British Shorthair Personality & Character Traits
Because of its easy-going nature and intelligence, the British Shorthair has become a favorite of animal trainers, and in recent years many examples of these cats have appeared in Hollywood films and television commercials. The British Shorthair is easy to groom and is a playful but no-nonsense cat. It tends to be reserved, in fact typically British by nature, but once it becomes a part of the family it is a devoted cat and undemanding companion.
A British Shorthairs’ devotion and empathic bond to it’s family are strong friendships traits most people don’t expect from a cat. Spirited but gentle, intelligent not weak, the British Shorthair is the ultimate companion in the human-feline experience. Just like a teddy bear, a British Shorthairs round and velvet-plush appearance makes resistance to hugging and cuddling difficult. They show affection by offering head bumps and body rubs in loving abandon. Throwing their weight into their embrace they are impossible to ignore; a true companion cat. Love breaks with your British are very important. Offering a soft paw and a comforting look, they’ll lap knead, soaking up the soreness and fatigue of a hard day. Many owners say they can actually feel their British lower their blood pressure.
The British Shorthair is as amazing as you’ll let them be. They will put as much (or as little) into a relationship as you do. They are a cat to be intellectually savored and pondered. Not a dull cat, they have a strong ego and insist on being treated as an equal member of the family. A British Shorthairs roman history and vast intelligence does not appreciate boredom. They love to play with toys, balls, feathers, and they adore exercising on a tall scratching post or cat tree with jumping and stretching ledges. A large cat with a small voice, a British rarely talks, preferring to capture attention by head butting and rubbing.
Sometimes they will insist on standing on an offending object, such as a keyboard or book, or they jump in the middle of a news paper if they are not receiving what they feel is proper attention. A British Shorthair always determines how much attention is enough. They do not like to be restrained or forced to stay in one place, as they dislike un-cool behavior. A British will hold a grudge if not treated kindly, and may not forgive until a sincere apology is made. The British Shorthair has a very easy going nature, and is considered a non-destructive, low energy out-put type cat. Since they are large, they do tend to make clumsy jumpers so care should be given to remove priceless objects from harms way. Protective of family, a British has been known to sound the alarm by waking their family when an intruder was in the house. Understanding of young children, a British usually takes the position of being out of reach, preferring adult companionship.
Compared to most short-haired breeds, the British Shorthair is a relatively calm cat. They are easy going in nature and talk infrequently. Very affectionate, they become quite attached to the people they own. British Shorthairs are easily trained and very adaptable. They seem to get along well with all human members of the household regardless of age. Pets of all kinds have been kept with British Shorthairs, and this includes dogs of all sizes, rabbits, and birds. They have been called aloof, but this is generally a perception of strangers to a household, and if given time, they generally warm up to any cat-loving person. Another thing that draws people is the size of the British Shorthair. Although no huge like the Maine Coon, this is a medium to large sturdy cat, with mature males averaging from 9-17 pounds and females 7-12 pounds. No breed-specific health related problems plague the British Shorthair. It is probably due to this very fact that so many breeds over the years have used the British Shorthair as an acceptable outcross to establish a good gene pool. Currently, the British Shorthair is being used as an outcross for the Selkirk Rex, Devon Rex and Scottish Fold.
CFA Breed Standard: British Shorthair
GENERAL: the British Shorthair is compact, well-balanced and powerful, showing good depth of body, a full broad chest, short to medium strong legs, rounded paws, tail thick at base with a rounded tip. The head is round with good width between the ears, round cheeks, firm chin, medium ears, large round and well-opened eyes, and a medium broad nose. The coat is short and very dense. Females are less massive in all respects with males having larger jowls. This breed is slow to mature.
HEAD: round and massive. Round face with round underlying bone structure well set on a short thick neck. The forehead should be rounded with a slight flat plane on the top of the head. The forehead should not slope.
NOSE: medium, broad. In profile there is a gentle dip.
CHIN: firm, well-developed in line with the nose and upper lip.
MUZZLE: distinctive, well-developed, with a definite stop beyond large, round whisker pads.
EARS: ear set is important. Medium in size, broad at the base, rounded at the tips. Set far apart, fitting into (without distorting) the rounded contour of the head.
EYES: large, round, well opened. Set wide apart and level.
BODY: medium to large, well knit and powerful. Level back and a deep broad chest.
LEGS: short to medium, well-boned and strong. In proportion to the body. Forelegs are straight.
PAWS: round and firm. Toes: five in front and four behind.
TAIL: medium length in proportion to the body, thicker at base, tapering slightly to a rounded tip.
COAT: short, very dense, well bodied, resilient and firm to the touch. Not double coated or woolly.
COLOR: for cats with special markings: 5 points for coat color and 10 points for markings. Shadow tabby markings in solid color, smoke, shaded, shaded golden, bi-color, or calico kittens are not a fault.
PENALIZE: definite nose stop. Overlong or light undercoat. Soft coat. Rangy body. Weak chin.*
DISQUALIFY: incorrect eye color, green rims in adults. Tail defects. Long or fluffy coat. Incorrect number of toes. Locket or button. Improper color or pigment in nose leather and/or paw pads in part or total. Any evidence of illness or poor health. Any evidence of wryness of jaw, poor dentition (arrangement of teeth), or malocclusion. Evidence of hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, lavender, the Himalayan pattern, or these combinations with white.*
*The previously listed penalties and disqualifications apply to all British Shorthair cats. Additional penalties and disqualifications are listed under colors.