Whether you are looking for a British Shorthair cat in Malaysia, or you already own one, this article will walk you through all you need to know about this adorable furry friend.
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The British Shorthair is a relatively large and sturdy cat breed. They are easily recognised because of their round heads, broad chests and shoulders, chubby cheeks and thick heads. They also have a muscular neck and a well-developed muzzle with prominent whisker pads. Their tails are medium in length, with a thick base that tapers slightly before ending in a well-rounded tip.
The eyes of a British Shorthair are big and round. They have small, medium-sized ears that are broad at the base and more rounded at the tips. The ears should also be set apart, with the outer edges continuing the contour of the head.
Coat Colours and Patterns
British Shorthairs have short, dense coats. One of their most distinctive features is the wide range of coat colours and patterns. Of all the colours, blue is the most common colour. In fact, the breed used to be known as the “British Blues” because they were only available in that colour.
However, they now come in different colours including blue, black, red, silver, white, cream, golden, lilac, chocolate, fawn and cinnamon. Their patterns include tabby, smoke, tortoise shell, shaded, pointed, bi-color and tri-color.
The eye colour of a British Shorthair is usually a result of its coat colour. Those with blue coats have orange-amber eyes, while those with other coat colours can have blue, copper, green or amber eyes.
Weight and Size
It takes a British Shorthair up to five years before it reaches its full weight and size. The males are larger and can weigh between 4.1 and 7.7 kg, in comparison to 3.2 and 5.5 kg for females. An adult British Shorthair would measure between 36 and 40 cm in length.
How Much Does a British Shorthair Cost?
A British Shorthair costs between RM1,200 to RM13,000. The price varies according to pedigree status, coat colour, health and medical status, age, etc.
As with many purebred cats, British Shorthair cats are in high demand which makes them expensive to buy.
Where to Adopt a British Shorthair in Malaysia?
Visit this page for the list of online and offline cat adoption platforms in Malaysia. You might just get lucky and find a British Shorthair for cheap! However, there is no guarantee your British Shorthair will be purebred or in excellent condition.
At Grace Cat, we always support ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’. We believe you can find your perfect kitty in a rescue – whatever breed it may be.
Where to Buy a British Shorthair in Malaysia?
Disclaimer: Grace Cat is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned below and will not be liable for any losses or inconveniences that happen from dealings with them. You are strongly encouraged to do your own due diligence to make the best-informed decision. Beware of scams whenever you are doing an online deal.
If you are thinking of buying a British Shorthair cat in Malaysia, here are some of the breeders/sellers’ platforms:
There are also plenty of British Shorthair groups on Facebook where the members offer their cats for sale or adoption. So, do check them out too. Some of the groups include:
Of course, your best bet in purchasing a healthy and well-tempered British Shorthair is through a trusted British Shorthair breeder in Malaysia.
Here are some tips when buying a British Shorthair kitten:
1. Visit the breeder on-site: Check the environment in which the British Shorthair kitten is living and how the kitten interacts with its cat family as well as people.
2. Meet the kitten’s parents: By looking at the parents, it will give you a sense of your kitten’s temperament, size, and appearance when growing up.
3. Ask questions: See if the breeder is patient with your questions and explains things clearly. A responsible breeder will be happy to share their knowledge.
Some of the questions you should ask the breeder include:
“How long have you been breeding British Shorthair?” The more experience, the better.
“How many litters does the mum have per year?” A responsible breeder will never produce more than one litter per year for the health of the mum.
“What food do you feed the kitten?”
“Is the kitten microchipped?”
“How is the temperament of the parents?”
4. Get a full medical history: Including a health certificate and vaccinations and deworming record.
5. Get a contract and guarantee: Even well-bred cats may develop health problems, especially genetic diseases. Ask if there is any sort of health guarantee by the breeder, and what health clearances (e.g. genetic diseases tests) have been done on the kitten and the parents.
6. Get a purebred certificate: This only applies if you are looking for a pedigree British Shorthair.
Lifespan of British Shorthair
The average lifespan of British Shorthair is 12 to 20 years.
Personality of a British Shorthair
British Shorthairs are calm and friendly. They do not continuously demand attention and are usually happy to be left by themselves. They usually want to stay next to you or at least in the same room, so they will probably follow you around to be involved in everything you are doing.
They are loyal, mellow-tempered, and not wary of strangers, so they will quickly get used to a new face.
These cat breeds adapt easily to their surroundings and get along well with children and cat-friendly dogs. Although they are quite easy-going and good with children, they do not enjoy being picked up and hugged. Nevertheless, British Shorthair would still be a good choice for a family with pets and children.
Can British Shorthair Be Left Alone?
Yes, British Shorthair will handle short-term loneliness (1 to 2 days) better than some other breeds. Ensure to provide your cats with engaging toys to keep them busy while you are away. If left alone for more than 2 days, your British Shorthair might develop anxiety so it requires a cat sitter or a friend who will visit your cat every day.
Diet for British Shorthair
The ideal diet for a British Shorthair cat should focus on animal protein, especially from animals that are as close to a cat’s natural prey as possible such as chicken, duck, quail and fish. Grains and vegetable ingredients are unnecessary and should be avoided. A healthy high animal protein food like Grace Cat is perfect for your British Shorthair.
Besides, make sure your British Shorthair drinks enough water to stay hydrated. Clean your cat’s water bowl and change the water regularly so that it is free from contaminants.
Grooming British Shorthairs
The British Shorthair is not a high-maintenance breed. Because their fur is short and dense, it does not mat or tangle easily. However, it is important to comb or brush their coat once or twice every week. This will help to remove dead hair and evenly distribute skin oils.
Gently brush or comb your British Shorthair all over, including the tummy area, which is often tricky. If the cat starts to get uncomfortable, you can let it run off for a little break.
While grooming your cat, you should look out for skin problems or injuries. Check if there are bald patches, insect bites, lumps or bumps. You should also pay close attention to discomfort, as this could be a sign of internal injuries, sprains or strains.
Trimming Their Claws
You should clip your British Shorthair claws at least once every 10–14 days. If this is not done regularly, the claws could become ingrown. When you clip their nails, they become less sharp which prevents serious damage when they scratch your furniture, carpet and curtains. You should be careful while clipping the claws and only trim the tip.
It is important to get your cat used to the clippers first. You can do this by leaving it in its favourite places, such as its food bowl. Allow it to sniff and lick the clippers, and help it get used to the clipper’s sound by clipping dry spaghetti. Ensure that it is comfortable with the sound before you start trimming its claws.
Brushing Their Teeth
It is important to brush your cat’s teeth regularly to prevent them from developing cavities, gum diseases or tooth decay. British Shorthairs are even more prone to dental caries and gingivitis than other cat breeds, so they require more attention when it comes to their dental care. Although it is recommended that you brush their teeth every week, every day is better.
If your cat is reluctant to toothbrushing, using meat-flavoured toothpaste helps. Apply a dab of the paste to the brush and make your British Shorthair lick it off so that it gets used to the toothbrush. But if this does not work, you can use a fingertip brush. This allows you to open your cat’s mouth and brush its teeth at the same time. Another alternative is to wrap your finger with a clean cloth and use a dab of pet toothpaste to wipe your cat’s teeth.
This breed of cat is not naturally athletic and they are usually happy to stay indoors. British Shorthairs enjoy their own company and will generally take their toys to play by themselves. However, they can invite you to join in by bringing the toy over.
You should play with your British Shorthair for a minimum of 15 minutes two times a day. This will help burn off excess energy and keep the cat from getting bored.
It is advisable that you get cat trees and encourage your British Shorthair to use them. Cat trees are a form of exercise and prevent your cat from becoming lazy. If it does not use the tree, you can place food treats or toys to tempt it. A cat tree is even more useful when you have children or dogs because it allows the cat to leave floor level and gives them a great spot to monitor everything happening around the house.
Generally, British Shorthairs are non-destructive and do not scratch things in the home. However, many owners now assume that they do not need a scratching post, but this is simply not the case. All cats should have a scratching post and this is even more true of British Shorthairs because they have lower activity levels.
Since they do not walk, run or climb as much as other cat breeds, they do not wear their claws down. As the claws grow in, the tips of the older claws are pushed aside by the newer ones. Scratching aids in the removal of old claw tips, allowing new claws to grow properly.
The perfect scratching post is one that has different angles. Vertical scratching posts allow your British Shorthair to stretch up and scratch vertically as if they are scratching door jams or sofa arms. On the other hand, horizontal posts let the cat work out its back legs and claws.
The length of the post should be at least 50% longer than the length of the cat, while it should be fairly heavy to prevent it from pushing or pulling it.
General Health Problems of British Shorthair
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
British Shorthairs are unfortunately prone to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a chronic heart condition that causes the cat to have abnormally thick heart muscle, therefore preventing the heart from working effectively and reducing the blood flow.
In cats, HCM can cause blood clots and even heart failure. To diagnose the condition, an ultrasound scan (echocardiogram) is carried out to measure the heart muscle. If the condition is recognised early, long-term medications and other measures would be recommended to manage it and slow down its effects. They also help to provide a better quality of life, although there is no cure.
There are genetic tests that can help you find out if your British Shorthair is at risk of developing HCM. So, it is important you ask the cat breeder whether the tests have been carried out before making a purchase. It is also important that the results of these screening tests are interpreted by a veterinarian.
Another common condition that affects British Shorthairs is Hyperthyroidism. Cats’ metabolism is regulated by a hormone produced by the thyroid gland, Hyperthyroidism happens when the gland makes too much thyroid hormone.
This condition initially causes an obvious increase in the appetite of your British Shorthair. But despite the fact that it is eating more, you might notice that it is rapidly losing weight and that its coat has become scruffy and rough. Another indication of this condition is that your cat could also become aggressive and restless.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with radiation, medication or surgery.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD or AD-PKD)
British Shorthairs can inherit Polycystic Kidney Disease. Cats that are affected start to show initial signs of kidney issues between the ages of 3 and 10. But most cats develop their first symptoms when they are around 7 years old. So, if you are getting a kitten from a breeder, ensure that their cats have tested negative for PKD.
While obesity is a common health issue with pets, British Shorthairs are more likely to pile on extra weight in comparison with other cat breeds. Therefore, it is important that you properly monitor your cat’s diet. Also, ensure that they are getting enough exercise to keep them in shape.
More than 70% of cats above the age of 3 suffer from dental disease. In order to prevent your British Shorthair from developing this condition, try to brush its teeth every day. They should also undergo a dental checkup once a year.
Does British Shorthair Shed a Lot?
No, British Shorthairs do not shed a lot when compared to other indoor cats of similar size. The fact that they do not have undercoats also means that shedding is reduced significantly.
If you think that your British Shorthair is shedding more than usual, then it might be time to visit a vet. You can also check their fur for bald and dry patches, which can be caused by allergies, dermatitis, parasites and stress. Not taking the necessary steps as soon as possible is dangerous since you are potentially risking the health of your cat.
The coat of a cat is directly impacted by its diet. Food rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 is recommended for cats because these fatty acids prevent a dry coat, hair loss and skin infections.
Are British Shorthairs Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, British Shorthairs are not a hypoallergenic breed. Many people believe that they are hypoallergenic because they have shorter hair than other cat breeds, but this is not true at all.
Cat allergies are a result of Fel-D1 protein which is produced by all cats including British Shorthairs. The protein is found in the urine, saliva, and dander of the cat, but as they clean themselves, they transfer to their fur. When the fur is shed, the proteins get on your furniture, carpets and even in the air.
Some cat breeds such as Bengals, Siamese, Russian Blues and Siberians produce smaller amounts of Fel-D1 and are known as hypoallergenic breeds. However, British Shorthairs are not hypoallergenic because they produce enough Fel-D1 to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
If you suffer from allergies but still want a British Shorthair, then you must be thorough with your cleaning routine. Ensure that you vacuum and dust the house every day. Also, make sure that your cat stays out of your bedroom so that they do not trigger an allergy or asthma attack at night.
Origin of the British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is one of the earliest cat breeds. It was ﬁrst introduced to Great Britain (now the United Kingdom) by the Romans to protect their food supplies from rats. The cats quickly became popular as farm and street cats, and by the time the Romans left, they were welcomed into British people’s homes because of their good looks and sweet personalities.
By the late 1800s, a cat breeder named Harrison Weir, who is also widely known as “The Father of the Cat Fancy,” started to officially develop the breed of British Shorthair. They were featured in the first cat show held at the Crystal Palace in London, which was organised by Weir. In 1874, a British Shorthair named Brynbuboo Little Monarch won the Grand Championship of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Should I Get a British Shorthair?
Adding a new cat to your household is truly exciting, but before you get your hands on that cute ball of fluff, there are a few factors to consider such as: am I ready to dedicate my life to a cat? And which cat breed best suits my lifestyle?
Excellent health, easy grooming requirements and sweet temperament make British Shorthair popular, especially among first-time cat parents.
If you think a British Shorthair might be the ideal cat for you, contact an animal rescue or reputable breeder in Malaysia to find your perfect cat!
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