The British shorthair breed is undeniably one of the most mesmerizing cats in the world. According to the Cat Fancier’ Association Incorporated, they rank third (read more) as the most popular cat breed back in 2020.
Well, how can you ever disagree with their impressive coat and stocky appearance? Because of their bulky and massive size, these felines are regarded as the “bulldog” of the cat kingdom by many cat lovers.
But what else made them so great and famous? Are they as good as people say? Would they be a good choice as a pet? Well, buckle up your seat belts as we take you on a quick ride to the cat kingdom. We will cover all about this feline breed, including their history, appearance, temperament, and more.
The Bittersweet History Of British Shorthairs
The origin story of the British shorthair, or called Brits for short, first started centuries ago. Their ancestor is a European cat found in alleys around the continent. About two thousand years ago, these alley cats were brought by the Romans to England.
It is believed that the alley cat mated with a European wildcat resulting in a stockier, dense-coated offspring now we call the British Shorthair. But the story does not end there; the British shorthairs were not recognized as a separate breed. Before, you can simply find them in the streets, as people paid no mind about these felines until the 1800s.
Harrison Weir, regarded as the father of cat associations and a feline enthusiast, loved these street cats. He loved them so much that he and his old British shorthair participated in the world’s first modern feline competition. It occurred in London’s crystal palace (link: https://harrisonweir.com/cat-shows/), and they managed to win a prize. After witnessing the triumph of the underdog- or in this case, undercat- the people slowly changed their opinions until they finally recognized them as a separated cat breed.
The new breed was gaining popularity fast, but unfortunately, it did not last long. By the 1900s, long-hair exotic cat breeds such as Persians were brought to England and quickly replaced Brits in popularity. After being topped by the new arrival, the Brits continued to fall in fame. It was so bad that the breed almost disappeared by the end of World War 2.
Because of the rapid disappearance of the breed, cat enthusiasts and dedicated breeders around the globe started to revive the numbers of Brits. It took them years of effort to succeed. The remaining Brits were bred into other cats, resulting in varieties of offspring. Not only did it revive the population of the Brits, but beautiful hybrids were also born! We got to thank the contributing breeds like Russian Blue, Chartreux, and Persian cats for their efforts.
Today, Brits now gradually increase in fame and numbers once more. They occupy the third seat as the most popular cat breeds in the world. And they would continue to exist and live on for many years to come.
British shorthairs have a broad, well-balanced body and are massive in size compared to other domestic cats. Their head is round, their ears far apart, and their eyes are wide, round, and expressive! Their coats are the defining features of the breed.
Their plushy coat feels so soft it’s like your finger bounces back when you touch them. The fur is not double-coated, unlike other breeds, but they make up for it with their thick density. The Brits also have a cousin that looks like them, but with a longer coat- and they are called British Longhair.
Colors And Patterns
The most popular color for Brits is the solid darkish gray, or blue, according to cat associations. The gray color was mostly from the breeds that contributed to the revival of the Brits, as they were mostly gray. However, this breed sports in colors like red, cream, silver, gold, black, and of course, the white British shorthair is also well sought out. They also have different patterns like shaded, colorpoint, tabby, and bicolor.
British shorthairs are known for their calm nature. They are equally loving to each family member, and they are affectionate to an extent. However, they cannot be considered the clingy type of breed. Brits are also polite cats that would jump over you when you are in their way instead of walking all over you.
Brits are not the kind of cats that would sit on your lap- they find it uncomfortable, so do not even try it! They mostly lay right beside you for some feline-loving. Another thing they hate is being picked up and held. Brits do not show much aggression to anyone, but they would try their best to escape when you are holding them and make discontented noises.
British shorthairs are one of those cats that have sudden bursts of energy. Don’t be surprised when you see them running around the house, making a fuss, and biting or scratching their toys. Don’t be alarmed because these outbursts are typical, and they would come back to doing their favorite thing: doing nothing!
So Are They Good As Pets?
The short answer is yes. Brits are perfect for any household environment, as long as you can supply their basic needs. Their loving nature will come in handy when you’re trying to relieve stress. However, do not let your kids pick them up or carry them for the sake of both parties. So, if you do want to adopt a cat, consider adopting a British shorthair!