The British Shorthair is the oldest breed of English cat and its ancestry can be traced directly to the domestic feline of ancient Rome. They were bred in the United Kingdom by the Victorians to resemble bulldogs, (which they sort of do). Known for their perpetual smile, Lewis Carroll chose this breed as the model for his famous Cheshire cat in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” These cats are comparatively rare in the United States, although their faces are not. A British Shorthair silver tabby is the face of “Whiskas,” and the face of a British Blue is also used on cans of “Sheba” cat food. They are highly intelligent and because they are so laid back, animal trainers find them easy to work with in movies and television commercials.
This breed may be any color pattern, but the “blue’ variant is common enough to warrant its own moniker: “The British Blue.” Other color and pattern variations are accepted as standards for the breed. Around 1980 the CFA recognized the breed for championship competition, and the breed is growing in popularity with each passing year. These cats are calm and loyal, yet dominant in any household they can call their own. They are aware of everything in their environment and have something to say about everything, often. They are larger cats and prefer to remain on the ground, declining available laps most of the time. They are also not very fast and are known “to smile” after any embarrassing and/or graceless moment.
The coats on these cats are long and dense and the eyes are large, round and copper in color. The body is rounded with a broad chest and a plush tail. They are not terribly demanding for affection, but will seek to play with their owners whenever they can. They are prone to obesity and sometimes dental problems as well.
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