The British Shorthair is a well-loved cat breed known for its permanent smile and classic blue-grey coat.
The Shorthair’s origins can be traced back to Ancient Rome where people extensively used these cats as expert mouse catchers.
The breed first appeared in a formal cat show in England in 1871. Nowadays, they’re immensely popular as house pets and rank third in the list of most popular cat breeds in the UK.
Are you looking to add this wonderful breed to your household? Do you want to know the pros and cons of keeping the British Shorthair Cat before buying or adopting one? Then this guide is for you!
Here we are enlisting the breed’s pros and cons along with opinions and advice from real British Shorthair owners regarding the good and the bad of owning this beautiful breed.
British Shorthair Cats – Pros
They love their humans!
Many cat breeds are considered aloof and unfriendly. They may not want anything to do with people and couldn’t care less when their owners leave for work!
But this is not applicable to our British Shorthair cats. These social butterflies love people and will gladly follow their humans from room to room. Sure, some of them may remain perched atop furniture but their eyes will always be on their humans!
Your loving and affectionate British Shorthair might even follow you into the bathroom like Koala, the cute lilac-colored British Shorthair. And British Shorthair @KittyKota’s owner states that “our cat greets us just like dogs greet their owners when we come home every evening!”.
They make great indoor cats
There is no doubt that indoor cats encounter fewer physical dangers, remain healthier, and have longer lifespans than outdoor cats.
The good news for those considering adopting/buying a British shorthair is that they make excellent indoor cats. These cats are less inclined to wander and only need short bursts of exercise followed by long periods of napping.
British Shorthairs are also “furniture-friendly” meaning they quickly learn not to scratch your furniture and understand that there are scratch posts for that purpose.
They are low-maintenance
British Shorthairs do not need as much maintenance as some other cat breeds. If you’re too busy to groom your cat every day, then the low-maintenance, easy-to-groom British Shorthair will be perfect for you.
Most British shorthairs only require weekly or bi-weekly brushing sessions. Sure, they tend to shed somewhat heavily in some months, but even then, simply brushing your buddy 2-3 times a week should be enough to keep the mess minimum.
They are great with kids and other pets
Not all cats are great at being around kids and many of them refuse to get along with other house pets, especially dogs.
If you already have an existing pet and are wondering whether your British Shorthair will adjust with it, then you needn’t worry. When socialized properly, most British Shorthairs tend to get along with dogs. Check out the loving camaraderie between Misty the British Shorthair and Simba the Shiba Inu on their page @simba_misty.
Shorthairs also get along with other cats and will welcome their company. Check out the @catprincemuffin lovingly cleaning his buddy.
The same is true regarding kids. Once you socialize your British Shorthair with kids and teach your kids to give your shorthair the space and respect it deserves, then there is a good chance that everyone will get along. This video of Coco the British Shorthair playing with a baby will surely make your day!
British Shorthairs are gorgeous to look at and that should be a reason enough to buy/adopt one. After all; a thing of beauty is a joy forever!
Shorthairs have beautiful eyes and delicate features. Some Shorthairs have mesmerizing almond-shaped eyes with the most incredible shades of blue or orange!
Check out Coby the Cat (@CobytheCat) and we dare you to not fall in love with its fascinating blue eyes. No wonder, this famous British Shorthair has amassed almost 2 million followers on its social media!
(If you own a gorgeous British shorthair, then there is a chance that you too could become a great Insta influencer!)
British Shorthair Cats – Cons
They shed a lot
British Shorthairs do shed quite a lot in spring and fall which means you need to deal with a lot of fur. Moreover, it means hairball problems for your cat and those could lead to intestinal blockages.
Sure, the breed does not need too much grooming but come the shedding season, you may want to brush your pet at least once a day to contain the loose hair and prevent it from messing up your clothes and couch.
Some Redditors recommend using the vacuum twice a day along with a lint roller to trap the shed hairs. They also advise the use of a pet glove to rub your pet with. This can trap the loosened fur more efficiently and it also comes off conveniently in the form of a sheet.
They are not hypoallergenic
British Shorthair cats could trigger allergies in sensitive people. So, if you’re allergic to cats, you might want to consider getting one of the hypoallergenic cat breeds.
However, if you have your heart set on a British Shorthair, then daily vacuuming, regular brushing, and doses of antihistamines could curb mild allergies.
This Redditor also advises washing hands and face immediately after interacting with your cat/s. Doing so can protect you from cat dander which is the main culprit behind pet allergies.
They might need trips to the vet
While indoor British Shorthairs are fairly healthy and hardy, they could develop certain health issues like any cat. It is important that you are aware of these health problems so you can tackle them before they escalate.
Gum disease is one of the common health problems in Shorthairs. If your pet eats wet/canned food, it could lead to the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Eventually, this can give rise to periodontal disease and, if left untreated, could impact your cat’s livers and kidneys.
British Shorthair owner Sarah Davis recommends the use of meat-flavored toothpaste to clean your cat’s teeth. Feeding dry cat food can also help prevent plaque.
Other health problems in British Shorthairs are hyperthyroidism, arthritis, heart and kidney diseases, and cystitis or feline lower urinary tract disease.
They tend to ‘meow’ a lot
While most British Shorthairs are not attention-seeking, they are known to be quite vocal.
The trait of course varies from cat to cat: some British Shorthairs are more vocal than others. Your cat might also pick up the behavior from other cats.
British Shorthair cats might meow for several reasons. Mostly, they meow to get your attention or when they are unhappy about something. (Check out @meow_cash cute meows when indicating her displeasure about wearing a Christmas costume.)
As long as you meet your cat’s needs, give it your loving attention, feed it a nutritious meal, and groom and play with it, it should be happy and content.
Constant meowing could be a sign of feline dementia, old age, pain, injury, or an underlying health issue.
British Shorthair Cats Pros and Cons – Wrapping Up
As can be seen, British Shorthair cats are fairly low-maintenance and easy to care for. They are also loving and affectionate. They usually get along with dogs, other cats, and even kids.
All these traits make it one of the best cat breeds to add to your family!