British Shorthair Kitten: Learn Everything to the Best Care

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Those who have a garden and spend their days outside the house are certainly the ideal masters of the British Shorthair kitten, a cat of robust constitution, very dignified and reserved. His physical characteristics allow him, and even make it necessary, for long stays outside. In contrast, his psychological characteristics make him a cat capable of remaining alone almost all day without suffering from loneliness.

The origins of the British Shorthair Kitten

During the second half of the 19th century, the English, great animal lovers, decided to select a breed of cats that were typically Anglo-Saxon. They started from their native cat - which was perhaps not so native since it was said to be descended from the Italian cat and imported to Britain by the Romans at the time of the conquest of the island - whose they strengthened the structure by making him a little heavier, widened the head and increased the hair, all thanks to careful selection.

This cat was officially presented at the London Cat Show in 1871, which was the first-ever. But he had his real moment of glory twenty years later, when a book, written by H. Weir, was entirely devoted to him. The title itself was significant: Our Cats and All About Them.

At the end of the last century, his luck began to turn, with fashion moving towards more exotic cats. After the war, we managed to save him by crossing the few remaining specimens with Persians, whose morphology is very similar. This made him possible to renew the initial robustness, weigh down the frame a little, and obtain an even thicker and thicker coat. Even his health improved thanks to these crossings, which made him extremely strong.

 British Shorthair kitten

The Ideal Cat

His size varies from medium to large, with a very solid and majestic structure; his body is powerful; his shoulders are as broad as his sides; his legs, slightly shorter than his body, are robust and have round feet. The selections have increased the potential of his volumes, giving him a solemn look that is accentuated by his large, inimitable, short-haired head, whose jaw structure is highlighted by the power of the neck. The nose is straight, short, and wide; the ears are medium-sized, rounded, wide at the base, and set wide apart.

The eyes, large, spaced, and round, have an intense color that harmonizes with the coat's. The tail, about two-thirds of the body in length, is thick at the base and tapers to the round trip. The coat, non-adherent, is thicker and softer than that of a normal short-haired cat and his texture is very dense. 

Hair Color

 The British Shorthair kitten can be of all colors, from white to cream, including red, lilac, chocolate, and black, although blue is the most popular. There are also tortie, tabby, and spotted varieties, while in 1991 color points were also admitted. Note that silvers are very fashionable.

 British Shorthair kitten

The Character

The British Shorthair cat still recalls its ancestors, great rat hunters who roamed freely in Great Britain: he is indeed an independent cat, with good predatory instincts, who aspires to great freedom and such large spaces, which is the reason why having a garden is preferable.

Because of his pronounced independence, especially if he is allowed out of the house, it is necessary to teach him to respond to the recall or, at least, to equip him with a small bell; in any case, you can favor his return home if you let him go on an empty stomach, and food will be his reward for his obedience.

He is a kind, dignified and reserved cat, but he tends to consider himself on the same level as humans, which can make him a stubborn and intrusive individual if he is not taught what to do at a young age may or may not do.

Hug: This teddy bear doesn't just look cute: he's endearing. He will regularly make you enjoy the softness of his coat during moments of tenderness.

Player: Activity will be necessary for this feline to maintain strong muscles and avoid being overweight. Because of his heavy physique, he does not have the reputation of being a very dynamic cat.

Calm: This living room cat will prove to you that he knows how to pose. Not being a light and slender cat, he is normal for this breed to be mostly calm in adulthood.

Clever: He knows what he wants and means it well to his humans, as long as the motivation is at stake.

Fearful/wary of strangers: The British Shorthair kitten enjoys the company of his family members but will need some time to get used to them.

 

Behavior

Talkative: His expressive gaze is enough for him to communicate. He does not have a voice that carries as much as other breeds. But talk to him a lot and reward him every time he meows, and your cat will start talking to you.

Greedy/gluttonous: His strong and muscular frame may encourage this cat to eat more than necessary instead of finding physical activity. It is quite possible to occupy him playfully with interactive bowls while offering him the possibility of eating more slowly.

Need for exercise: Nothing beats sequences of games with his humans to show off his physical prowess when necessary.

Runaway: This breed is curious and will discover new things. It is therefore advisable to properly secure your doors and windows.

 British Shorthair kitten

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Compatibility

The British Shorthair and the Dogs: Your cat will have some difficulty communicating and understanding a dog's intentions at first. By being patient and by educating the dog well, a relationship can then be established between the two, making sure that your cat has a space that is his to withdraw.

 The British Shorthair and Other Cats: Cats do not seek the company of a fellow cat, but your British Shorthair will be able to be cordial with another cat, as long as the introductions have been made gradually. By using the proper method of introduction between the two cats, you can increase the chances that these two toms will get along well!

 The British Shorthair and Children: This cat with a teddy bear head and a soft plush body does look like a stuffed animal, but children should never treat it like one. With good socialization and well-educated children in respect of the cat, there is a good chance that your children will behave correctly with this teddy bear and that a good relationship will be established between them.

  The British Shorthair and the Elderly: The fact that he has a physique that makes him more peaceful than others, the British Shorthair, in adulthood, may well suit a quieter person.

 Maintenance

Grooming: Regular brushing and combing are recommended to remove dead hair. Be aware that during the spring molt period, the British Shorthair will considerably lose the hairs and undercoats of his thick fur. So it is better to accustom your cat to regular grooming sessions to make this moment more pleasant for you and your four-legged friend.

Hair loss:  Outside of molting periods, because its coat is short, grooming once a week is sufficient.

 Feed

 His diet must be adapted to the living conditions and his individuality. Because he has a heavy build, this cat can be more prone to being overweight, affecting his motor skills and health. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the recommendations of the veterinarian carefully. 

Cares

The particular hair of this cat calls for very simple but very careful grooming, carried out with a small fine-toothed comb, which removes dead hair to prevent it from being ingested by the British Shorthair cat when he licks himself on his daily potty. Naturally, this operation must be carried out more frequently during the molting period, which usually occurs in the spring, when there is a considerable loss of coat and undercoat. Unfortunately, the abundance of his fur – and his wanderlust instinct – also makes it prone to flea infestations, which are immediately eliminated by using one of the many products available on the market. 

Health

Life expectancy: On average, his life expectancy is between 14 and 18 years.

Resistant/robust: Rather robust, its dense fur allows it to have better protection against the cold compared to other less "dressed" breeds.

 Tendency to grow: His teddy head can also easily go with an overweight body. His reputation as a calm cat can lead him to gain weight more quickly. It is essential to monitor his weight gain regularly and notify your veterinarian.

 British Shorthair kitten

Common Illnesses:

The British Shorthair kitten can one day develop the same pathologies as any other cat, such as oral pathologies.

Some diseases are specific to their breed:

Polycystic kidney disease. It is a disease resulting in the development of cysts that will prevent the normal functioning of the kidney. As a result, kidney failure will appear without the possibility of recovery. Only veterinary care and a specialized diet can delay the pathology and improve the cat's quality of life to live longer.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 

Breeding

The number of British Shorthair kittens per litter is quite average, about four. Puberty will arrive from 6 months for the female and between 7 months and a year for the male.

TICA allows crosses with Scottish Fold and Manx. The FFF authorizes other crosses, such as with Cymric and American Wirehair.

 

Good to Know

The final color of the British Shorthair kitten's eyes will only appear after the age of two and a half months. It will slowly acquire its adult morphology, during the development, in particular, of his thick fur.

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