The British Short hair breed is one of the largest breeds of cats in the world, and probably the oldest breed of British feline. The ancestors of this cat date back to the time of the Romans in England who imported them from their native Rome. This breed was highly prized for its sheer strength, endurance and highly successful hunting skills. Equally important is the tranquil temperament and loyalty to humans which are an intrinsic part of this breed’s character.
The British Shorthair is known for its quiet easygoing temperament, along with its calm character and undemanding nature and has been a firm favourite with cat fanciers for centuries. Usually living well into their early teens, this popular breed can often live much longer with an average lifespan of around fifteen years.
Probably the most famous British Shorthair cat of all is the ‘Cheshire Cat’ in the classic children’s fairy tale by Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The popular British cat food brand ‘Whiskas’ features a silver tabby British Shorthair on much of its packaging.
Some would say these British cats embody many of the characteristics of the British people – they are calm with a big dose of typical British reserve, especially for first time meetings with strangers. Once they get to know you, their shyness falls away, and they become extremely friendly and highly faithful companions.
There are a huge number of colours, and colour combinations for British Shorthairs. The ‘British Blue’ colour became extremely popular, to the extent that it eventually had a breed name of its own. This colour is still very popular, but now there are many more different colours and patterns to consider when thinking of this breed as a pet.
Choices of colour for British Shorthairs include blue, red, chocolate, black, cinnamon, lilac and fawn. Even more variety is available when one considers that all these individual colours can be the same colour all over, as well as mixed with tabby, or being bi-coloured. Without getting too complicated, all these colours and patterns are also available in tortoiseshell, which is actually cream and red, combined with other shades.
British Shorthairs are ideal family cats, showing their loyalty and affection to everyone in the family, rather than selecting one individual with whom to bond. The typical personality of a shorthair could be described as sweet and affectionate, but not in a dependent way. Actually, this breed tend to be very independent, thus making them one of the top choices of breed for indoor apartment living.