One of the oldest breeds of English cats, the British Shorthair is known as the Winston Churchill of the cat world due to its heavy jowls, big bones and dignified air, says Vickie Fisher, TICA’s treasurer. “It’s a very stocky, heavy-boned cat,” she adds.
The British Shorthair has changed little over the centuries but the breeding stock sharply declined in the years surrounding World War II, says Fisher, noting that efforts to rejuvenate the breed have resulted in a steady rise in popularity since the 1970s.
Today, the British Shorthair is an affectionate, loyal family pet that quietly rules the household, Fisher says. The calm breed is tolerant of children and other animals but is also content with its own company. It’s known for its short, extremely dense coat that comes in most colors. The British Shorthair’s chubby cheeks and prominent, rounded whisker pads create what appears to be a smile, Fisher says, so it’s easy to see why the breed served as the model for Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.
Learn more about the British Shorthair.