British Shorthair ideal weight and nutrition
The British cat weighs 8 - 18 lbs (4 - 8 kg) and needs an average of 300 kcal per day (70 gr of dry food) to stay fit and healthy.For the suggested daily intake of dry food, consult the table below:
|Table 1.1 - British Shorthair daily food intake|
Obesity can become a problem for middle-aged British Shorthairs. Their fondness of a good nap definitely doesn't help burn off excess calories, but this can be combated by serving a well-balanced nutrition. Nowadays, you can find in the market cat meals specially designed for British Shorthair. These meals provide all essential vitamins and minerals, as well as optimal levels of protein to help maintain their muscle mass and support their joints, high levels of L-carnitine, chondroitin, glucosamine and omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, they boost their oral hygiene and support their cardiac function.
British Shorthair kittens care
When you introduce british shorthair kittens to your home, let them find their own way out of the basket and allow them to explore one room at a time. Make sure that all doors and windows are shut, to prevent them from escaping.
Kittens are very often frightened by children or other pets that are new to them. Children should therefore be recommended to be quiet and wait for the kittens to adopt to the new environment and other animals should be introduced later, gradually and one at a time. Remember that adult cats might attack to the baby cats, because they confront them as competitors and therefore as enemies.
Talk to your kittens and encourage them to play with cat toys, but do not overwhelm them with extreme attention.
British shorthair kittens need warmth because they miss their mother. If there is not some form of heating in the room at all times, you should better buy a heated bed from a pet shop.
During the first month of their life, kittens should be breastfeeding. This is why you shouldn't separate them from their mother before they are one month old.
At the age of one month British shorthair kittens can start eating kitten food. In the market you will find a wide range of kitten meals, however we recommend dry kitten food. This comes in small kibbles that encourage kittens to crunch and help them develop stronger gum and teeth.
For the suggested daily intake of kitten dry food, consult the table below:
|Table 1.2 - British Shorthair kittens daily food intake|
British cat grooming
The British cat requires minimal grooming to maintain its short crisp coat. Normally all that is needed is a quick brush through the coat once a week. Use a comb with metal bristles and an elastic grip and work through her fur from head to tail to remove dead and loose hair. Be extra-gentle near the chest and belly to avoid injuring your cat. Take under consideration that the extremely plush coat of this breed sheds considerably during the seasonal change. Extra brushing is beneficial at this time to remove as much loose hair as possible before your cat swallows it and develops hairballs.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They will cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention to your cat.
To find out more, check our tapeworm treatment guide.
When a cat grooms itself by licking its own fur, it will swallow some of its own hair. Most of the hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hair ball.
To find out more, check our hair ball treatment guide.
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during the summer months. They get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through the contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
To find out more, check our flea treatment guide.
British cat care
You should clean your cat's ears once a week to prevent infections. Consult your vet on choosing the proper cat ear cleaning solution and use it to remove the excess of wax, debris and dead tissues.
Their teeth should also be checked periodically and brushed with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases. In the market there are also a lot of cat toys, specially designed to remove food wastes and prevent teeth irritation.
A litter tray must be available at all times and kept in the same place. Solid matter and wet lumps should be removed from the tray frequently and the litter renewed when necessary. The tray should be washed and disinfected frequently. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting and allow drying before use. British cats are very fussy and will not use a dirty tray.
Never give cats any drugs that have not been prescribed for them; many human drugs are poisonous to cats. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect any form of poisoning.
Make sure that cat toys or parts of them cannot be swallowed. Plastic bags and rubber bands can be extremely dangerous, since they do not show up on an X-ray.
British cat health and lifespan
British cats do not have serious congenital health problems, while their known for their longevity; They live up to 20 years, so expect this relationship to be long term.
The commonest health issues of the British cat are heart diseases.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the commonest form that affects young to middle aged British cats. It is usually discovered during a routine annual health checkup as your vet will hear a faster heart rate, and perhaps congestion sounds in the lungs. If left undiagnosed, the most common indication of HCM is pain, associated with blood clot formation in the aorta. HCM is treated with diuretics, such as furosemide, diltiazem and nitroglycerine ointment. Some cats respond to Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplements and the antioxidants Selenium and vitamin E.
Other heart diseases that affect cats are:
Thromboembolism, a blood clot in the aorta where the latter divides into the femoral arteries taking blood to the hind legs. Affected cats cry out and cannot use their hind-limbs, which are cool to the touch.
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) that causes small blood clots in the body, is most likely triggered by other diseases and can be treated by finding and eliminating the cause.
Increased heart rate be can caused by an overactive thyroid. The heart's chambers dilate and the blood pressure increases. The treatment should concern the whole cat, not just the hyperthyroid state.
British cat history
The ancestors of the British Shorthair cats were brought to England during the Roman period. Originally they were used as working cats, catching rodents.
In 1870, Harrison Weir, father of the Cat Fancy conceived the idea to hold a Cat Contest. Arrangements were settled and in 1871 the first official cat show was held in Chrystal Palace. The Best in Show prize was awarded to a 14 years old female blue tabby British Shorthair, owned by Mr. Weir himself.
World War I brought a dramatic slowdown to the cat fancy in England. By its end, the interest in pedigreed British cats was regained, but breeders had difficult time finding worthy registered British Shorthair cats to work with. They therefore began to out-cross them with Persian cats. However, since the British Shorthair was an established breed, the Council of the Cat Fancy objected and ruled that these hybrids could not be registered or shown as British Shorthair cats. It took three generations of breeding for these cats to regain the official breed standards and be eligible for registration as British Shorthair cats.
During World War II the breeds drama repeated and it wasn't until 1980 that the Cat Fanciers Association granted the British Shorthair Championship status and its popularity started regaining ground.
British cat personality
The British cat is an easygoing breed. They have a stable character and take well to being kept as indoor cats, making them ideal for apartment living. They are especially gentle and placid around children and other domestic animals and do not make noise, unless there is something really wrong, like they are hungry.
The British cats are wonderful cats for people who work full-time, as they are fairly independent and happy to amuse themselves while you are out. As kittens they are playful, however adult British Shorthairs tend to be less active than the other breeds. Although quiet, these intelligent creatures are very affectionate, confident and good natured.
British short hair can be quite shy to begin with, but when they become more familiar with their surroundings they are extremely loyal pets. Many cats of other breeds tend to bond with just one person in a family rather than everyone, but British Shorthair cats show their affection to the whole household.
British cat breed standards
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, the British cat possesses a medium to large overall appearance. Its head is round and massive with a broad skull and a strong chin. The nose is short, broad and straight with a slight indentation, however not with a stop as in the Exotic Shorthair cats. The ears are small and slightly rounded at the tips, set wide apart.
The eyes are large, round and wide opened set also wide apart. The recognized eye colors are copper or deep orange, blue, odd eyed and green or blue-green, however green is preferred.
The British cat has a muscular and cobby body with a broad chest and strong and solid shoulders and back. The neck is short, still very strong and well-developed. In addition the legs are short and strong, ending up to round and firm paws.
The tail is short and thick, with a slightly rounded tip and their coat is short and dense, with a good undercoat and fine texture.The recognized coat colors and patterns are the following:
· Black/ Blue/ Chocolate/ Lilac/ Red/ Cream
· Black/Blue/Chocolate/ Lilac tortie
· Black/ Blue/ Chocolate/ Lilac tortie
· Golden shaded/ shell
· Silver tabby
· Golden tabby
· Van/ Harlequin/ Bicolor
· Van/ Harlequin/ Bicolor smoke
· Van/ Harlequin/ Bicolor tabby
· Van/ Harlequin/ Bicolor silver tabby
· Tabby point colorpoint