British Shorthair


Basic Information

Other Name
Highlander, Highland Straight, Britannica
United Kingdom
Life Span
12-17 years
Dense, Plush, and Short
Blue, Brown, Cream, Red, Silver, Tabby and White, and Tortoise Shell
9 - 15 Pounds



The British Shorthair is solid and muscular with an easygoing personality. As befits his British heritage, he is slightly reserved, but once he gets to know someone he’s quite affectionate. His short, dense coat comes in many colors and patterns and should be brushed two or three times a week to remove dead hair. The British Shorthair has a crisp, plush coat, dense and waterproof, over a compact, cobby body. It has a full chest, and medium to short thick legs. The Shorthair is a working cat, and it personifies this standard with power and strength. It is medium to large in size, with a well knit body and powerful muscles. The head is massive and round, with wide, round eyes set atop a short, thick neck. It might be described as a Bulldog of the feline world. Ears are broad and rounded, the whisker pads are full and round, giving the Shorthair a teddy bear appearance with an upturned mouth -- giving the impression of a smile.

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When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought cats with them to help protect their food supplies from rodents along the way. The Romans eventually left, but the cats remained behind, conquering a country with only their charm. When the breeding of pedigreed cats became a fad in Victorian England, the British Shorthair (known simply as the Shorthair in Britain) was one of the first varieties to be developed. The Longhair came about when breeders made crosses to Persians during World War I. As with so many breeds, British Shorthairs almost died out during World War II, victims of food shortages that left breeders unable to feed their cats. After the war, the breed was revived with crosses to domestic shorthairs, Russian Blues, Persians and other cats. The American Cat Association recognized the British Blue in 1967, The International Cat Association in 1979 and the Cat Fanciers Association in 1980. In 2009, TICA recognized the British Longhair as a variety, the only cat association to do so.  

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