Cats have been inhabiting this planet way before us. This is the reason why they are more evolved than we could have ever thought of. They are one of the most astonishing creatures and make the best pets because of their smartness and independent nature.
There are nearly 40-70 recognized cat breeds and their behavioral traits depend upon the different breeds they belong to.Well for now, we will focus on one of the oldest and popular breeds of cats – “The British Shorthair.” If you are looking for a less troublesome and easy to care for cat, then this breed is perfect for you!
Their place of origin is The U.K. and are also known as – highlander, highland straight, britannica. British shorthair cats have a muscular and distinctly round-shaped body with a short coat that makes their impression similar to that of a cotton bear.
They carry a cheerful look on their face due to their chubby cheeks. These cats live up to 12-17 years and are non destructive. They are well mannered and will greet your guests warmly. British shorthair cats mark their presence on number 5 in the US among the most popular cats.
The british shorthair cats came into existence during World War I. They were brought by the Romans to Britain. After a lot of struggles, due to food shortages, like many other breeds of cats during World War II, they were revived with crosses to domestic shorthair and other such cats. Later, they were recognized by different cat organizations in 1967, 1979,1980 respectively. In 1970, the British shorthair was officially acknowledged as a variety across the globe.
British shorthair’s coat gives it a significant lavish look which becomes noticeable when the cat moves. They have a soft and dense coat which makes them look like a mushy fairy floss.
Let’s have a look at some of their major physical features-
- Height and Weight- They are 12-14 inches in height and the males weigh around 12-18 pounds while the females are 9-15 pounds.
- Appearance- British shorthair cats have a dominant appearance with a broad face and chest, rounded paws, a medium sized tail that is not pointed from the tip,a strong and bulky pair of legs.
- They have a large head and wide cheeks that are mostly seen in a mature male. The ears of these cats are also quite broad and have a pointed triangle shape.
- They usually develop mature physical features at the age of 3 years. Kittens are found to be more active but as they grow up into an adult, they become more placid.
- Colour and pattern- These cats come in a variety of colours but the “british blue” is the most familiar one with a grey-blue coat, a tail of medium size and orange eyes which makes it look magnificent.
- Black, blue, red, white, cream, silver, golden and the newest additions include- cinnamon and fawn that come in solid, tabby, bicolour, shaded and colourprint patterns.
- The colour of the eyes depends upon the type of coat he is wearing, it can be deep gold, blue, copper and green.
British shorthair is like one of the best cat- companions you can have. They have an easygoing personality and are affectionate towards their owners. These cats carry similar traits of their origin, that is why they are mature, sensible yet fun- loving. They have a friendly nature and like to play and enjoy with their families.
They are not extremely active and unlike other cat breeds, you will not find them rushing around the house or climbing onto things but they do like interactions and may have a great time playing around children and even with dogs that are cat-friendly. This breed is immensely adaptive and will manage in any situation around them. That means, no unnecessary tantrums. Amazing! Right?
They are very well aware of maintaining a balance in their social lives. This is why they know how to be sociable and still value their personal space. The male cats are more fun- loving than the females who prefer to be serious most of the time.
Both of them are understanding and will not bother you to entertain them at all times. As mentioned above, they love their personal space, they are happy to play with their toys and figure out their own ways to be engaged in recreational activities.
They adore the attention of their owners, however they do not nag you throughout the day which makes them one of the most undemanding breeds of cats. They are quiet and calm, plus if you are an introvert, then you might find these cats more understanding than any human around you.
They are found enjoying their time mostly under the sun and can be left alone on their own, for the time you are busy.
Loyalty is one of their highly attractive traits. If they are treated with love and care, they can become your best faithful friends. It is more like a give and take scenario with them. They love their owners and are devoted towards them.
British shorthair cats are tremendously intelligent creatures but they do not prefer to show off. It is great to indulge in some playful activity with them like puzzles that will help them to learn new challenges , and also give them small treats as a reward to boost their confidence.
These cats are not highly vocal and have a very low voice. They are known for hardly producing any sound. They won’t disturb your night’s peaceful sleep as there is no worrying about a lot of cat noises in the house at night.
Giving them the right care
British shorthair cats do not consume much time in basic grooming. Their short and dense coat is self maintained. Mostly cats are good at cleaning themselves through licking , still there are some basic points to be noted-
- Do a weekly combing or brushing on its coat to remove dead hair or dirt, this also helps in distributing skin oil and removes any knots in the coat.
- Trim the nails at a regular interval of 14 days.
- Do not forget to clean the ears with a cleanser frequently to prevent any sort of infection. Use a clean fabric to wipe their eyes and ears.
- Brush its teeth regularly with a good and approved toothpaste for basic dental care. This can reduce bad breath.
- Follow their vaccination and vet visit schedule
- Buy a litter pan that comfortably accommodates the cat. Ensure to clean the litter box on time to maintain a healthy environment.
- Do not keep them outdoors to protect them from other animals, flus. They are best suited indoors.
- Provide them with a good cat tree that will help in their overall development. This cat breed has no issues in spending time alone, so this can be a great place for them to spend their day.
Taking care of their health
It is crucial for every living being to take care of their lifestyle to live a healthy life. However, genetic health problems can be a real thing.
British shorthair cats usually live a good and healthy life but there are certain health problems they are prone to.
- HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy)- It is a condition where the muscular walls of the cat’s heart thickens. It can lead to serious issues like- difficulty in breathing, appetite loss, feeling lethargic. It can be confirmed through a Echocardiogram whether a cat has this disease or not.
- Hemophilia B – It is a hereditary disorder which leads to bleeding. A DNA test helps the breeders in identifying the affected or Hemophilia B carrying cats.
- Urinary tract infection- The major causes are- bacterial infection, stress. There is no solid cure for the urinary tract but they need lots of water and a special diet.
- Kidney infections- When the kidney stops performing some of its functions, it can cause kidney failure. This can be detected through an ultrasound but it does not have any cure, only medicines can help for temporary healing.
How can you be careful?
- Ensure choosing a reputable breeder before buying your kittens. Always ask for a health guarantee in writing.
- British shorthair cats should be tested and screened for HCM before breeding. If they are confirmed to be carrying it, they should be kept at a different place from other cats.
- Do not bring a kitten whose parents are not tested for the disease.
- Remember that it is your responsibility to prevent the kitten from the most basic health problem- “obesity”. Take care of their diets and make sure they get it in the right amount.
- Keep them engaged in physical activities so that they do not gain weight and stay active. Buy them toys like balls,wands and play more chasing games with them that will contribute towards their mental and physical growth.
Care during Pregnancy
British shorthair cats are pregnant for nearly 65-67 days but you should be prepared after 62 days. These cats do not have much difficulty during the delivery, it is important to take appropriate care of your cat. Feed them with a healthy diet as they can feel more hungry than usual.
How much do they cost?
The British shorthair cats will cost you an average of 1200$-2300$. Excluding the price of these cats, they are very low- maintenance as they do not require much medical care or grooming. These cats are healthy when compared to other cats, and have very less risk of any illness.
Points to remember
These are some points you would want to consider before bringing a cat to your home.
- Always do a thorough research on verified websites before you decide to bring the cat home. In the end, you would always want to enjoy a good quality time with your cat.
- Choose a breeder that follows all the rules and regulations .
- Look for breeders who have a certificate of proof of all the essential tests to confirm genetic diseases.
- You can opt for an adult cat rather than a kitten. An adult will always be more mature and requires less care than a kitten.
- You can find the cat in a shelter or rescue home also, but make sure to have a clear contact with the seller and look for a good vet after adoption to detect any health issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Do these cats shed a lot?
These cats do shed but not much when compared to other cats. During the spring season, they will shed a little more as there is a seasonal change and they lose their winter coat. It is important in these times to brush the coat regularly to remove the dead hair.
2.How can you show your affection towards these cats?
Unlike other cats, British shorthair is not a big fan of cuddles. Though they are friendly and happy to receive everyone’s love, they do not prefer to sit on laps.They will like to be around you when you are sitting somewhere but will appreciate your love from a distance. They do not like to be picked up or receive any physical signs of affection. They are also jolly with the kids and must be treated with respect.
3.What is the right food for these cats?
They too are carnivores like other cats. Go for a high quality meal that includes mainly wet meat. A good diet for them includes high protein, which means animal protein which is close to most cats’ prey. You should strictly avoid grain as this can cause serious digestive problems to them because it is difficult for them to digest it. Their diet should be set according to their age and activities.
4. What is the difference between British longhair and shorthair cats?
As their name suggests, the British longhair has a long and thick coat, that sheds more hair and requires more maintenance and care when compared to shorthair cats. They have the same physical appearances and personality but the longhair cats can prefer limited hugs and cuddles. These cats are more prone to health issues but the shorthair cats are more healthy. Except for these traits, they have almost everything in common.