Medium to Large
4 to 7 kg
Blue, white, black, red, cream, smoke, silver and golden, plus a variety of patterns and shadings
As they age, British Shorthairs become increasingly sedentary, however males are often more rambunctious than the reserved females. They get along well with gentle and respectful children and don’t mind cat-friendly dogs.
Although the breed is free from many genetic diseases that plague other breeds, British Shorthairs are susceptible to gingivitis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hemophilia B. Obesity is another concern, as this cat loves to eat and leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
As the oldest breed in England, the British Shorthairs are thought to have descended from domestic cats imported from Egypt, accompanying the Romans when they invaded Great Britain in 43 AD. They grew in popularity during the Victorian era, when stricter breeding standards were implemented. In the early 1900s, the British Shorthair was crossed with the Persian, introducing a longhair gene.
After both World Wars, the breed was nearly extinct. Thanks to crossbreeding, British Shorthairs were revitalized. In 1967, the American Cat Association accepted the breed. It wasn’t accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) until 1979 and the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) a year later. The breed is now recognized by all cat associations.
Two of the most famous fictional cats are British Shorthairs: Puss in Boots and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.
British Shorthairs were the only pedigreed cats exhibited at some of the earliest cat shows.