In today's video, we are going to talk about some interesting facts and myths about British Shorthairs.
As its name suggests, the British Shorthair cat is as traditionally English as tea and scones. Here are nine facts about the stocky feline, whose chubby face, easygoing demeanor, and short, plush fur made it America's fifth most popular pedigreed cat in 2014.
1. THEY'RE DESCENDED FROM THE CATS OF ANCIENT ROME. The British Shorthair bears the proud distinction of being one of the world’s oldest cat breeds. Experts think that the feline is descended from cats imported to Rome from ancient Egypt. When the Romans invaded Great Britain in 43 CE, they took the cats with them.
2. THE FATHER OF CAT FANCY, LOVED BRITISH SHORTHAIRS. British Shorthairs existed as street cats and barn mousers until Harrison Weir, a 19thcentury animal lover known as the father of cat fancy, began breeding exemplary examples of the country’s native cats. He showcased the breed at London's Crystal Palace in 1871, in an event that’s considered by many to be the world’s first cat show. The show was filled with exotic imported cats, including Persians and Siameselike cats.. However, Weir preferred his country's native breed. "My first love will always be for the shorthaired domestic cat," Weir wrote in his book about various cat breeds, Our Cats and All About Them (1889).
3. THE BRITISH SHORTHAIR NEARLY WENT EXTINCT. By the early 20th century, longhaired breeds had eclipsed the British Shorthair in popularity. Adding injury to insult, cat fanciers stopped breeding the British Shorthair during World Wars I and II, and it nearly went extinct. To ensure the breed’s survival, British Shorthair aficionados crossbred their cats with Persians and other felines. The British Shorthair stuck around, and in 1980, the Cat Fanciers’ Association recognized the feline as an official breed in America.
4. THE BRITISH SHORTHAIR MAY HAVE INSPIRED LEWIS CARROLL'S, CHESHIRE CAT.
Historians think that Lewis Carroll may have based his Cheshire Cat illustrations in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, off a tabby British Shorthair. Who could forget that creepy feline grin?
5. A BRITISH SHORTHAIR HELPED SPAWN THE, "I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?" EMPIRE.
A British Shorthair was featured in the original “I Can Has Cheezburger?” meme. The viral internet phenomenon can be traced back to 2007, when a Hawaiian blogger named Eric Nakagawa saw a picture of a happylooking British Shorthair on an online message board. It was captioned with the nowfamous “I Can Has Cheezburger?” line, inspiring Nakagawa to register a website with the same name and share the image. Nakagawa began posting more cat pictures, and he eventually turned his blog into a monetized website. It was acquired for $2 million in 2007, and became the basis for the Cheezburger Network, a network of social humor websites.
6. NOT ALL BRITISH SHORTHAIRS ARE GREY.
Speaking of "I Can Has Cheezburger?”, some people think that all British Shorthairs are silvery grey with copper eyes, like the cat in the meme. That particular type of cat is called the British Blue. While the British Blue is a popular variation of the breed, it's not the only one. British Shorthair cats come in white, black, red, gold, and silver, among other fur colors. You’ll also spot British Shorthairs with colorpoint, tortoiseshell, bicolor, and tabby patterns. As for their eye colors, they range from gold to copper to bluegreen.