British Shorthair

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The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat whose features make it a popular breed in cat shows.[1] It has been the most popular breed of cat registered by the UK's Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) since 2001, when it overtook the Persian breed.[2]

Contents

Origin

The British Shorthair is the descendant of cats brought to Britain by the Romans and then interbred with wild native cats.[1][3][4] They were later crossbred with Persian cats to improve the thickness of their coat. The breed was defined in the 19th century and British Shorthairs were shown at the 1871 Crystal Palace cat show.[1] The popularity of the breed declined by the 1940s, but since the end of World War II, breeding programs have intensified and the breed's popularity is high once again.[1]

Breed description

British Shorthairs have dense, plush coats that are often described as crisp or cracking, referring to the way the coat breaks over the contours of the cat's body. Eyes are large, round and widely set and can be a variety of colours, though the copper or gold eyes of the British blue are the best known. Their heads are round with full, chubby cheeks. Their bodies are large, sturdy, and muscular and are described as having a "cobby" build. The breed has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush but not fluffy tail that ends in a round or blunt tip.[5] These are the characteristics listed in most governing bodies breeds standards to which show cats must conform.

The males of this breed are larger than the females, and the size difference between them is more easily noticed compared to other breeds. The males' average weight is 5-10 kilograms, whereas a female would weigh up to 5–7 kg. As with many breeds, the adult males may also develop prominent cheek jowls that distinguish them from their female counterparts.[6] The typical lifespan of this breed is 14 to 20 years.[5]

Physical Characteristics

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