The British shorthair cat is a medium-to-large-sized cat breed with a short, dense coat and a distinctive rounded head and face that make it look a lot like a cuddly teddy bear. The British shorthair cat is sweet and affectionate without being needy or clingy. This breed hails from the United Kingdom where it developed naturally and was the region’s original domestic shorthaired cat. Originally, many British shorthairs were blue colored (a gray hue), but today’s British shorthair comes in a veritable rainbow of colors and patterns, including solid, bicolor, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, and more. 

As the breed name suggests, the British shorthair has a short coat that needs only minimal grooming. Brush your British shorthair once a week using a soft slicker brush. Brush more frequently during periods of seasonal shedding to remove loose hair before it ends up all over the house.

Trim the nails every other week and check inside the ears weekly. If you see a little debris in the ears, use a pet-ear cleaner and cotton balls to clean the ears using a cotton ball (never use a cotton swab). If your British shorthair’s ears look red or excessively dirty, make an appointment to see your veterinarian.

British Shorthairs are playful well into adulthood, but they are not hyper or excessively active. They can get plenty of exercise by exploring the house and playing with you a few times a day. Engage your British Shorthair with feather wands, toy mice, and any other favorite toys. Make sure your cat has plenty of things to climb and perch upon like cat trees, cat-friendly bookshelves, and kitty condos. Cats can also get exercise and enrichment through scratching. Set up several acceptable scratching places in the house, including vertical scratchers (such as tall posts or cat trees) and horizontal scratchers (such as cardboard or sisal scratchers that lie flat on the ground).

The British shorthair is slow to mature, both physically and mentally. These cats generally don’t achieve their final size and weight until somewhere between 3 and 5 years old. British shorthairs may continue to display kitten-ish energy and playfulness until they reach maturity, but once fully mature, this breed is calm and well behaved.

They are affectionate without being needy and are accepting of strangers, though they may be a bit aloof until they get to know you better. British shorthairs are wonderful companions for gentle and considerate children and tend to get along well with other friendly household pets.

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