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TRADITIONAL BRITISH SHORTHAIR © ®

&  TRADITIONAL BRITISH LONGHAIR  © ®

FAQs

HISTORY - PERSONALITY - HEALTH
Copyright © Trademark ® Diana Fineran, January 2, 2007


Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

Photos Courtesy of Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

HISTORY

True to its name the Traditional British Shorthair is a native of England, where it is probably the oldest English breed of cat.   Most likely their ancestry traces back 2000 years ago to the domestic cat of Rome, transported  by the Roman Empire to Northern Europe and to their outlying provinces such as the British Isles. Always prized for their strength and hunting ability, they earned the love and respect of people in their long history. They come in both Short Hair and Long Hair varieties.

For hundreds of years they roamed the cities and farms of England.  Only until the 1800’s and the advent of the first cat shows in 1871, were they bred for type, color or pedigree. 

By 1910 the top cat was the Silver, Tabby, Male, CH Jimmy, owned by Mrs. Louise Herring.  At that time the female top winning cat was CH Jimmy’s sister, CH Laurel Queen, owned by C.H. Lane.  The show prowess of these siblings caused many to take notice of the British Native.

Very early on many Traditional British Shorthairs were exported to the U.S.  The first one registered in the U.S. was in 1901.  He was a male, red, tabby named, Belle of Bradford, imported by Jane Cathcart. 

Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

Photos Courtesy of Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

Early breeders in England were Lady Alexander (Ballochmyle – prefix), C.H., Lane (Laurel – prefix) and Lady Decies (Fulmer).

World War I brought the British Cat Fancy to a dead stop until the war was over.  Loss of breeding cats resulted in breeders having a difficult time finding registered Traditional British Shorthairs to use, so they introduced un-registered domestic cats, which caused a lack of type.  Thus they lost the winning prowess previously enjoyed.  In an attempt to take a short cut to regain type, some breeders out crossed to Persians.  The British registry refused to register the resulting kittens or allow them to be shown.  Three generations of breeding those kittens back to Traditional British Shorthairs opened the doors to the British Registry again.  By then Persian and other shorthairs had gained popularity, so the Traditional British Shorthair declined in numbers.

Photos Courtesy of Olga Osipova Miss Kit Wilson took on the breed in the 1930’s.  through her work and that of others the breed was sustained through the Depression and the Second World War.  Once again, only a few remained for breeding and were to closely related. To re-gain a strong gene pool un-pedigreed domestic shorthairs, Russian Blues, Burmese, and Chartreux were added to the breed.  The result was loss of type again to a more foreign look, so Persians were used again.  This became a struggle to keep away from such Persian attributes of a pug face and long fur.  It took great effort to get the breed to breed true again.   (Photo Courtesy of Olga Osipova)

Silver Tabbies were exported to the U.S. in large numbers early in the 20th century.  They were still called Domestic Shorthairs until the 1950’s when they were first known as the “British Blue”, because of the breeds only original color. They are now accepted in a rainbow of cat colors.

In 1967 Mrs. Levy of Long Island, NY imported Pensylva Damcus and Pensylva Blusette from Mrs. Joan Richards British cattery.  This pair became the first U.S. Champions in the breed.  Later came Manana Channaine, who turned the tide and finally got them recognized as Traditional British Shorthairs. 

Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

Photos Courtesy of Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

PERSONALITY

They have won the hearts of owners all over the world due to their easy going nature, intelligence, calm demeanor, endurance and loyalty to man. Quiet supervising of all their surroundings and happenings in their family keeps them in touch with their environment.  Since they are bigger in size, they prefer to be on the ground, so they are not acrobats or speed demons. They can be embarrassed when they make a miss-step, but quickly recover. Alert, playful, undemanding, refined, sweet, gentle, unpretentious, serene and dedicated they make calm, quiet companions.

Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery  Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery  Traditional British Shorthair - Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery 

Photos Courtesy of Galina Benko of Cheshire Lady Cattery

HEALTH

They are comparatively small in numbers in the U.S.  However, imports from England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand added to the widening of the U.S. gene pool and added to the health of the breed. Their short coat is very easy to groom. They are strong cats with few health problems. 

Kittens are vigorous and large at birth and their eyes open in less than a week. Growth spurts as common with the kittens so they go through many stages. Moms have very little birthing problems. 

Since they carry both cat blood types of A and B. Blood typing and testing helps breeders make informed, planned breedings so very few problems with blood types are experienced. 

 

 

   
 
 
                

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©1987®TM
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© by John & Diana Fineran - Aug 1999- 2015.  
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