The British Shorthair is thought to be the oldest standard-acknowledged cat breed in the world. The legend says that these beautiful felines are the direct offspring of the domestic cats in Antique Rome, brought to Briton by Caesar and his legions.

Legend out of the dark of old history:
After conquering the British lands and around 400 B.C., Romans started to cultivate the fields and then brought a great number of cats to keep the crops safe from rodents.

The cats brought by Romans mated with wild cats, thus giving birth to a brand new species: robust and strong, thus able to endure the difficult weather of Briton. From the very beginning, these cats were very much appreciated for their resilience to effort and their striking agility. Soon in that age, they became famous for their hunting abilities. Nevertheless, along the years passing, due to their calm and loyal character, these cats have won the love of all humans around them.

Chesire catAt the end of the 19th century, the English writer Lewis Carroll (1865) describes the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland” as the classic tiger British Shorthair.

At about the same time, Harrison Weir - father of all cat shows - started to select the most beautiful British cats from the common breed. These were called British Shorthair, in order to set them apart from the felines brought from other countries, like Orientals and long-haired cats (Angora).

In 1871, at Crystal Palace in London took place the first feline show in the world. British Shorthair cats were the only cats to be shown as pedigreed. All others were simply shown as longhair or shorthair, divided by their various colors. The most important title of the exhibition was awarded by the jury to a tiger British Shorthair female with blue fur.

Since that moment, the breed became the most popular of all breeds presented in feline shows at Crystal Palace. After World War II, some British breeders eager to improve the physical aspect of British cats have crossed them with Persians. For that reason, British Shorthair felines started to be born in different colors, and their forms became rounder.

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