A British Shorthair cat snuggles on the couch wearing a cat jersey

Top 7 British Shorthair Cat (and Kitten) Questions Answered


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British Shorthair cats and kittens are extremely popular in Australia. This pedigreed breed made its claim to fame as the inspo behind Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire cat thanks to its adorable smile. Aside from this, it’s also one of the oldest known cat breeds (it’s thought to date back to the first century AD).

That’s a bit of history and fantasy about this marvellous meowser. Now let’s look at the present.

In this article, PD Insurance answers five top questions about British Shorthair cats and kittens. Find out all about this beautiful breed.

#1 Are British Shorthair cats good pets?

When it comes to personality, British Shorthair cats are the cool and collected crowd at the feline party. They’re not the hyperactive type. Instead, they’re all about charm and loyalty. They’re usually up for lots of physical interaction, making them charming pets for children.

But here’s the scoop: don’t expect to scoop them up! They’re usually not into being carried so be sure that if you have little ones, they understand this from the get-go.

As far as being lap cats, that’s also usually a ‘No’ (if that’s what you’re after, read about the Ragdoll cat). This breed would much rather chill beside you. All that aside, this is a breed that loves physical interaction, from kisses and head rubbing to twirling around your legs.

The silent type

Unlike certain cat breeds that love to chit chat with you all day (read our Siamese cats article), British Shorthair cats are more the silent sidekick type. The one who follows you around like a shadow because they love your company.

They’re the ultimate homebodies and don’t mind relaxing at home while you head out for the day. When you’re out and about, they’ll patiently await your return. Read about leaving your cat home alone and how long is OK.

A British Shorthair cat gazes down lovingly into the lens of its pet parent's camera

#2 What is this breed’s health and grooming needs?

Grooming your British Shorthair baby? No biggie. They’re indoor cats by preference and handle it like a breeze. But watch their waistlines because they’re prone to becoming a little pudgy if you’re not careful with their diet.

A few added kilos might not seem like much of an issue. However, keeping your British Shorthair within its average cat weight range could help safeguard against pet diabetes and other health conditions.

A few common health issues this breed can be prone to are:

  • breathing issues (due to its flatter shaped face)
  • heart disease
  • blood clots
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • cataracts 
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Over and above lifestyle and diet, routine health checks with your vet are a great way to ensure your British Shorthair cat or kitten maintains their best health. And when things do go wrong, there’s cat insurance.

#3 Are British Shorthair cats hypoallergenic?

Strictly speaking no cat is 100% hypoallergenic. However, some cats do shed less and create less of the protein that causes allergic reactions. Sadly, the British Shorthair cat isn’t one of them. Read more about hypoallergenic cat breeds to see which ones are.

If you suffer from cat allergies and love cats, we know how hard your plight is. Did you know there might be light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine for those allergic to cats?

Cutest cats on the planet include these British Shorthairs

#4 How long do British Shorthair cats live? 

One of the top questions people ask online is “How long do British Shorthair cats live?” When it comes to how long cats live, the answer isn’t only dependent on breed but it does play a role. Lifestyle choices can also affect a pet’s lifespan, from adequate playtime and a healthy diet to routine vet check-ups.

We’ve round up some key facts including British Shorthair breed lifespan, here:

Lifespan14 – 20 years
WeightMales, 4.1 -7.7 kg / Females, 3.2 – 5.4 kg
CoatDense and plush
ColoursBlack, blue, chocolate, cinnamon, cream, fawn, golden, red, silver, white
Nose coloursBlack, brick red, cherry red

British Shorthairs’ coat can be one colour. But it can also be bicolour, tortoiseshell, colourpoint and tabby. Read the answer to ‘What breed are tabby cats?‘ for more on tabbies.

A cat grooms its paws

#5 How do I find a reputable cat breeder in Australia?

So you’ve fallen in love with the breed and are ready to get your very own British Shorthair kitten, but where to start? First off, you need to go via the ethical breeder route. This helps you avoid getting scammed via a mail order. It also means you won’t accidentally end up supporting an unethical breeder.

Note: Unethical breeders are not interested in the welfare of their breeding pair, instead focusing on the financial benefits. That means a higher likelihood of buying a British Shorthair kitten that’s predisposed to certain behavioural and health issues.

On the other hand, ethical breeders not only prioritise the welfare of all their cats, they do health screenings and DNA tests on both breeding parents. This means they can check for genes that make the cats prone to certain genetic diseases. You’re very likely going to buy a kitten with a healthy start in life.

The steps to finding an ethical breeder in Australia are much the same whether you’re buying a purebred puppy or a kitten. When buying a British Shorthair kitten, make sure you meet the breeder and the kitten before making a decision. That’s step one. Find out the next steps with our ethical breeder checklist.

Note: Ethical British Shorthair breeders should be registered with the likes of an Australian Cat Federation (ACF) affiliate, Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia (CCCA) affiliate, or Australian National Cats Inc. (ANCATS). 
a cat sits expectantly with its paw on its dinner bowl

#6 What to feed British Shorthair kittens?

Feeding your British Shorthair kitten right is an exacting science. Luckily, if you’re not big into science you don’t need to be! There are some great pet food guidelines to help you choose a pet food that’s right for your kitten.

Choose an AAFCO and FEDIAF compliant cat food (a quick Google search should tell you which pet foods are). These are the global guidelines in pet food. Any cat food that meets – or better yet exceeds – these standards will fulfil your ideal British Shorthair kitten diet.

But wait there’s more. Some pet food companies offer a British Shorthair cat food, if you want to get really specific. Also, the answer to “Can kittens eat adult cat food?” is no – you should cater to their age. So over and above a breed specific diet if possible, choose a food catering specifically to your British Shorthair kitten’s age.

By doing this you’ll be giving them the correct quantities of protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. And because a cat’s diet also needs water (and they don’t always drink enough), read about dry cat food vs wet.

#7 How to get that famous “Cheshire cat smile”?

One fantastic way to safeguard your British Shorthair (and bring out that inner smile) is giving them cat insurance. For vet treatments you can’t predict they may need – and which could cost oodles – having pet insurance is a win-win.

Not only does your pet’s plan help protect their health but it also protects your finances. You can seriously reduce the stress of financial worries over vet hospital stays, surgery, prescription medication, dental care and more. Depending on what level of cat cover you select your cat will be covered for accidents, illness and dental.

That means you can focus your attention where it’s needed. On spending quality time with your cat and not worrying about the unknown and unexpected dangers that could happen.

Get one or more months of FREE pet insurance with PD Pet insurance. Click below to get a quote today.

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