Europe has been homes to felines for thousands of years. Eurasia has been the point of origin for many feline species. Especially cats, they have been domesticated and cared for several millennia in Europe as well as Asia.
The cold and temperate climate of Europe gave rise to several breeds of cat that looked and behaved quite uniquely from their Asian counterparts. These were the fluffy, fat and adorable cats that became the favorite pets for European aristocracy and later for the ordinary people as well.
One such cat breed is the British shorthair cat. It may not look fluffy but is quite adorable and comforting to handle. This breed of cats is also one of the most interesting breeds in the West. Let’s know more about this breed.
Lifespan of the British shorthair
The breed has a good lifespan. Almost as good as that of dogs. The British Shorthair cat lives minimum for 12 years and maximum for 17 years. Therefore, if you are okay with a companion pet that will last for near around a decade or so, you can go for the British Shorthair cat.
Talking of the colors of this breed, the cat comes in colors like orange, blue, grayish, whitish and yellowish. However, the most recurring color of this cat is blue. The color can be confused with other similar hues such as gray or green, however, on close inspection, you can be sure that the color of the coat is blue. No wonder this cat is also called as the British Blues.
Let’s discuss the physical properties of this cat. These cats are usually round shaped, having broad shape and sturdy legs. The coats are not just short, but also thick and rich. The eye color of these cats can be either golden or blue eyes.
There are also those with golden and copper. Due to its looks, this cat can be confused for another remarkable breed, the Scottish Fold.
This breed also shows signs of sexual dimorphism just like humans. The males range in the weight 9 pounds to 17 pounds while the females generally weigh between 7 pounds to 12 pounds.
History and Origin
Not so surprisingly, the British Shorthair cat is the oldest breed in England. The legend has it that the breed originated in Egypt, and came along with Roman soldiers around the year 43 A.D. However, it was only during the Victorian Era that the breed was subjected to strict breeding practices which gave birth to the current British shorthair cat breed.
Earlier, the cat was owned only by the elite of England, was later came to be adopted by the common folk alike. Also, in the 1900s, the British Shorthair was cross-bred with Persian cats which led to the birth of the longhair gene in the breed. This led to a complete diversion of the breed and led to the creation of the British Longhair. It is speculated that the blue hue of the cat comes from breeding with a Russian breed.
Unfortunately, the breed was on the verge of extinction after the two World Wars. However, the practice of cross-breeding saved the breed. The American Cat Association included the breed in its catalog in 1967. And it wasn’t until the year 1979 that it was finally accepted in International Cat Association as well as the Cat Fanciers Association in 1980.
Caring For The British Shorthair Cat
All cats require some level of care. The British shorthair cat is one breed that does not require a ton of care, but there are a few things you should be aware of.
Your British Shorthair will experience shedding during certain seasons such as during spring and fall. Therefore, it is necessary to brush time during these times so that you can remove the loose hair. At other times, weekly brushing will be enough.
Fortunately, the breed doesn’t have many of the genetic diseases that other breeds suffer from. However, the British shorthairs are vulnerable to gingivitis and other cat dental issues, cardiomyopathy, hemophilia B and hypertrophic.
Also, they can suffer from obesity since the breed is gluttonous and has a largely sedentary lifestyle.
Given the above point that this breed can suffer from weight gain, you need to organize the nutrition of your cat.
Always make sure that you consult a veterinarian to optimize the diet of your cat. Always ensure that you are not feeding it any food that is high on bad carbs.
The cat is not very expensive to maintain, but you would still need to keep aside a substantial budget for its upkeep. Especially, for its food, the cat’s diet needs to be optimized to the best. Positively never, add any food items that can possibly bloat them or has high sugar and simple carb content.
The animal is not very active and hence you would not require to take your cat to a stroll.
The breed may not be as active and playful like other breeds but are rather easy-going and very casual. Perhaps, the biggest unique selling point of this cat is its dignified nature and being devoted to their masters.
As far as physical interaction is concerned, they are fairly tolerable. However, always remember that they do not like being picked up and carried.
They don’t need any particular kind of grooming apart from being brushed for shedding. Unlike a few other cat breeds, the British Shorthair is not at all aggressive and hence you can have them in your home when you have toddlers.
You can either buy this cat from previous owners or from cat breeding houses. However, it is highly recommended that you acquire this cat either from the streets or some animal welfare NGO center.
Instead of going for cats that are already well fed and housed, it is always better to get one that needs care and love.
The cat is one of the best cat breeds not only just Europe but also the world. If you are looking for a more docile and less rebellious cat breeds, the British Shorthair cat should be your number one choice.