British Shorthairs look like a feline version of Winston Churchill: round, plush, affable, and very pleased with themselves. Their smile and sass also famously features in the John Tenniel's Cheshire Cat illustration in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
They might also be the furriest cats around, since their dense coats have more hair per square inch than other breeds.
This breed can grow to between 6-12 pounds and lives an average of 15-20 years.
Daily play, pleaseAffection Level:
I talk when necessaryIntelligence:
You can SEE me thinkingGrooming Needs:
I mostly groom myselfDog-Like?:
I'm a cat and proud of it
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS THE BRITISH SHORTHAIR'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
British Shorthairs are quiet and dignified, though still affectionate, cats. More reserved than some breeds, these kitties are loyal and confident feline friends. But they also have a clownish side, and love to delight you with their antics.
WHAT IS BRITISH SHORTHAIR BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These cats are great home companions—they're laid-back and well-mannered. British Shorthairs occasionally indulge in brief fits of crazed energy before settling back down next to you. (They enjoy sitting on your lap, but all that fur gets hot pretty quickly.)
HOW CAN I KEEP MY BRITISH SHORTHAIR ENTERTAINED?
Though not an especially active breed, British Shorthairs will chase a laser pen, bat at teaser toys, and play fetch if properly prompted. Consider teaching yours tricks and giving her puzzles to outsmart—this will help keep your clever kitty's busy mind buzzing.
CARE & HEALTH
WHAT DO BRITISH SHORTHAIRS LOOK LIKE AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
In a word, British Shorthairs look round. Their eyes are round, their faces are round, and their ears are round. This breed's dense coat is easy to care for, since it doesn't tangle. Comb them regularly, a little more often while they're shedding in fall and spring.
Your cat's coat and skin can tell you a lot about her health and well-being. Healthy cats have coats that are smooth and shiny; they should have supple, clear skin. Nutrition and wellness factor heavily into the texture and luster of your kitty's coat, but you can help keep her looking and feeling her best with regular skin care and grooming.
And remember: even if your cat gets the at-home brush-and-comb treatment regularly, she still might benefit from professional grooming once in a while.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BRITISH SHORTHAIRS HAVE?
British Shorthairs have Very Strong Feelings about meal times, and they aren't particularly active. So it's important to be conscientious about portion control and treats.
Remember that cats often hide disease symptoms! It's important to bring your furry friend in for veterinary checkups at least once a year.
ARE BRITISH SHORTHAIRS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
British Shorthairs aren't among the breeds generally recommended for allergy sufferers. Short—or wiry-haired cats do tend to be easier keepers than their long-haired cousins. But shedding less doesn't make these breeds hypoallergenic. Dander (found in urine, dead skin, and saliva), not pet hair, is what sets off allergy sufferers. Lighter-shedding cats will distribute fewer allergens around your home, though.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with daily brushings. If your pet allergies are mild, a regular grooming session could have a big impact on your quality of life with your pet.
WHAT IS MY BRITISH SHORTHAIR'S BEST DAY?
Like any true cat who walks by herself, the British Shorthair will never tell. But interactive toys and an occasional zoom around the living room will do quite nicely. British Shorthairs are also world-class cuddlers, so be sure to make time for some serious snuggles.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BRITISH SHORTHAIR?
British Shorthairs pair well with folks who are looking for a laid-back cat who still has plenty of personality. She won't need much grooming, won't take too much exercise to stop her from climbing the walls, and will be happy to sit by your side as much as you'll let her. It might be possible to have a grin without a cat—but keeping a British Shorthair around means you won't lack for grins or kitty snuggles.
Have you decided that a British Shorthair is the purr-fect cat for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.