The British Shorthair is solid and muscular with an easygoing personality. As befits his British heritage, he is slightly reserved, but once he gets to know someone he’s quite affectionate. His short, dense coat comes in many colors and patterns and should be brushed two or three times a week to remove dead hair.
The British Shorthair, also called the English Cat or simply the “Brit,” is the national cat of the British Isles. This is a compact, muscular and powerful breed that should be “cobby” or chunky in appearance. The British Shorthair has a broad chest, short strong legs and large rounded paws. Its tail is thick at the base, round at the tip and plush but not fluffy. The males are almost always larger than the females; this size difference is more easily recognized in British Shorthairs than in most other domestic breeds. Unlike females, mature males tend to develop prominent chubby cheeks, or jowls, which is another distinguishing gender-based feature.
The British Shorthair – or the “Brit,” as it is sometimes affectionately called – is an easygoing, intelligent, friendly breed. It has been described as being placid, patient and predictable. The British Shorthair’s sweet and gentle nature makes them wonderful, steadfast companions and undemanding family members. They adapt easily to apartment, farm, city or estate living. These are not noisy or pushy cats, although they greatly appreciate and accept affection when it is offered to them.
Other Quick Facts
- The British Shorthair has a stocky, sturdy, square body with a broad, full chest, short, strong legs, and a short, thick tail that tapers to a rounded tip. He wears a plush, luxurious coat that makes you want to roll around in it. He has a round head with a short nose, chubby cheeks and round eyes, all of which combine to give him a smiling expression
- Blue is the most popular color for British Shorthairs, so much so that the “British Blue” almost seems as if he is his own breed. Other colors and patterns include white, black, blue, cream, various tabby patterns, tortoiseshell, calico and bi-color (a color plus white). His eyes can be deep gold, copper, blue or green, depending on which of his many coat colors or patterns he sports.
- Sir John Tenniel’s famous illustration of the Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is based on the British Shorthair.
- Smokey the cat in E.B. White’s children’s novel Stuart Little was a British Blue.
- A silver tabby British Shorthair is the mascot of Whiskas brand cat food.
- Winston Churchill (Church) from Pet Sematary is a British Blue.
- Toby, of the ABC prime time drama Desperate Housewives, is a British Shorthair.
- Arlene, Garfield the cat’s girlfriend, is portrayed as a British Blue in Garfield: The Movie
- Ruby in the film adaptation of the memoir Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen is a British Blue.
- Sir Claude the cat in the Australian CGI-animated film Blinky Bill the Movie is based on the iconic children’s books by Dorothy Wall. Sir Claude is a feral British Shorthair cat voiced by Rufus Sewell.
- One of the villains in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is a British Blue which transforms into a plant.