Vets for Pets

British Shorthair Breed Profile

By Morgan | September 10, 2019

Every now and then, we like to profile some of the fantastic pet’s that our vets get to go out and treat in their homes. This week’s breed profile is on the British Shorthair Cat, a unique domesticated breed that we at Vets on Call think are extremely cute.

As a medium-sized cat, the British Shorthair comes in numerous colours, colour mixes and will have a range of eye colours too.

The British Shorthair was bred by the world’s first professional cat breeder, Harrison Weir. He took what was then stray street cats and, through an intensely selective breeding program, created what was first called the ‘British Blue’ in the mid 19th Century. The name later changed to the British Shorthair because of the range of colours they take on.

The breed was originally bred to keep rats and mice out of the barn and house and as such has a strong, muscular build with strong jaws. They quickly became very popular within the British population and their numbers soon swelled amongst people’s homes. Their numbers were heavily reduced following England’s entrance into the first and second world wars but their numbers quickly rebounded to regain their place as Britain’s most popular cat breed.

Despite their domestic popularity, their coats will still get much thicker during winter and they will shed significantly at different times of the year. Unfortunately, they do tend to shed and aren’t less allergenic, meaning that they’re not suitable for people with cat allergies.

A British Shorthair is a terrific addition to any family. They’re easy-going, affectionate and capable of attaching to and loving everyone in the family. They’re also independent and don’t require constant entertainment which also makes them a great companion for a single person.

While typically a robust and healthy breed they do have a tendency for some hereditary health issues, most notably the following:

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM); a form of heart disease.
  • Haemophilia B; a bleeding disorder diagnosed through DNA testing.

A pet is always a great addition to a household and will provide endless love and a tremendously fulfilling experience. Whilst the health conditions are rare, they’re important to keep in mind if you’re thinking of adding a British Shorthair to your home.

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