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British Shorthair

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British Shorthair

A blue British Shorthair ("British Blue")
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Breed standards (external links)

The British Shorthair is a domesticated cat originally bred in the United Kingdom. It is known for the seemingly perpetual smile on its face; Lewis Carroll chose the breed as the model for his Cheshire cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Today, this breed is commonly used as a show work. The most famous British Shorthair is perhaps the one who appears as the face of Whiskas cat food.

Breed Description

British Shorthairs have very dense, soft coats. The eyes are large, round and copper in colour. The head is round with chubby cheeks. The body is rounded and sturdy. The breed has a broad chest, shoulders and hips with short legs, round paws and a plush tail. Males weigh about 14 lb (6 kg).

The British Shorthair may be any colour or pattern, but the 'blue' variant is common enough to have a name of its own: the 'British Blue'.

The lifespan of this breed is 14 to 20 years.


The British Shorthair originates from the native working cats of the United Kingdom, which in turn originated in Rome.


The British Shorthair is an easygoing breed. It has a stable character and can easily live in an apartment setting. It is not terribly demanding of attention, although it will make its desire for play known if its owner looks available. It is not normally destructive or hyperactive, although it can be playful.


The British Shorthair does not require a lot of grooming because the fur does not tangle or mat easily. However, the coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

The breed is prone to obesity and some members of the breed have dental problems.

Gretel, a Blue British Shorthair, eating some meat

Close-up of another blue, Mycroft

External links

Breed profile sites:

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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