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British Longhair & Shorthair


The British is one of the oldest cat breeds in the world and at present, one of the most popular breeds. Originally famous in his “blue” dress, it is today recognized in many other colours and patterns and in the longhair variant. By the end of the 19th century, the British had become a popular household pet, also thanks to its gentle disposition and affectionate nature.


It is obvious from its name that the breeds originated in Great Britain where it was first exhibited at a cat show in 1871. UK has also been the country where the breed has been mostly used for breeding at the beginning of the 1900s, also to establish other breeds’ standards. After the Second World War the breed was almost extinct. British is, originally, a shorthair cat. Because of its most popular colour blue, it has been extensively used in breeding with Russians and Chartreux. In the 1900s it was crossed with Persians, giving the genetic base for the longhair variety. The longhair has been used in the Persian breeding for many decades, till the moment breeders decided to select it separately as British Longhair, which was recognized in FIFe in 2017.


The British is a large to medium sized cat, powerful and broad at chest, with a massive neck and powerful hips. The body is cobby and legs are short and powerful. It is well-muscled and heavy. Its head is massive and round in all details: round top, round cheeks, round forehead, round tip of ears. Eyes are also round in shape, large and with an open expression. The British is recognized in many colours and patterns, and its eye colours can be from deep copper to intense green and odd, depending on the coat colour variety. Also very characteristic is the coat texture, very dense, short and plush, with a special crisp feeling at touch.


The British Shorthair is known for its calm and affectionate temperament. They are gentle and easy-going cats and are known to be good with children and other pets. They are not particularly vocal cats but will purr contentedly when they are happy. The British Shorthair is also a relatively independent cat and can be left alone for longer periods of time than some other breeds. However, they do enjoy attention and affection from their owners, and will often seek out their human companions for a cuddle or a nap.

Breed Standard
Last modification of the Standard: 2024