British Shorthair breed was developed in Europe from non-pedigree cats.

British Shorthair Cat

British Shorthair has been one of the most popular breeds in cat shows. The felines make great companions and are quite intelligent and affable, making it one of the most favorite breed among both cat trainers and animal lovers. British Shorthairs have been featured in a lot of Hollywood films and television commercials as well due to their knack of learning tricks speedily and spontaneously. Since 1999, it has been the most popular breed of cat registered by the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, overtaking Siamese breed. In the following lines, we have provided information about the history, appearance and temperament of British Shorthair.

The history of British Shorthair dates back to the Roman period. These cats were mostly, domesticated and became working cats, catching rodents. There are two different versions of how British Shorthair came into being. While some believe that Harrison Weir created the breed, the others are of the opinion that a group of cat lovers selectively bred the best examples of these working cats and they were developed into a pedigree breed. In 1871, the cats were exhibited at the first cat show, organized by Harrison Weir at Crystal Palace.

The British shorthair variety gained immense popularity and dominated the cat shows until 1896, when the longhair cats started dominating. Since then, shorthairs started declining in numbers. It was in 1901 that a group of cat lovers formed a Short-haired Cat Society, which catered for the British Shorthair. However, the situation got worse, during the World War I, when British Shorthair, along with other breeds, were almost destroyed. At the end of World War I, the breeders tried to re-establish the breed.

The British Shorthairs were mated with the Persian cats. However, GCCF objected to their use and the offspring were once mated back to the British Shorthair. It was the after three generations that they were permitted and registered as British Shorthairs. After the World War II, the breed again diminished. Though the breeders turned to the unregistered domestics, Russian Blue's & Chartreaux to restore the breed, it was of no avail, as the litter did not match the characteristics of British Shorthair. This is because Persians were once again used to re-create the look of the British type.

Muscular and sturdy, British Shorthair vary from being medium to large sized cat. Sporting a 'cobby' build, the cat has short, heavy boned legs with round paws. It has a short to medium length tail, a broad chest, shoulders and hips. Talking about its facial features, British Shorthair has a massive and rounded head with a broad skull, small and wide apart ears and large and round eyes. While the male species have an average weight of about 5 to 10 kilograms, the females weigh anywhere between 5 to 7 kilograms. Unlike other cat breeds, male British Shorthairs are easily distinguishable from its female counterparts. The feline is mostly found in colors, such as black, blue, white, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon and fawn, of which chocolate and lilac are relatively new.

Easy going, amicable and friendly, British Shorthairs are affable pets. Though they are playful and mischievous as kittens, once old, they become less active than their young counterparts. Another distinctive characteristics of these felines is that they are fairly independent breed of cat and do not demand attention of the owner. Instead of sitting close to you, these cats would prefer a comfortable place at the home from where they can supervise the household activities. As such, British Shorthairs are perfect for people who are working. Overall, these are calm, quiet, independent and affable cats.