The British Shorthair has a rags to riches history. Descended from the cats introduced into England during the Roman times the breed had centuries of “living rough” alongside man which produced a line of strong, self-sufficient, hardy cats. Nineteenth century author and artist, Harrison Weir, was admired by these cats’ natural sturdiness and intelligence that he started selectively breeding the most outstanding specimens he could find and developed them into a breed.


The British Shorthair is a sturdy, compact looking cat with a large round head and a deep-chested, cobby body. Their coat is short, dense, plush and “crisp”, not soft to the touch.

Because of their dense coat, the British Shorthair is exceptionally hardy and resistant to cold and has a stamina born of countless generations of life in all kinds of weather.

One of their distinctions is in the wide range of beautiful coat colourings – anything from traditional solids to tabby, tortoiseshell and new hues and patterns such as lilac and white bi-colour and silver spotted tabby. Of all these, blue has remained the favourite throughout the years.


A British Shorthair is a delight to own, being intelligent and affectionate. Someone once said that British Shorthairs are typically British in temperament: they have a strong character but are rather reserved by nature. They demand less attention than other breeds, although they love it, and are not at all pushy and are just the cat to cope with busy lifestyles.

Adaptable to their surroundings, the British Shorthair generally gets on well with dogs and other cats. They are extremely resilient when interacting with children and their placid, easy going, unflappable nature means they take almost anything in their stride.


The British Shorthair’s fur is short and tangle-free, making it easy to groom. A light brush through is all they need to keep their coat nice and neat.


For the latest research in breed-related problems in British Shorthair cats, visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.

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