If you’re like most people, the first time you saw a British Shorthair cat, your sense of sight led you astray. Bigger than most cats, wide face, short fur, and an almost permanent expression that seem to say “hey you, stay away from me!” are some of the characteristics that make many people perceive British Shorthair cats are either snobbish or mean.
But the reality is far from it. You see, British Shorthairs also love to lay back and chill without a care in the world. In fact, the British Shorthair is the type of cat that will assume one posture all day every day. So what might seem like meanness or being snobbish is actually disinterest.
If anything, the British Shorthair can be extremely friendly and affectionate. Think of this cat as the kind of friend who really likes you but prefers not to show it.
British Shorthair Behaviour
Often referred to as the “bulldog” of the feline world, the British Shorthairs tend to be mostly cool, calm and collected. You will not find these cats making a mess or climbing around the house. Though they sometimes exhibit a bit of madness but these are moments that rarely last more than 5 minutes.
Also, British Shorthairs are almost always shy with strangers, but they can also warm up quickly and deeply devote themselves to their humans. Another trait that makes British Shorthairs popular with cat lovers is the fact that they make excellent house cats.
In fact, there’s nothing these cats love more than curling up beside their owners. They are quite inquisitive, so expect them to show lots of interest in everything you do.
As you may have noticed, British Shorthairs have appeared in television shows, movies, and advertisements more than any other cat breed. That’s how intelligent they are. The TV guys find them some of the easiest cats to train.
Other behaviour traits of the British Shorthair cat include:
– Prefers to stay Indoors
Yes, these cats will stay content as far as your apartment balcony from time to time. They don’t do much climbing, which is why they easily adapt to apartment living. Whilst these felines can live anywhere, their temperament keeps them on the ground most of the time.
Are you the kind of person who wouldn’t mind owning a cat, but doesn’t have time for one? Then the British Shorthair cat will be a perfect choice.
It enjoys its freedoms, and unlike most cats, it resists getting cuddled or carried around. Also, don’t expect the British Shorthair to spend many hours sleeping.
As mentioned earlier, these well-mannered cats have a sedate disposition that keeps them relaxed and quiet most of the time.
They are famously non-destructive because they tend to refrain from the spraying and scratching associated with other cat species.
Are British Shorthairs Friendly with Children?
Yes, there are! If anything, British Shorthairs are extremely tolerant of children. Remember, they have an extremely loving and calm disposition.
This allows them to tolerate certain levels of childish roughness without becoming aggressive or skittish. Which is why most British Shorthairs readily bond with youngsters.
When a British Shorthair gets angry, it would rather retreat than retaliate. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train your children on how to deal with this cat.
A cat-friendly child is the best playmate for any British Shorthair cat. Because a child’s love of fun and boundless energy helps to offset this cat’s tendency to become less active with age.
Do British Shorthairs Love to Cuddle?
If you were expecting long sessions of cuddles and lap time, the British Shorthair might disappoint you. Owners of this breed should have independent companionship and not effusive displays of (physical) affection.
In as much as this cat enjoys keeping you company and following around, it prefers trotting at your heels (as you move from room to room) and watching your actions from a suitable perch.
Whatever you do, don’t insist upon scooping your British Shorthair up for cuddles. You’ll just irritate her and she may want to avoid you altogether.
Does a British Shorthair Get Along with Other Pets?
British Shorthairs are not only good with cats, but also dogs, rabbits, birds, ferrets, and many other kinds of pets. But with dogs, you have to be extra careful. An overly aggressive or friendly dog is likely to stress a British Shorthair cat.
So teach your dog (s) to leave the cat (s) alone. Remember, dogs present a genuine existential threat to cats. Introductions should, thus, get performed with a lot of care.
Unless you’re absolutely certain that they’ll get along well, don’t allow an untrained dog to have unsupervised contact with your British Shorthair cat.
And how can you train your dog to get along with your British shorthair cat? It’s easy:
- Put them in separate spaces, but in a place where they can get the chance to register each other’s sounds and smells. Though they shouldn’t see each other at first.
- After a day or two, let them see each other whilst still staying in separate areas.
- Provide each of them with plenty of toys and space to relax.
- After a while, they’ll stop seeing each other as potential enemies and instead see an opportunity for companionship.
Are British Shorthair Cats Aggressive with Strangers?
As aforementioned, British shorthair cats display shyness when they meet strangers. Not aggressiveness. Research shows that British shorthairs have the highest probability for reduced contact with new people as compared to all other cats.
In any case, these cats can only show signs of aggressiveness in the following situations:
– Encounters with Prey Animals
Expect your British shorthair cat to lose her cool whenever she sees small creatures and mammals like hamsters, gerbils, and mice. British shorthairs will actively pursue and attack any small animal that triggers their predatory response.
– Abuse and Harassment
Any wholly unintentional or deliberate provocation can cause a British shorthair cat to become aggressive. These cats show aggression to anyone who persistently harassed them.
If not controlled, the aggression is likely to turn into a loss of trust in other animals or humans, depending on who the aggressor is.
– Injury, Illness, or Dementia
If a cat is in pain or ill and feels like she can’t communicate this effectively, she’s likely to lush out. This is especially true British shorthairs suffering from sprained joints or pulled muscles.
Also, many senior cats who develop dementia towards the end of their lives tend to exhibit aggressive behaviour despite being formerly calm cats.
The undemanding and calm temperament of the British shorthair cat makes it an excellent pet choice for singles with busy schedules or families with full houses. Occasional display of affection, as well as consistent feeding, will go a long way in keeping this freedom-loving and independent cat happy.
It’s best to buy a British shorthair while it’s still a kitten, so you can get to enjoy playing with it while it still has the energy and interest.