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British Shorthair | breed profile

A solid and easy-going cat, the British Shorthair is a popular companion who enjoys time with their human family.

Introduction

The British Shorthair is a pedigree version of the domestic short hair of Britain.

They were featured at the first ever cat show in London in 1871 and were a popular cat until World War I when they became scarce. After the war, fanciers made efforts to restore the breed and they were formally recognised in the 1970’s.

Appearance & Personality

British Shorthairs are a sturdy cat ranging in size from 4 to 7kgs with males typically being larger than females. Blue grey is the most common colour, but they come in a wide range of colours including black, white, cream, red silver, brown, cameo, tortoiseshell, and combinations of these colours.

They have short, dense fur with no undercoat which sheds. They don’t need a lot of grooming, but gentle, regular brushing helps to remove shedding fur as well as strengthens your bond with your cat.

The British Shorthair are known for being friendly cats who like to spend time with their human families but aren’t always tolerant of being picked up. This is something to keep in mind when teaching small children how to interact with the British Shorthair.

A calm disposition means the British Shorthair well suited to apartment living but encouraging play and having plenty of activities for them to do is essential to keep their mind and body healthy. Be sure to provide your cat with plenty of cat trees and toys to play with and climb on.

Common Health Concerns

The five most common reasons for a British Shorthair to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2020 include digestive upsets, skin and ear infections, traumatic accidents, and eye disease. It may be possible to lower the risk of your British Shorthair having a traumatic accident by keeping them indoors or in a cat safe enclosure.

According to PetSure data from 2020, the five most common reasons for a British Shorthair cat to visit the vet (excluding for routine visits like vaccinations) are as follows:

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Gastrointestinal disease, including diarrhoea, vomiting, gastritis, and gastroenteritis$299$3,001
2Traumatic injury including degloving injury, fracture, and bite wound$509$5,560
3Skin disease, including allergic skin disease, dermatophytosis (ringworm) and Itchy skin$167$856
4Eye disease, including corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis$182$1,406
5Lymphoma$601$5,641

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

For the same period (2020 calendar year), the top five highest single vet treatments (or highest pet insurance claims) for British Shorthairs from PetSure data were:

RankConditionHighest Cost of treatment for condition 
(average pet insurance claim amount)
1Intoxication from plant ingestion$9,933
2Traumatic injury$5,965
3Thymoma$5,641
4Traumatic bone fracture$5,560
5Lower urinary tract disease$5,121

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular British Shorthair names from PetSure 2020 calendar year data:

Most popular names:

  1. Luna
  2. Mochi
  3. Winston
  4. Coco
  5. Leo
  6. Bella
  7. Charlie
  8. Cookie
  9. Kiki
  10. Louis

Most popular female names:

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Coco
  4. Mochi
  5. Muffin
  6. Charlie
  7. Daisy
  8. Kiki
  9. Tiffany
  10. Ali

Most popular male names:

  1. Mochi
  2. Winston
  3. Leo
  4. Louis
  5. Ollie
  6. Tiger
  7. Tom
  8. Archie
  9. Cookie
  10. Cosmo

Did you know?

The original illustrations of the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice in in Wonderland book were thought to have been inspired by a British Shorthair cat when drawn by illustrator John Tenniel.

References

  1. Wikipedia, British Shorthair accessed on 21/10/2020, available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Shorthair
  2. Cattime.com, British Shorthair, accessed on 21/10/2020, available at: https://cattime.com/cat-breeds/british-shorthair-cats#/slide/1
  3. Playful Kitty, Who was the Cheshire Cat? 2017, accessed on 21/10/2020 available at: https://www.playfulkitty.net/2017/01/13/who-was-the-cheshire-cat/
  4. VetStreet, British Shorthair, accessed on 21/10/20, available at: http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/british-shorthair
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