The British Shorthair is a wonderful and loving cat breed that makes a great pet. They do not require specialized grooming and are easy to care for, although they are fairly uncommon, so you may need to purchase your British Shorthair directly from a breeder. Here's how to select a British shorthair:
- Understand the breed's temperament. First, make sure that the British Shorthair would fit in with your family. The British Shorthair is relatively reserved when compared to other pet breeds. They are affectionate, but not too demanding of your attention. The British Shorthair is very easygoing, and can be playful but is not usually destructive if left alone. They usually get along well with children and other pets.
- Commit to the breed's requirements. The British Shorthair breed has short hair that does not tangle or mat easily, making it a good choice for those who do not want a high-maintenance breed. The coat should be brushed weekly. Do not free-feed a British Shorthair cat, because they are prone to obesity.
- Know your options. Although a British Shorthair may show up in a shelter or rescue from time to time, if you have your heart set on a purebred British Shorthair, you'll probably have to purchase one from a breeder. This will usually run you about $200 to $500. Do you want a full-grown cat or a kitten? Because this breed is not often found in shelters, you may have difficulty finding an adult British Shorthair unless you can find an owner unable to care for their pet any longer. Most breeders only have kittens for sale. Make sure the kitten is no younger than 12 weeks. Before this time, they aren't ready to leave their mother, although some unscrupulous breeders will separate kittens as young as 5 weeks. If you plan to show your cat, make sure that you ask for a show-quality British Shorthair, not pet quality.
- Choose a breeder. Do not buy a British Shorthair from a pet store. Instead, choose a breeder who is active in the cat community. Make sure that the breeder you find is reputable. They should be open to questions and should seem to care about the cats, not just about the money. Never purchase a cat without a contract from a breeder.
- Ask about health conditions. The breeder you choose should guarantee that your British Shorthair cat does not have feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Get a health guarantee in writing from the breeder.
- Inspect the cat. Pick up the cat or kitten you are considering. Be wary of any breeder who won't let you hold the cat before purchase. Check for good muscle tone. The British Shorthair's body is rounded and sturdy. The head should be round with chubby cheeks. Inspect the eyes (no discharge, large, round, and copper-colored), the ears (clean and pink inside), and the skin (no dry, flaky, or bald patches.) The cat should look healthy overall, with no sneezing or sniffling. Watch for fleas or flea dirt, which looks like black specks of dirt.
- First vet visit. Before introducing the cat to the rest of your family, especially if you already have other cats, take the cat for a vet checkup. This will ensure that your cat is healthy enough to bring home, and catch any issues so that they can be treated promptly.
British Shorthair cats make great pets. With just a little research into the breeder, and a thorough inspection to be sure the kitten you choose is healthy, you can be sure that your British Shorthair will have a long and happy life with your family.