The British Shorthair is a medium/large-sized cat breed with a broad chest, short, muscular legs, round paws and a thick tail. Its head is round with large eyes and a short but broad nose.
The British Shorthair’s single coat is short and dense yet plush in texture. Blue tends to be the most popular and well-known coat colour, but British Shorthairs can also come in black, white, red, cream, silver, golden, tortoiseshell, cinnamon and fawn (and some associations accept chocolate and lilac); these colours may come in solid, colourpoint, tabby, shaded or bicolour. Their eyes can come in deep gold, orange or copper.
British Shorthairs tend to be rather large cats, usually weighing around 7 kg, though some can weigh as little as 4 kg and some as much as 9 kg. They stand between 30 and 35.5 cm tall. The lifespan of the British Shorthair is 14 to 20 years.
Frequently referred to as “gentle giants”, British Shorthairs are easy-going, friendly and affectionate cats that make great family companions. They’re loyal and will follow their owners wherever they go, but they are not desperate for attention and are quite quiet.
Very energetic and playful as kittens, British Shorthairs tend to calm down around the age of 1, and as they become older can become couch potatoes.
They are more suited to being indoor cats as they do not possess the curiosity of other breeds that so often gets them into trouble, nor are they likely to wander off.
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The British Shorthair originated in city streets around Britain in the 19th century. A man named Harrison Weir is credited with the creation of the breed we see today. He was very fond of the cat and selected the strongest ones he could find and began to breed them.
In the 1890s, however, due to the importation of Persian Cats and other exotic breeds, the Shorthair dropped in popularity almost to the point of extinction. Modern British Shorthairs may share Persian or Russian Blue DNA having been bred with them to help the breed survive.
The breed was first recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association by the late 1970s and as of 2013 it is ranked as the 5th most popular cat breed in the US.
British Shorthair Rescue Australia: http://britishshorthair.rescueme.org/au