British Shorthair

Compared to most shorthair breeds, British Shorthairs are relatively calm cats when they mature. They are easygoing in nature and talk infrequently. Very affectionate, they become quite attached to the people they own. British Shorthairs are easily trained and very adaptable. They seem to get along well with all human members of the household, regardless of age, but are usually not fond of being carried. Pets of all kinds have been kept with British Shorthairs, including dogs of all sizes, rabbits, and birds. British Shorthairs are not known for being acrobats and can tend to be clumsy at times. No breed specific, health related problems plague the British Shorthair.

About the Breed

These are sturdy, dense-coated, purring, teddy bear cats with large round eyes. Another thing that draws people to the British Shorthair is their size. Although they are not huge like the Maine Coon, they are a medium to large cat. They are a slow maturing breed and do not reach their full size until three years of age. Mature males avergae nine to seventeen pounds, and mature females average seven to twelve pounds. Although most people think of them as being blue cats, they come in a number of colors and patterns. Not every blue cat is a British Shorthair. It is still considered one of the minority breeds in CFA.

Probably the oldest English breed of cat, the British Shorthair can trace its ancestry back to the domestic cats of Rome. This breed was first prized for its physical strength and hunting ability. Today, the most they usually hunt is for their own food bowls. In 1871, at the Crystal Palace cat show British Shorthairs were first shown as a breed, indeed Best in Show was awarded to a blue tabby British Shorthair female! By 1910, no cat had done as well as brother and sister British Shorthair silver tabbies, male CH Jimmy, and female CH Laurel Queen. There are today many different colours of British shorthairs, from the original and more recognisable British Blues, other include black, red, chocolate, white, tortoiseshell, silver series, bi-colours and colour points, more recently fawn, lilac and cinnamon have been added as well has tipped and ghost patterns. British Shorthairs may have started out as street cats in the United Kingdom, but with plenty of hard work from breeders all over the world, the British Shorthair has become a force to be reckoned with on the CFA show bench, having been recognized as a breed in May 1980. Thanks to the British "teddy bear" look they have become the most popular breed of United Kingdom and now in Malaysia too. They are now beautiful, much-loved cats internationally.

CFA Standard of Points for the British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is compact, well-balanced and powerful, showing a good depth of body, a full broad chest, short to medium strong legs, rounded paws, tail thick at base with a rounded tip. The head is round with good width between the ears, round cheeks, firm chin, medium ears, large round and well-opened eyes, and a medium broad nose. The coat is short and very dense. Females are less massive in all respects with males having larger jowls. This breed takes a full 3-5 years to reach full maturity and development. Individuals should convey an overall impression of balance and proportion in which no feature is exaggerated to foster weakness or extremes.

HEAD: round and massive. Round face with round underlying bone structure well set on a short thick neck. The forehead should be rounded with a slight flat plane on the top of the head. The forehead should not slope.

NOSE: medium, broad. In profile, there is a gentle dip.

CHIN: firm, well-developed in line with the nose and upper lip.

MUZZLE: distinctive, well-developed, with a definite stop beyond large, round whisker pads.

EARS: ear set is important. Medium in size, broad at the base, rounded at the tips. Set far apart, fitting into (without distorting) the rounded contour of the head.

EYES: large, round, well opened. Set wide apart and level.

BODY: medium to large, well-knit and powerful. Level back and a deep broad chest.

LEGS: short to medium, well-boned and strong. In proportion to the body. Forelegs are straight.

PAWS: round and firm. Toes: five in front and four behind.

TAIL: medium length in proportion to the body, thicker at the base, tapering slightly to a rounded tip.

COAT: short, very dense, well bodied and firm to the touch. Not double coated or woolly.