If you grew up in the UK or reading bedtime stories, you probably already familiar with the British Shorthair. You know, he’s that clever feline in Puss in Boots and the grinning Cheshire Cat of Alice in Wonderland.
This British native emerged during the Victorian period but numbers were greatly reduced after two world wars. It’s teddy bear appearance is due to a short thick coat with round face and cheeks and huge marble eyes.
They come in almost every colour imaginable, including lilac, chocolate, black, white, pointed, tabby and many more. The best known color is blue grey and the cats are sometimes referred to as British Blues. British Shorthair fact! The British Shorthair does not reach full physical maturity until they are 3 to 5 years old.
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Home environment - As with most cats, they can be sociable when introduced to an environment that is peaceful, stimulating and where they feel safe. This cat can thrive in a household with children who can treat this delicate beauty politely and respectfully. Always introduce any pets, even other cats, slowly and in a controlled setting.
Entertaining – A good butler knows how to entertain! To keep your cat entertained and to help them stay fit and active, provide various play stations and treats. Cats love playtime with their owners which helps them to socialize well and thwarts boredom and troublesome behaviors.
Hair – The British Shorthair is simple to groom as it has a very smooth coat which allows for easy care. Shedding is to be expected as with any cat however, combing or brushing can be done maybe twice a week to reduce furniture coverage.
Teeth – The use of small finger toothbrushes for weekly clean can help keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy and may prevent periodontal disease. Careful with your fingers, cats have impressive jaw strength and can give quite a finger crushing bite! Annual checks at the vets will also pick up on anything that might need professional attention.
Nails – Now, be careful with this one. Cat’s nails are live so there is the potential to cause pain especially if the nail is dark and you cannot see clearly to differentiate live areas from ‘safe’ areas to clip. Probably best to schedule a visit to your vets or local shelter where there will be someone trained to carry out this procedure. I clipped my cat Tiny’s nail tips while she sat in the sink about once a fortnight. She would only allow me to clip her front ones and would happily bite her back paw nails at her leisure.
Clean – You can use a soft cloth and wipe the eye area. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so that you don’t spread any infection. Gently wipe out ears, warm water is fine. Never poke or use cotton buds (Q-tips) inside the ears.
Litter Box – Keep the trays meticulously clean and have more than one (if possible). Remember to keep trays away from food areas.
Roam or not to roam – It’s a good idea to keep your lovely inside, apart from attacks from other cats or dogs or traffic dangers, such a beauty might be stolen. However, if you’re going to allow roaming, remember to microchip and use a collar with an ID tag.
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