Full of British reserve, the Shorthair has a quiet voice and is an undemanding companion. You may not realize it, but you probably grew up with the British Shorthair. He is the clever feline of Puss in Boots and the grinning Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland.
The origins of the British Shorthair most likely date back to the first century AD, making it one of the most ancient identifiable cat breeds in the world. It is thought that the invading Romans initially brought Egyptian domestic cats to Great Britain; these cats then interbred with the local European wildcat population. Over the centuries, their naturally isolated descendants developed into distinctively large, robust cats with a short but very thick coat, the better to withstand conditions on their native islands. Based on artists’ representations, the modern British Shorthair is basically unchanged from this initial type.
The British Shorthair is a powerful but compact cat that should give an overall impression of neatly balanced sturdiness, having a broad chest, strong thick-set legs with rounded paws and a medium-length, blunt-tipped tail. The head is likewise massive and distinctively rounded, with a short muzzle, broad cheeks (most noticeable in mature males, who tend to develop prominent jowls) and large round eyes that are deep coppery orange in the British Blue and otherwise vary in colour depending on the coat. Their medium-sized ears are broad at the base and should be set widely, not disturbing the overall rounded contours of the head.
The British Shorthair is mellow and easygoing, making him an excellent family companion. He enjoys affection, but he’s not a “me, me, me” type of cat. Expect him to follow you around the house during the day, settling nearby wherever you stop.
Full of British reserve, the Shorthair has a quiet voice and is an undemanding companion. He doesn’t require a lap, although he loves to sit next to you. Being a big cat, he isn’t fond of being carried around.
This is a cat with a moderate activity level. He’s energetic during kittenhood, but usually starts to settle down by the time he is a year old. More mature British Shorthairs are usually couch potatoes, but adult males occasionally behave like goofballs. When they run through the house, they can sound like a herd of elephants.
British Shorthairs are rarely destructive; their manners are those of a proper governess, not a soccer hooligan. They welcome guests confidently.
This mild-mannered cat is well suited to life with families with children and cat-friendly dogs. He loves the attention he receives from children who treat him politely and with respect and is forgiving of clumsy toddlers. Supervise young children and show them how to pet the cat nicely. Instead of holding or carrying the cat, have them sit on the floor and pet him. Other cats will not disturb his equilibrium. For best results, always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.