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Beginners Guide

 Sweet | Loyal | Floofy


You don't become the UK's No.1  kitty for no reason, so today we'll be uncovering just what makes the British Shorthair so popular. We'll be looking at everything from their tumultuous history to their devilishly good looks. Finishing by highlighting some of the Shorthairs who've risen to stardom (because who doesn't love a good name drop).


If you're thinking of becoming a hooman to one or just interested in these adorable kitties, this is the purrfect read for you.



Like most cats, British Shorthairs origins trace right back to the Roman Invasion in 43AD, when cats were brought over to the UK for some much-needed mouse control. Over time these Roman kitties interbred with the UK's native cats, eventually forming a native domesticated shorthair.


It wasn't until 1871 that they were officially recognised (known as English This meant that post-war huge efforts were made to outcross the cats to their original standards. Involving crossing them with Persians, Russian Blue, Burmese, and others. One cat played a particularly integral role in the breeds recreation, a Mr. Brynbuboo Little Monarch. His DNA so proliferous that to this day almost every British Shorthair can be traced back to him. Whilst this outcrossing did ultimately save the breed, it also resulted in some of the issues we'll discuss later on.

What do British Shorthair cats look like?

British Shorthairs are adorable, I mean just look:




Their cuteness isn't just by chance either, but a specific requirement for the breed. They have round, soft faces with big round eyes, and a sweet happy expression. In terms of their physique they have sturdy frames, designed to be compact and powerful. With long bushy tails that are ace at knocking over whatever's on your table top. They have more floof per square inch than any other breed, so make the best cuddle-buddies too!

Here's one we made earlier :

baby bear
what i look like

Colour Variations of Shorthairs

British Shorthairs encompass a huge range of different variation, these are the ones recognised by the GCCF:

  • British Self - this group is for cats that are all one colour, like white, black, blue or lilac. These should all have orange eyes, although occasionally the British White may have blue or odd eyes.

  • British Colourpoint - the cats look more similar to Siamese cats, with a similar coat pattern and blue eyes

  • British Tipped - these varieties have Black or Golden Tipped coats, with green eyes similar to a Chinchilla or Golden Persian.

  • The British Tortoiseshell - these cats have a mix of colours.

  • And finally, the British Tabby - these kitties have a mix of colours. They can be found in the classic tabby patterns of classic, spotted, mackerel and ticked.


The most popular of all these is the British Blue, which is seen as the flagship of the breed, making up over half of the registrations.

Nutrition & Feeding Requirements

British Shorthairs are renowned for their healthy appetites. Whilst they don't have any unusual requirements, they do take around 3-5 years to fully mature, so take this into consideration when working out the quantity of food in their early years, remember kittens should be fed kitten food for the first 12 months. As they get older you'll need to start managing their diet more carefully, as their healthy appetites and sloth-like behaviour make weight gain very common.

Apart from these pointers, like all cats, British Shorthairs are obligate carnivores and require a diet high in quality animal meat. A moderate level of fat, small amount of carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals are also essential. From here, whether you opt for wet or dry is up to your cat's individual preference.

We highly recommend that you (don't feed a dry only diet) as it has been known to cause urinary tract problems, and crystals to form in the bladder. This is because cats are not very good at drinking water. One way to encourage your cat to drink more water is to provide running  water fountains.

Characteristics of the British Shorthair

While you won't always find this breed lounging in your lap, both male and female will comply with some encouragement, but it will be on their terms.  The British Shorthair does like to be nearby and will keep an eye on you. It is interesting that while the males are more whimsical, the females are sometimes more serious in nature and won't take your nonsense.

They are considered to be very intelligent and affectionate to their owners but still have that British flair of dignity and you might find yours acting stoic at times.

Health Concerns

This breed of cat has a very long lifespan with the averages being around 14 or 15 years. However, it is not rare to find one that lives up to 20 years of age.

There are no specific health concerns with this breed, but just the usual feline issues to be aware of such as obesity and diabetes - so make sure he doesn't eat too much as to become overweight

One thing that is more prevalent in this breed is gum disease. This may be due to their shorter face and nose but if you see warning signs like bad breath or irritated and red gums, a trip to the vet is recommended.

A Family-Friendly Addition

The British Shorthair loves their family and have a good temperament. You will want to groom them a couple of times a week to keep shedding at a minimum. This is a cat breed that is ideal around children and pets but be sure that your children know that it is not a cat to be toted around - they aren't fond of that. Otherwise, you will find this cat to be an excellent addition to most any family - even those with human children and K9 children.

So there you go in a nutshell, we hope you enjoy these beautiful cats adoringly as  we do !  .   

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