It is probably no surprise that the British Shorthair is the most popular pedigree breed in the UK. Who couldn’t fall for those big amber eyes and super squishy cheeks?! They are not only loved for their beautiful, teddybear-like appearance, but for their loving temperament. Rather than the usual feline aloofness, British Shorthairs are known for their loving nature making them great family pets. They are less independent than other breeds, love human company and will follow their owners from room to room. In this article, we talk a little about the history of the breed and then discuss the ideal shopping list for those who are about to bring their new British Shorthair kitten home.
The History of the British Shorthair Cat
The oldest pedigree breed in England and once known as the British Blue as that was their only coat colour, they are thought to have descended from domestic cats imported from Egypt. They became extremely popular in the Victorian era and were the only breed to be shown at some of the earliest cat shows. They almost became extinct after the World wars but were revitalised in the ensuing years, with the American Cat Association accepting the breed in 1967 followed by the International Cat Association and Cat Fanciers Association in 1979 and 1980 respectively. Since then the breed has only grown further in popularity and can be seen in almost every coat colour - the most popular is still Blue (grey).
British Shorthair Kitten Shopping List
Are you wondering what to buy your British Shorthair Kitten? Here are our recommendations:
Catit Hooded Cat Litter Tray - While British Shorthairs love company and being around their human parents, they do like privacy when they go to the loo! This hooded cat litter tray by Catit will provide a private space to do their business and is also generously proportioned so they should have plenty of room to manoeuvre in and out. The breed can grow quite large; they are naturally round with a broad chest so make sure you choose a litter tray large enough for them.
Cosy Cat Bed - There are a number of options when it comes to cat beds. We all know cats can be stubborn and once they find their favourite spot to sleep, no amount of coaxing will get them to sleep elsewhere. It’s best to see what kind of thing they like to sleep on and go from there. Our office cat, Marmeduke the British Shorthair, loves both his Cat Chesterfield, complete with cosy sherpa cushion, and his velvet cat bed. Yours may prefer a cosy cat cave where they can snuggle down in peace and quiet. Shop our full range and choose your favourite - there is a bed to suit every cat and every interior decor too!
Cat Food - British Shorthairs mainly live indoors and due to their naturally sedentary lifestyle and huge appetites can gain weight quickly. We’d suggest a good quality food designed for indoor, less active cats that is lower in fat. You could speak to your vet for their opinion and also your breeder to find out what their cats eat.
We tend to suggest a mix of dry food and wet for all cats. The dry food helps clean their teeth whilst the wet helps to keep them hydrated - cats naturally don’t tend to drink vast amounts of water. Keep a bowl of dry food down all day for grazing along with fresh water and then feed a meal or two of wet food; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Every cat is a little different and finding the right food for your particular cat will come with time and advice form your vet if needed.
Cat Bowls - You need bowls to put their food in. We love the small bowls by Tarhong with matching saucers. The bowls are ideal for dry food and water whilst the saucers are perfect for a portion of wet food. The range of bowls from Catit are also a good option. The shallow twin and single bowls are whisker friendly and come in sleek black and white options.
Catit also make a cat water fountain. As we said before, many cats will shun their water bowl and drink little. The fountain provides a trickle of filtered water which may just encourage fussy cats to drink more. Many cats favour running water over still - how many of you have a cat who takes a drink from a running tap?! The filtration also means the water stays fresh and free of any nasties.
Shorthair Cat Grooming Kit - The British Shorthair is known for its thick, plush coat which doesn’t require a lot of attention. A weekly brush should usually suffice with a more regular groom during shedding seasons which are usually in the Spring and Autumn.
The Shorthair Grooming Kit by Catit has been specifically designed for breeds with shorter coats. It has everything you need to keep your cat’s coat in tip top condition and nails in check.
Scratch Post or Tree - Most people will keep to choose their pedigree cat indoors. British Shorthairs in particular can be rather relaxed and trusting so letting them out isn’t always the best idea. If they are going to be indoor pets, then a decently proportioned cat scratch tree is a must. A series of posts and platforms will Gove them an area to exercise and allow them to scratch. Rather than a bad habit, scratching is a necessary , natural instinct in cats and keeps their claws healthy and allows them to stretch out their muscles. We’d definitely suggest investing in a tree as large as you have room for. Obviously if you live a small apartment or flat you will need to be clever about what you choose. You could opt for some platforms that attach to the wall if you have limited floor space and then have just a small post on the floor. Whatever you choose, creating an environment that allows your cat to exercise and fulfilling their scratching needs is a must.
Cat Toys! - It’s important to give your cat plenty of stimulation, especially those living solely indoors. A series of toys will help with development, appeal to their hunting instincts and is also great bonding time with owners. Buy a mixture of toys; some catnip mice for them to play hunt, a wand teaser toy so you can play with them and perhaps a puzzle toy with a tasty treat reward. Try to rotate their toys so that they don’t get bored. New things should keep them interested longer!
Cat Carrier - Whether you need something for short journeys or longer ones, a good quality carrier in an appropriate size is a must-have. You will need something from the day you collect your new bundle of joy to transport them home in safety. Our favourite is the Catit Cabrio. This has a number of features to make journeying with your cat a breeze. The top opening makes trips to the vet super easy, there are fitted bowls for feeding on longer journeys and it can be seat belted into the car for safety. An all round super product!