For all of the cat lovers and cat owners that are in the world today, you are or may already be aware that there are tons of cat breeds to choose from to love and keep you company. These many breeds come in all shapes and sizes, as well as temperaments and personalities; However, when it comes to popularity among pet owners, one of the cat breeds that is most commonly found in the home is that of the British Shorthair. With its unique physical features, solidly built body, and generally good temperament, it is most certainly a feline that is a force to be reckoned with. So, what do you need to know before you decide to commit to a British Shorthair for your family pet? We are here to help. In this article, we are going to reveal to you twenty things that you more than likely didn’t know about the British Shorthair cat breed, and what to expect if you decide to bring one of these beautiful felines into your home. With that said, let’s get started with our count down of 20 fun facts you didn’t know about this amazing breed:
They Are Known To Lean Toward Obesity
As we have mentioned before, the British Shorthair is one of the bigger breeds of cats that can be found among cat breeds today. Their stocky appearance can vary depending on the cat that you have and its breeding, but typically, once they reach maturity, males will average about 9 to 17 pounds, while female will reach an average weight of about 7 to 12 pounds. However, because of their body type, the British Shorthair will often tip the scales toward obesity, regardless of their breeding or crossbreeding. It is important for owners of this cat breed to keep track of their weight gain, as obesity in these felines can also lead to other detrimental health conditions as they age, such as diabetes, heart disease and problems, respiratory problems, and other issues that could prove to be fatal. This is also crucial as the majority of British Shorthairs don’t get the adequate amount of exercise and/or activity that is necessary to maintain a healthy weight in general.
They Come In A Bevvy Of Colors
Although it is more common to see the British Shorthair with its bluish grey or silvery colored fur and copper colored eyes, the cat breeds can also be found in other color combos, and far beyond your possible imagination. The breed can actually come in a variety of colors when it comes to their fur, including gold, red, black, and white along with the blue and silver colors that are so often found. Their fur can also have various differentiations when it comes to patterning (like striping or tabby patterns) and other features as well. Even their eyes come in different colors depending on their breeding, and can include the copper color we know to other colors on the spectrum (from gold to even blue-green). This differentiation will be prevalent in breeding, so if you are looking for a specific color combo, you might want to do your research with breeders that are available.
They Are Typically A Healthy Breed Of Cat
Aside from their potential for obesity that is ever prevalent, the British Shorthair is one of the cat breeds that is often known for its clean bill of health. In fact, with proper care and regular visits to the vet, many British Shorthairs have been known to live to be up to twenty years old, and have a full, long life at that. With that said, it is crucial for owners to keep a watchful eye on their diet and their possibility to overeat, as we have mentioned previously. Since the breed is not quite as energetic and agile as others that are well known, they don’t often get the necessary exercise and activity that they need to maintain a healthy weight, which can, as we said before, lead to a variety of potential health problems in the future. So, if you want your British Shorthair to live that full and long life that it can possibly lead, make sure to keep their health, and their weight, in check on a regular basis, and make sure you are ready for that long commitment as well!
They Have Unique Features That Make Them Stand Out
When you see a British Shorthair in person or in photo, the first thing that you will notice is its striking features. British Shorthairs tend to have stockier and more muscular bodies, and are typically a medium to large size domestic cat. The most common color fur is that of a blue-grey coloration, and is often paired with the most striking copper colored eyes. They also have a very broadened and oddly shaped face that is quite unique from other breeds that we commonly see. All of these features make the British Shorthair truly one of a kind.
They Are Fairly Easy Going Cats
The British Shorthair is an easy going breed that loves affection, but not all the time. They are known to follow their owners around the house; However, they don’t necessarily need to be pet and be dependent on someone all of the time. They also only have a moderate to slight playfulness to them, and would rather just sit on the couch next to you to relax for the majority of their day. With that said, when they do get a bit of a playful edge to their personality, they will go crazy for just a small amount of time, running around and letting loose their energy. They make excellent cats for a family home, especially one that is on the busier side of the spectrum, but they don’t always want to be carried around and held, due to their larger size.
Rise To Fame On Social Media
Along with its rise in popularity among other cat breeds just based on their personality and temperament, the British Shorthair has also made a particular rise to fame in the social media universe, and all thanks to one meme in particular. Back in 2007, Hawaiian blogger Eric Nakagawa stumbled upon a picture of a British Shorthair with the happiest of appearances and with the caption ‘I Can Has Cheezburger”. This one picture then inspired the blogger to create a website based on the “I Can Has Cheezburger” phrase, which then led to more hilarious cat pictures and memes, and eventually a monetized website that was once a blog. In short, his blog made about $2 million in 2007 alone, and also founded the Cheezburger Network, which helps to spread other social humor based websites.
They Are Considered One Of The Oldest Cat Breeds
Although they are originally from England (as you can tell from their name), the British Shorthair is actually seen to be one of the oldest cat breeds that is in existence today, based on their ancestry that has been concluded by much research. There are many who believe that the breed could in fact be descendants of cats that originally came from Rome via the ancient Egyptians way back in the day. They eventually made their way to England when Rome invaded the country in 43 CE, where it is more than likely that the Romans brought their beloved cats with them during that time. Although the ancestry may be a bit under question, there is no doubt that the breed has been around for many centuries, even if it wasn’t recognized as a full cat breed for quite some time.
They Are Excellent Family Cats
As we have mentioned previously, and as we will continue to elude to further in the article, the British Shorthair is one of the most excellent breeds when it comes to temperament, and having them in the family home. Because they are so easy going, they are willing to play with children and other pets that may be in the home; Along with that, they are also able to have their independence, and to make their exit from a situation when need be. They also are very well mannered no matter who is in your home, whether it be strangers or family, big or small. They will look for affection initially, but they won’t go seeking it for the long run, or become a pest to get that pat on the head.
They Are Very Intelligent Cats
This is probably not as surprising of a fact, as there are many cat breeds in the world today who are extremely intelligent as well. Nevertheless, the British Shorthair is one of those breeds who oozes intelligence, so it is recommended for owners of these felines to get them interactive toys and other play things for them to spend time with during their day, regardless of their activity level. While most of the time, they tend to be pretty chill creatures, they do have their moments when they run around and look for something to do, and this is where the toys will lend to their intelligence and curiosity.
They’ve Got A Crazy, Built In Smile On Their Face
If you think you are imagining that you see your British Shorthair smile at you, you may not be seeing things at all. It is all because of the specific placement of their whisker pads located on their face, which causes them to have a permanent smile no matter what they are doing. This sort of smile is one of the features that makes this feline so popular among cat owners and cat lovers all across the world, and what has more than likely made them the inspiration for so many characters throughout the years (as we will discuss later in this article).
They Are The Most Popular Breed Internationally
As we have mentioned, the British Shorthair is one of the most popular breeds in our nation, topping the charts left and right. This popularity also maintains across the pond, as the British Shorthair has become the most popular breed of cat to own and love in Great Britain (its native country) as well as other Eastern European countries and Russia. The cat breed has held a top spot on several of the lists that have been produced for almost twenty years now, and it looks like there is no stopping these felines any time soon.
The Breed Has Inspired Many Characters
Because of its broadened face and other distinctly recognizable features, the British Shorthair has been used as the model for many famous animated felines throughout the years. Some of the most common characters that you will know are that of Puss In Boots (from the ‘Shrek’ franchise), and even the Cheshire Cat (from ‘Alice in Wonderland). Now that we’ve pointed out these familiar faces, you might be more interested in finding out other character felines that have been modeled after the popular breed.
They Were Once Bred As Hunting Cats
Once upon a time, and many years ago, The British Shorthair was actually bred to act as a hunting cat, going out and looking for food to bring back to their families for them to eat each day. This is obviously quite different from the British Shorthairs that we see today, who are often seen as the couch potato, ready to relax and sit around all day long. While their energy and activity level has decreased over the years with breeding and evolution, we still see the loving and compassionate breed that existed so many years ago.
They Are Often Referred To As The ‘Bulldog’ Of The Feline World
Because of their stocky frame and muscular physique, the British Shorthair is a cat breed that is most commonly referred to as the ‘Bulldog’ of cats. However, just like the English Bulldog that many are familiar with, the British Shorthair is a breed that is nothing of a brute whatsoever (as we have clearly pointed out throughout the article). They are a chill and fun loving companion, who want nothing more than to be loved by their favorite humans and spend their days relaxing on the family couch. However, this isn’t their only nickname that they have acquired in their many yeas as a popular breed; Many refer to the British Shorthair as the ‘teddy bear breed’ due to its unique facial features, and plush persona.
They Are Typically A Quiet Breed
When it comes to their voices, the British Shorthair is often known for having a quiet and well mannered voice. In fact, if you have a British Shorthair in your home, or are planning to get one soon, you will want to be prepared for hardly any meowing at all. They are known to be quiet and calm cats, when compared to other breeds that are out in the world today. Fun fact: Although they are known to be extremely quiet, there was one point in time when a British Shorthair actually held the record for the loudest purr. The purr was recorded by Guinness World Records, and was reportedly known to be almost as loud as a lawn mower. Fortunately, the majority of British Shorthairs aren’t that loud, and that is what makes them so great to have in the home.
The British Shorthair’s ‘Biggest Fan’
A man who was also known to many as the ‘Father of Cat Fancy’ — Harrison Weir — Was a gentleman who lived for cats, especially the breed of his native country, the British Shorthair. He is said to have actually introduced and showcased the British Shorthair breed in an event that was located at London’s Crystal Palace back in 1871 (Fun fact: This is thought to be one of the first cat shows to have been held). Weir spread his knowledge of the breed, as well as other cat breeds during the time, world wide, including in books he had written, like “Our Cats and All About Them” which was released in 1889.
They Are Normally An Indoor Cat
While there are some cat breeds in our world today who operate as indoor and outdoor cats, or even just entirely outdoor cats, the majority of British Shorthair breeders will often recommend to keep your cat indoors for the entirety of its life. Although the one main reason for this is to keep them at bay from contracting any potential diseases or ailments, there really is no other reasoning behind the decision to keep them completely indoors other than the fact that it is how things have been for as long as many can remember. Many of the breeders who you contact will ask you if you plan to keep them indoors or not, and will recommend the indoors only regardless.
They Are One Of The Most Expensive Cat Breeds In The World
As we will discuss in a bit, the British Shorthair cat breed is one of the most expensive cat breeds that exists in our society today. When buying from a pure bred British Shorthair breeder, you will often be paying anywhere from $800 to $1500 for a kitten. This pricing, of course, is often quite dependent on breeding specifics, including coloration, pedigree, and other factors that can come into play. It is also possible to find cheaper British Shorthair kittens and mature cats if you look to adopt from rescue organizations or other shelters where they could possibly be found. As we will talk about shortly, because of the breed’s major worth and high pedigree, they can often be seen as a jewel in the world of cats to many individuals all across the globe.
They Can Cause A Bit Of Controversy Now And Again…
And not in the way you’re probably thinking. As we eluded to just a moment ago, the British Shorthair cats, especially those that are located throughout Europe and Russia, have been in the middle of some strange news stories throughout the years, and typically because of their high pedigree and worth. Some included collectors trying to take a man’s British Shorthair and her three kittens in exchange for unpaid taxes, while another story consisted of a British Shorthair being kidnapped in exchange for 5000 euros ( the owners paid the ransom, by the way, and got their cat back in a public park). It’s hard to believe that some of these stories are actually reality, right?
This Breed Almost Went Extinct At One Point In Time
It may seem surprising, what with its current popularity that finds them in the homes of many all throughout the world, the British Shorthair actually went extinct at one point. There were many factors that attributed to close extinction, including the increase in popularity of long haired domestic cats as opposed to shorthair breeds, along with the lack of breeding in general during both World War I and World War II. Luckily, during that time, there were individuals who saw the imminent extinction, and thought to crossbred the British Shorthair with other cat breeds, and they were able to make a comeback. After that rise in breed population once again, the British Shorthair was officially recognized as a cat breed by the Cat Fancier’s Association in the year 1980.
Needless to say, the British Shorthair is one show stopper of a feline when it comes to the many cat breeds that we see today. With their unique facial features (and other physical features), as well as its good mannered temperament, it has been able to inspire many fantastic characters and win the hearts of fans throughout its many years in existence. It is no question as to why this breed has become so popular not only in the United States, but also in other regions all across the globe, and why there is no stopping its rise to fame any time soon. If you are interested in buying your own British Shorthair, or even finding possible places to adopt a British Shorthair, you can find breeder and other organization information online or even at your local vet clinic or animal shelter. Don’t hesitate in joining the many individuals all around the world who have come to know and love the cunning, stocky, and beloved British Shorthair.