British Shorthair Cat
- Size: Medium-Large, 8 to 16 lbs
- Energy Level: 3/5
- Talkative: 3/5
- Coat: Thick, short and dense
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Seeking: I’m easy going enough to get on with everyone
- Child Friendly: Yes
- Personality Snapshot: Calm and gentle, playful yet not overactive
There’s one thing you should know about me: I am big, beautiful and proud.
In fact, I am one of the chunkiest felines you will ever see. Now while my body isn’t really bulky, I am well-muscled and own an overall stocky appearance. My legs are medium in length and taper down to noticeably round paws that complete my general rotundness.
My friends tell me that what primarily sets me apart from other felines is the way my facial characteristics tend to border on being strikingly round.
Let’s start with my round head. It doesn’t have any sharp slopes and I don’t flaunt any cheekbones.
My eyes are round like buttons and I even have ears that are more circular than pointy. And just to top it all off, I’ve also got a round nose!
Let’s just say I ain’t no square.
I am very popular when it comes to short and thick coats.
Apart from being very dense, it’s also got a velvety feel when you run your fingers through it. Now while my signature coat color is blue, it can also come in 40 other different shades and patterns, namely chocolate, lilac and grey just to name a few.
My breed encompasses a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors
Did you know that I am very well-suited for cold environments? Apart from giving me enough insulation to keep me warm, my coat also has the ability to trap heat without a fuss. Just tell me the next time you feel a bit chilly and I’ll give you a toasty hug.
My neck is very thick and I’ve got a broad torso. These are attributes that I’ve inherited from my feline ancestors who were working cats in the British countryside.
They used to chase rats and other pests to earn their keep. I am very proud to have these physical characteristics not just because they make me look good, but also due the ancestry of competence they come from.
I am not a drama queen.
In fact, I’ve always been complimented for my calm, almost zen-like disposition. I think that staying cool is just the way to go. I am not fond of getting too active during play or tearing up the household unexpectedly because I need attention.
That is so not the way of the Tao.
My friends have told me time and again that I’ve got a way with people and other animals.
Well, to tell you the truth, I have always seen friendship as one of the most important things in life.
I love being sociable and I simply enjoy building close relationships. I don’t think twice about shaking paws with a stranger or perhaps getting chummy with a cat-friendly dog. I’ve even been known to make friends with a rabbit or two.
What can I say? Life’s too short to discriminate.
The only thing is…’though I am very comfortable around people, I am a bit wary when I’m around young kids. I am afraid that they will play with me rather roughly and I might get hurt in the process. Just make sure you keep a close eye on your child when we play a game together.
While I am very tolerant and will not even attempt to use my claws when I feel the play is getting too rough, there’s a possibility that I will not play with the rough-housing person again for a long time.
Oh and there’s something you should know – I am not that crazy about being picked up. I am a cat that loves to stay at ground level and I make sure you’ll hear me protest noisily when you do try to give me a hoist. Actually, I am not fond of climbing things as well. I prefer to do my snooping around the house without scaling stuff. I feel it’s much safer that way.
I’m grounded like that.
Although I like to be noticed occasionally, I am not that demanding and clingy when it comes to attention. The only time I can get a bit crotchety is when my food bowl is empty or my litter box has not been cleaned out.
Just to set things straight – I am not an aloof cat. I just prefer my peace and quiet.
My Ideal Human
I really think that my amiability and calm disposition makes it really easy even for first time cat owners to take care of me. I just want a home with lots of floor area to frolic and play in and that’s pretty much it. Oh, and I don’t mind lots of roommates, either. I can easily live with a family of three or seven. The more the merrier, I always say.
I don’t even have the slightest difficulty being roommates with dogs, rabbits and other cats. As long as they won’t try to take my food or hog my spot on the floor, everything will be okay. Just make sure you have separate beds and food bowls for all of us to avoid confusion.
Okay, stay with me ’cause this is a long one.
When the Roman Empire began to expand, some the earliest British Shorthairs were brought along on journeys to keep the soldiers company and patrol the barracks for rodent control.
Yea, we pretty much got free transportation to the ride to the British Isles. We eventually grew in number over time and the majority of us settled in the countryside as farm cats.
During the late 1800’s, an avid cat buff named Harrison Weir noticed the beauty of these felines and decided to gather the most beautiful specimens for selective breeding. With the help of his friends, Weir worked really hard to produce kittens that were aimed at wowing the fast growing movement of cat fanciers in Britain.
Finally, Weir organized a cat show in 1871 that highlighted the fruits of his efforts. The appreciation Weir received was simply overwhelming. Cat aficionados in and around the United Kingdom began to take notice of this new breed and they eventually included my ancestors in subsequent shows across the country.
However, a very sad thing happened during the World War 2. The violence nearly wiped out all of the British Shorthairs in the country, save for a handful that managed to hide in bomb shelters. To prevent the breed from completely disappearing, cat enthusiasts asked permission from the British Governing Council of the Cat Fancy to interbreed the remaining felines to rebuild its gene pool.
As a result, male and female British Shorthairs were crossed with various other breeds that had the same dispositions and characteristics like the Chartreux and Persian. After years and years of interbreeding, the modern British Shorthair was born.
The British Shorthair didn’t arrive in North America until the 1960’s. We were officially recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) in 1970. From then on, other respected cat registries like The International Cat Association (TICA) and Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) followed suit. My breed received its championship status in 1980.
How to Keep Me Healthy and Happy
I am a very hardy cat and it doesn’t take much to keep me happy and healthy. I am basically resilient against a lot of diseases due to my diverse gene pool and regular visits to the cat doctor every 5 to 6 months ensures that I will be fit as a fiddle for years to come.
I really don’t have any special requirements when it comes to care. I just need a weekly vigorous brushing to get rid of the dead skin cells that may have accumulated in my coat and that’s pretty much it. A bath is not necessary at all unless I am really messy.
- I suspect I’m the inspiration for the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. I mean, COME ON. That teasing grin? The round face? Totally me.
- Did you know that I have more fur per square inch than all other cats (or at least the ones that are officially recognized by cat registries like the CFA and TICA). Yea, my fur’s really dense, velvety and damn soft. It’s pretty special, if you ask me (and the CFA and TICA).
- I prefer to stay indoors than roam around outside. I guess it’s ’cause of my lineage as a rat-hunting farm cat. If you ever want to see that side of me, just dangle a cat toy in front of my eyes. I’ll pounce on it faster than you can say sic him.