The British Shorthair lives among us as if we were one of them, mixing companionship with independance.
One of the oldest British breeds, the British descends from domestic cats which arrived in British soil 2 thousand years ago, along with the Roman troops. They rapidly adapted to the land and climate, living in the streets and helping to eliminate rodents in the cities as well as the country side for many centuries.
Later, the English developed the breed through a selective work. The original individuals were blue (dark gray). Their first appearance at an exposition was in March 13, 1871, at the Crystal Palace, in London, where they played an important part as a tipically English cat. There is currently a wide variety of official colors.
This cat has a slow development: chunky at birth, he changes during the first 2 years of age. He could be described as a sturdy compact looking cat, medium to large size, with a robust and strong appearance, a massive round head, short nose, big and round eyes, deep-chested and necked, short legs and tail. The color of the eyes (usually orange or copper), of the nose and pads must match the predominant color in the coat.
American breeder Debby Poplawski, from Cattery Britaven, USA, comments that a good individual has "substance, and is as heavy as it looks, without being fat." The fur, smooth and firm at the touch, has a very dense texture, though it is more difficult to obtain this in individuals which are not blue. "For this reason," she adds, "the use of the blue ones is recommended in the mating programs."
It easily adapts to any environment, whether it is a small apartment or outdoors in a big farm. Because of its dense coat, which works as a thermal regulador, the British is exceptionally resistant to cold temperatures, but adapts s well as to hot wheather, during which time, hair comes off in more quantity. There is no long hair variety. The countries which currently have good quality breedings, according to José Clóvis do Prado Jr. genealogic director of the Brazilian Cat Club, are the United States, Australia, Germany, Holland and New Zealand.
Untemperamental, it is sweet and sociable. An excellent companion, affectionate, the British Shorthair rapidbly grows attached to anyone who treats him with affection, and considers man as being one of its kind. Mews little, and softly. Homebody, though not submissive, it is independant and likes to make its own decisions, as Carlos M. Furlan and Nelson de Freitas Martins, from Cattery Von Sonnenauge, São Paulo, tell us. "For instance, he chooses the time to be caressed, and the way he wants this to happen.That is why he prefers to come to our lap by himself, instead of being put there."
He appreciates to lay or sit next to us, as long as there is a space for himself. It has attitudes which remind us of the dogs, such as coming to the door to meet us when we get home, bringing back objetcts we throw and playing with toys and small balls. This playful spirit which is present at a young age, grows into a calm and tranquil attitude when it becomes an adult.
Choice of kitten: Compact body; round and
massive head; medium sized nose, with slight stop; medium sized ears, rather
separate from each other; big, round eyes; legs tending to short or medium, but
strong; medium length tail, and short coat, very dense and "crisp" to
the touch. For expositions, avoid: cats with incorrect color of the eyes, nose,
and pads; with long coat, incorrect number of fingers (the correct number is 5
in the front paws, and 4 in the back paws), or still, defects in tail or bite.
Colors: All the solids, tortoiseshell, tabbies, silver and particolors. TICA - The International Cat Association, issues pedigrees to individuals who have darker fur in the extremities, but does not accept them in championships. FIFE - Federazione Internazionale Felina Europeia does not issue pedigrees to any of these nor to the colorpoints. CFA issues pedigrees designated "Other Varieties" and puts them in a different competition, with no right to any titles, the chocolate, lavander and Himalaian colorpoints, or any of these combinations with white. It does not recognize the cinnamon nor the fawn.
Brood: From 4 to 7 kittens.
We would like to thank the Brazilian breeders for the text
Research and text: Carmen Olivieri.Text editor: Marcos Pennacchi
Picture: Luiz Henrique Mendes
Owner: Cattery Von Sonne Nouge