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White British Shorthair Cat: Facts, Origin & History (with Pictures)

The British Shorthair is a well-loved and familiar cat breed. Their coats can come in various colors and markings. There are over two dozen coat colors for British Shorthairs, including blue, gray, black, tan, cream, tabby, chocolate, merle, fawn, cinnamon, and, most importantly, white. No matter which British Shorthair cat you decide to give a forever home, you’ll get a loyal, loving, gorgeous feline companion in return.

Luckily, the article below details everything you need to know, from the breed’s history to whether they typically make good pets. So, join us as we delve into the White British Shorthair cat’s facts, origin, and history.

divider-catclaw1 The Earliest Records of White British Shorthairs in History

The British Shorthair’s history can be traced back much further than most breeds. The breed’s ancestors first landed on the British Isles in the first century A.D. when Roman soldiers brought them along. At the time, Rome was doing what it did best, conquering its neighbors, and cats were brought along to keep Roman camps free of mice.

While the Romans didn’t last in Britain, the cats they brought along did. Roman cats were bred with the cats already in Britain, leading to the modern British Shorthair. These British cats had the short bodies and thick coats that the current British Shorthair retains.

White British Shorthair
Image Credit: Oksana Susoeva, Shutterstock

How the White British Shorthair Gained Popularity

In the 1800s, the British Shorthair was bred to have a blue and gray color, which is still popular today. In 1871, the British Shorthair took part in the first-ever cat show, and it was very well received. These cat shows played a significant role in building the popularity of the British Shorthair. By the 20th century, the British Shorthair had come a long way from Roman mousers to British companions, but sadly, humanity got in their way.

World War One proved detrimental to the British Shorthair population, and they were close to becoming extinct. The Second World War only worsened this problem, but after the war, the British Shorthair was bred with Russian Blues, French Chartreux, and Persians. Fortunately, this crossbreeding was incredibly successful, and the British Shorthair has a healthy and thriving population today.

Formal Recognition of the White British Shorthair

Despite having a history tracing back centuries, the British Shorthair was recognized relatively recently. The American Cat Association first recognized them in 1967. Since then, the breed has been recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline, the Cat Fanciers Association, and the International Cat Association.

Cat ball divider 1 Top 6 Unique Facts About the White British Shorthair

1. They Are the Most Popular Cat Breed in the United Kingdom

According to the Governing Council of The Cat Fancy, the British Shorthair is the most popular breed in Britain. With their adorable thick coats and relaxed attitudes, how could the British people not adore them?

White British Shorthair
Image Credit: Rita Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
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2. A British Shorthair Once Held the World Record for the Loudest Purr

In 2011 a British Shorthair named Smokey achieved the world record for the loudest purr. The purr registered at a staggering 67.7 decibels, around the same decibels as a lawn mower. Smokey held the record for the rest of his life, but his record was beaten by 0.1 decibels a year after his passing in 2015.

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3. The British Shorthair Was the United Kingdom’s First Pedigreed Cat Breed

The British Shorthair’s breed standards were written in the late 1800s, which paved the way for them to become the U.K.’s first pedigreed cat breed.

White British Shorthair
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
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4. Puss and Boots Is a British Shorthair

Puss and Boots is a fictional character created by Charles Perrault. Despite his Spanish accent, the character is modeled after the British Shorthair.

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5. The Cheshire Cat Was Modeled After the British Shorthair

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland’ is one of the most famous stories of all time, and one of its most popular characters, The Cheshire Cat, is thought to have been modeled after the British Shorthair.

White British Shorthair
Image Credit: Tekes Anna, Shutterstock
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6. The White British Shorthair Is a Rare Color

Only 5% of British Shorthairs are white. Only two other coat colorations are as rare as white: fawn and cinnamon.

Cat ball divider 1 Does the White British Shorthair Make a Good Pet?

The British Shorthair is an easygoing breed known for its calm temperament. They tend to get along well with other pets and strangers and spend most of their day lying around. However, like most other cat breeds, they’re very particular about how they are treated. British Shorthairs typically don’t enjoy being picked up and carried around, especially by children.

While the British Shorthair starts life as an energy-filled kitten, they usually grow out of that by adulthood. They enjoy lounging around all day and are very reliant on people. If you need to leave for a few days, your British Shorthair will be fine without your attention.

The British Shorthair is the perfect cat for someone looking for a calm and collected cat that doesn’t need constant attention.

divider-catclaw1 Conclusion

As you can see, the White British Shorthair cat breed is a cat that’s extremely popular and well-loved by pet parents everywhere. This easygoing cat is well known for its patience and calm disposition. The cats are even famous; they played characters in Alice in Wonderland and Puss in Boots, so if you give one a forever home, you’ll have a celebrity in your midst.

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Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock