British Shorthair Cat

Health

The British Shorthair Cat is generally healthy. They would seem to have a life span slightly above the average for a purebred cat (averaging 15 years of age). Apparently, they may be more prone than normal to becoming overweight when there is a combination of being neutered or spayed and if they are encouraged to lead a sedentary life style (i.e. living in an apartment or exclusive and permanent indoor living

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
). This may be exacerbated by modern cat diets a lot of it being high in carbohydrates and the fact that they can be lazy sometimes. A low carbohydrate diet should be considered. There is no such thing in my opinion as inactive cat food. It is important to keep a healthy cat weight obviously. Cat weights are increasing with human weights and is of concern to veterinarians.

british shorthair

Ralph standing copyright © Helmi Flick

The best way to deal with this is to ensure some exercise, which means more input from the human keeper together with a low-calorie diet (LD or RD Hills I give my cat – although she is still overweight). Their tendency to become overweight is due, in part, to being naturally inactive at 4-6 years (and beyond) of age.

The British Shorthair cat may also suffer from more than average teeth/gum problems, namely gingivitis. For the human companion there are methods for dealing with this. The breeder also has his part to play in breeding carefully and selectively to minimize the condition. These kinds of problems are not necessarily specific to this breed.

There are also apparently potential heart conditions associated with the British Shorthair cat (HCM Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy). HCM is what I would consider a “problem disease” in that it pops up as an inherited disease in several purebred cats, namely Maine Coon, Ragdoll, Rex cats (this link goes to the Devon but see others on this site) and American Shorthairs (src: Tufts Oct 2-4, 2003). Although it should be said that speaker at Tufts said the HCM is suspected to be inherited in the breeds mentioned other than the Maine Coon in which it is known to be inherited.

The CFA website does not mention HCM in relation to this breed as far as I can see. To this list can I believe be added the Bengal cat. I have made several posts about HCM and the Bengal cat. I have a page on cat health issues on this site. Update: Dr Clark1 says that this breed has a recognised medical problem: Hemophilia B. This is a hereditary deficiency in clotting factor IX. It is also known as Christmas Disease. Cats affected by this disease may “excessively after injury or surgery but the bleeding may be delayed”. 40% of British Shorthair cats have type B blood, a rare trait3. Another disorder more often found in the British Shorthair cat is neonatal erthrolysis. This is the destruction of red blood cells in newborn kittens due to a difference in blood type between mother and her offspring. Although the coat is fairly low maintenance, like all coats it ideally requires regular grooming by us.

British Shorthair

Nox who lives with Helmi and Ken Flick – copyright © Helmi Flick

Helmi says this about her Brit. Shorthairs:”Nox and Sky are my British Shorthairs that live with us. Sky is a Blue British Shorthair and Nox is a Black Brit. Both are altered. Their full names are SGCA, RW Earendil Sky (she is a Regional Winner) and CH Earendil Nox. They are 10 years old.” See a slide show the likes of which you’ve never seen before, with large format Helmi photographs According to this website long standing popularity poll the British Shorthair is one of the most popular ranking around 6th out of about 70 cat breeds.

8 thoughts on “British Shorthair Cat”

  1. Earl Grey’s full name is Laziblues Earl Grey, and he still lives with us as part of our Laziblues Cattery family. He was not named after tea, but after the British Prime Minister who lifted the embargo on tea, and allowed a more cheap tea to enter the UK market.
    Love his pictures as a baby here. Thank you Helmi!

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