Simply known as the “Brit” or the “English Cat”, the British Shorthair is the home breed carefully refined through the selective rearing of the best paragons of the local mixed-breed cats of the British Isles. Normally “cobby” in appearance, the Brit is a compact and muscular breed distinguished for its rounded head (in fact, considered to be the roundest of all Shorthair feline breeds), broad chest, large rounded paws, and short but strong legs. Its plush but not cottony tail is round at the tip and thick at the base. It’s short and usually described as crisp. Colors include blue (being the most popular), black, chocolate, cream, lilac or lavender, tortie, bi-color, calico, tabby, and even tipped/colorpoint. Stocky and powerful, this cat has a pair of large, round and expressive eyes which is strikingly orange or copper in color, small, widely-set, ears, and a short, broad muzzle. The males belonging to the British Shorthair breed are larger than their female counterparts. They also have prominent chubby cheeks or jaws; making this another distinct gender-based mark of the line.
Known to be quiet and placid, the British Shorthair is not the kind that will be looting your fridge or swinging playfully from your chandelier. Sweet, gentle and loyal, the breed makes it one of the most wonderful pets you can have at home. Friendly and easy-going, this patient and rather predictable breed generally makes undemanding family members and steadfast companions in the household. They are intelligent and aren’t among the noisy and pushy breeds; although they would truly appreciate and agree to take warmth and affection once it’s offered to them. With a little bit of a usual British shyness (especially when first introduced), this breed is adaptable, likes to be independent, and often keeps a low profile.
Considered to be an easy-keeper, the British Shorthair does not require too much grooming. Nonetheless, their dense coat needs to be brushed on a regular basis to maintain its fit and sleek look.
British Shorthair cats normally have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The breed, particularly males, is prone to a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The cat is also at risk of becoming obese and developing haemophilia B, which is genetically passed on as a sex-related trait. Although uncommon, White Brits with one or two blue eyes are said to be predisposed to vision problems, deafness and polydactylism. Like any other white animal, these white cats also have an increased tendency to easily develop sunburn.
The Brit has the ability to easily adapt to farm, apartment or city living. Because the breed likes to be independent and enjoys its freedom, don’t expect them to be among those which are plain content spending most of their days just sleeping on cushions. Also, not like other cats known for being high-strung or attention-seeking, this docile breed is adored for its composure and stability. They can surely be lively, playful, and energetic at times, but normally, they are not intrusive or aggressive.