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British Shorthair - Tortie Cats

British shorthair tortie cat sitting against a white background British shorthair tortie cat close up with piercing eyes British shorthair tortie kitten against a white background British shorthair tortie cat lying against a white background British shorthair tortie cat against a blue background


The British Shorthair sits at the very beginning of the long tale of the domestic puss. The original specimens are thought to have been brought to Britain by the Romans in the 1st century AD. Other breeds have been included in the Shorthair mix over the centuries, notably crosses with Persians which created the British Longhair breed during World World One.

Originally, the British Shorthair and Russian Blue were judged to be the same breed of 'blue cats'. The two have since been recognized as separate breeds in their own right.

The British Shorthair breed suffered neglect in World War Two, and many breeding lines were lost. To bolster the numbers post-war, British Shorthairs were crossed with Russian Blues, Persians and some other breeds, and most of today's specimens are descended from those crosses.

This modern form of the British Shorthair gained championship status from The International Cat Association in 1979. It is now one of the most popular breeds of cat in the United Kingdom, although less common elsewhere.


The British Shorthair is both friendly and docile - a combination that makes it a great family house cat. They love spending as much time as possible with their owners, and like nothing better than a warm lap. They welcome everyone home with purrs, fuss and a lots of rubbing against your ankles. They tolerate other animals, and are very patient even with small children. One thing they dislike is being left alone all day.


Only tortie patterns

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Place of Origin: UK
  • Rough date of Origin: 1800s
  • Hair length: Shorthair
  • Activity Level: Medium
  • Vocalness: Medium
  • Child friendly: Good with children
  • Intelligence:
  • Playfullness: Relaxed
  • Grooming Requirements: Less than once per week
  • Weight: 4.0 - 8.0kg
  • Size: Large
  • House Cat or Outdoor Cat: House Cat
  • Pet Compatibility:
  • Social Needs:

British Shorthair - Tortie Pictures

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British shorthair tortie cat in garden
Cat on bed
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