and patterns, including bi colours, tabby and colour point.
The coat is short, thick and very dense. Brushing or undercoat raking also known as 'Stripping their coat' needs to be done regularly, especially during seasonal changes/molting when the coat is thickening or thinning to avoid knotting. A medium comb is most effective as it gets down into that thick undercoat much better, especially if holding the fur with the left hand lying it up towards the head while combing out from underneath. Then finish with a slicker brush in the normal direction. Brushing down the body with a normal brush dy as usual leaves much of the shed fur still down in the undercoat.
Copper eyes are the default for the breed, however their eyes can be blue in colourpoint pattern cats, and even one or both (blue and copper) in some pure white cats. Where this occurs in pure white there must be due care as the cat may be deaf in the side with the blue eye.
British Shorthairs can be prone to obesity when desexed or kept indoors, so care should be taken with their diet.
"Blue" cat breeds have become increasingly popular and given the differences - particularly in temperament - see this article for more information - British Shorthair, Russian, Burmese or Korat - Which Blue Cat is that?
Thanks to Maureen Stepanoff - Furreleda Cats, and Anne Jones - for contributing to this breed information.