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British Shorthairs

Characteristics

This breed of cat is known for its calm and pleasant manner. Most British Shorthairs are very docile, affectionate and adapt easily to different living conditions. The kittens like to play until they are a year or two old, after which they become less agile. They are moderately curious, intelligent, clever cats, and do not know how to be pushy. When they realise that their owner is busy, British cats will find a corner and snooze as quietly as possible. One of the most important features of these cats is that they are non-aggressive, which is very important for those with children. When left alone, they do not get bored and get on well with other pets. If they see that there is a dog in the room with them, they will first examine it from a distance and then slowly walk closer and closer to the object of their interest. Sometimes they sleep for hours, but they are very fond of cuddles and petting, as well as interacting with family members. These cats are not attached to any one person, but like visitors. Although they are peaceful, their patience has its limits: they are cats with character and do not hide their displeasure if something goes wrong. This is well betrayed by a slightly intimidating look, but this cat will never shake a person when angered. The first thing it will do is hide from too much attention or warn you several times with its voice and body expression that it does not want to interact.

Appearance

British Shorthair cats have a very sweet appearance. The coat is short, coarse and firm, the head round, the cheeks large, the eyes wide open and round, and the ears short and round-tipped. A massive and robust build, strong short legs ending in round feet and a short blunt tail are distinctive features of the British cat’s distinctive appearance.

Development

These cats develop at a moderate pace. Often they do not reach their full development and characteristic appearance until the second or third year of life. Often, after giving birth, females regain their shape and look even more beautiful than before pregnancy. The weight of this breed varies between 3 and 6 kg. Males can weigh more. It should also be mentioned that the body shape is determined by the history of origin. Generally, solid-coloured Brittanys are large, like their ancestors, whereas the new generation of marbled kittens are smaller. There are currently 60 British cat colours recognised by FIFe, the World Association of Felinologists. The oldest colour is blue (popularly known as grey). In addition to lilac, chocolate, black, white, cream and red are the most common. The coats of the most recently bred cats are often marked, i.e. the coat colour range consists of several colours and patterns: marbled, spotted, tiger, silver and other combinations of two or more colours.

When judging a cat, orange (copper-coloured) eyes are preferred, but they may also be green, blue or emerald (greenish-bluish).

All cat coat colours are indicated by lower case letters, patterns and eye colours by numbers. The breed abbreviation is always capitalised before the coat colour, e.g. a blue British Shorthair’s identification code would be BRI a. In this case, BRI refers to the breed (British Shorthair) and the lower case letter a refers to the colour (blue). Each colour has a different code, e.g. a cream-coloured British Shorthair is BRI e, a chocolate-coloured British Shorthair is BRI b and so on.

According to the FIFe system, British Shorthair cats are categorised as Category III of IV. This is the category for Shorthair and Somali cats.

It should not be forgotten that British Shorthair cats have been crossed with Persian cats, so some of them have the long-hair gene, which results in the Bristish Longhair. They are copies of the British Shorthair, but with long hair. Unfortunately, the FIFe system does not yet recognise the British Longhair as a separate breed.

Care

British Shorthairs are carnivores that need a well-balanced diet in order to stay healthy. According to the ASPCA, it’s important to feed your pet at least once a day. While canned cat food can be handy, British Shorthairs are more accustomed to eating fresh foods than other breeds. In order to get the best out of your pet’s diet, try mixing in some raw chicken or cooked fish with their daily ration. Traditionally, these cats were kept by their owners barefoot, so they’re not used to being groomed. If you want to take advantage of those sharp claws and razor-sharp teeth, you’ll need to start brushing them now and then.

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