Is the British Shorthair the Perfect Cat For You?

If your home has a rodent problem, then you must not own a British Shorthair. These big cats may look placid and lazy, but they are actually great hunters. After all, the British Shorthair is descended from Britain’s barn and house cats.

This breed was created in the late nineteenth century. Despite its early popularity, the British Shorthair almost became extinct in the mid twentieth century, as other breeds were developed. Luckily, a few Shorthair fanciers were determined to save this wonderful, historic breed and the British Shorthair was saved. In the late twentieth century, these cats reached the United States, where they immediately became extremely popular.

Although you can find a British Shorthair in a wide range of colors, including orange eyed or blue eyed white, red or silver tabby, tortoiseshell, smoke, bicolors, and points, the most popular color is probably blue. In fact, blue British Shorthairs were so popular in the United States that they were the only color recognized by cat associations for many years. This color, called the British Blue, almost disappeared after World War II. Dedicated cat fanciers bred the remaining British Blues to Blue Persians to increase the gene pool and save this beautiful cat.

This breed is on the large side, weighing in at a hefty nine to eighteen pounds. British Shorthair cats have a short tail that is on the broad side, a round head with wide cheeks, and a thick, short coat.

Although the British Shorthair is fairly laid back, this is not a breed that is interested in being picked up and cuddled. In fact, these cats hate being picked up or handled so much that many cat fanciers say that they should be re-named the ‘four feet on the ground’ breed. As long as you allow him to do his own thing, your Shorthair will be happy. If you are looking for a cat that wants to snuggle in your lap as you watch television, you may be quite disappointed with the British Shorthair breed.

For people who can’t spend a lot of time at home, this cat breed is ideal. The British Shorthair is very self contained and does not spend a lot of time playing or socializing. As long as you are there to feed him each morning and can give him a little attention each evening, he will be a happy cat.

Since this breed is a descendant of several gene pools, it is generally a healthy breed. However, there is one thing you should be aware of. While most cats have Type-A blood, many British Shorthairs have the more rare Type-B blood type. You should consider having your kitten tested to find out which type of blood he has in case he needs emergency surgery in the future. You should be sure to have your veterinarian make a note of your cat’s blood type in his medical chart so that there are no unnecessary complications.

Since these cats have such thick, coarse coats, you will need to do very little grooming. However, you should comb through your Shorthair’s coat once a week to remove loose hair and dirt.

If you need an undemanding cat, then the British Shorthair may be the perfect choice for you.

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