Related file: British Breed Profile (PDF)
Related article: Article by Dana L. Jacobs
The breed was developed in Europe going back as far as Roman times where they used them to guard their food stores and keep out vermin, as well as being domestic companions.
The British Shorthair breed itself became recognized in the 1950`s with the British blue cat as that was the only color then, but they now come in a variety of colors as diverse as: white, black, blue, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, tortoiseshell, blue-cream and the latest cinnamon and fawn, with white added they become bi and tri colors. Patterned cats include the tortie, tabby, spotted, colorpointed and tipped. Eye color varies from gold to copper in the self's (one colored coat) and the bi and tri colors to green in the tipped, hazel in the tabby's and spotted, and blue in the colorpointed.
British shorthair breed is the largest and the oldest breed amongst Shorthair cats. British cats are very sturdy, powerful cats with a crisp, short, "plush" kind of coat. Their head is very round and big, however needs to be in proportion with the body size. Round chubby cheeks create on open and sweet expression. They got the looks of a little bears. Ears are set apart medium to small. The biggest accent in the British appearance is large round shape eyes. Bright copper color is proffered. However, for silvers green color is also acceptable. Heavily muscled neck should be blending with massive torso creating the look of "no neck". Torso is wide, rounded, and muscular with broad wide chest. Legs are short to medium length, slightly less that body length. Tail is thick and straight in length (2/3 of the body).
At this time we only have bred blue, blue-white, lilac and lilac-white colors, but in the future we are planning to have a color-pointed program.
No one can resist charm of quite and even-tempered "teddy-bears". The Cheshire smile on their face gives them unique and unforgettable look. British Shorthairs will make ideal family pets. Their territorial "desires" somewhat represented. However, from my personal experience, fixed British males just do not spray. For example, my Sammy boy knows that litter box is the only place in the house where he can get a little "dirty". There is certainly an explanation to that. British shorthair cats has been domesticated a long time ago and a lot of wild instincts are starting to faint.
Their coats require low maintenance. Grooming them weekly with a brush just do the job. I usually give them a bath just before the show. My female cats are extremely clean. What can I add more to it - they are "true" British "ladies". This breed is loyal to their owners, intelligent and playful as kittens. However, they are also called slow "bloomers". Cats will be fully matured by the age of five. The life expectancy for Brits is 18-20 years. This breed is known as healthiest breed with fewer health problems.
As all the other breeds Brits are not an exception - they are independent, but they do need your company. They will follow you everywhere you go and would watch you for hours. Some "go" for a cup of coffee in in the morning, some like to go in "bed" with you.
Here you can find Breeding profile BSH/BLH of the TICA: British Breed Profile (PDF format)
Please let me say a few words about the special British Longhair kittens we have from time to time.
The longhair gene came into the British Breed pool with outcross with Persians, to get new colors in BSH and to save the breed during WII which was allowed for a long time. Now it is no longer necessary to breed BSH/Persians, but the longhair gene was in British Blood-Lines.
The longhair gene is a recessive gene and can be carried by a British Shorthair Cat until you can't see it. Therefore, two shorthairs can become longhaired kittens, and yes, they're pure, and also getting a normal pedigree in TICA, named on British Longhair (BLH). Our Barsi, Arjella and Ksusha carry the longhair gene. And we love to have these little cuddle monsters in their litters! Look at Grady, he is becomming a great big round Longhaired Cat. His owner Jo Ann is very proud of him!
The BLH are very special, they're so affectionate and always purring, they love their people, follow them everywhere, if you'd ever had a BLH you'd never change this cat with a BSH because of their very special temperament. Especially children love it, when a cat loves to be carried around - and BLH love it!