British Shorthair Cat Breed Information

Learn all about British Shorthair Cats, read about the British Shorthair Breed information, find out about the British Shorthair Breed Standard, British Shorthair behavior and lots more about British Shorthairs.

British Shorthair Cat Breed Introduction

British Shorthair Cat

The British Shorthair cat breed is the grand old lady of British cat breeds, being the earliest breed to establish itself in the first cat shows in the nineteenth century.

British Shorthair Behavior/Personality

Source: "British Shorthairs" by Dana L. Jacobs

British Shorthair cats are generally considered calm, quiet, and attentive without being demanding.

British Shorthair Breed Standard/Physical Description

Here are some facts on the British Shorthair breed based on information in Wikipedia, March 2006.

  • Head: round and quite big
  • Muzzle: distinctive
  • Ears: medium-sized, broad-based with round tips
  • Eyes: big, round, wide-open and set wide apart
  • Body: medium to large
  • Legs: short to medium in length
  • Paws: round, with five toes in front and four in back
  • Tail: medium-long and thick at the base, slightly tapered, and rounded at the tip
  • Coat: short and quite thick

British Shorthair History

Source: "British Shorthairs" by Dana L. Jacobs

The British Shorthair is one of the oldest cat breeds. In fact, the father of the cat fancy movement, Harrison Weir, not only favored British Shorthairs but even entered one in the first ever cat show, held at the famous Crystal Palace in 1870. Not only that, but Harrison Weir's British Shorthair cat, a 14-year-old blue tabby female, won the very first Best in Show award for the famous British cat shows.

By the beginnings of the 20th century, many British Shorthairs were being shown in the British cat shows. These early champions were very much like today's British Shorthair cats, with the same basic form, only slightly smaller than their descendants today (but then again, the same could be said about human beings then and now). As a result of the popularity of the British Shorthair breed, these cats were in great demand. Soon they were being sent to North America, where they also won many cat show awards.

WWI brought an abrupt halt to the major cat fancy activities, and also brought a halt to the growing popularity of the British Shorthairs. Other breeds such as the Persian cat breed and foreign shorthair breeds grew in popularity. The breed grew in popularity after WWII, particularly in the US, where the British Shorthairs and American Shorthairs were separated into distinct breeds in the 1950s.

Back To The Cat Breeds Index