“ Animal Species: Cats „
Reading the reviews I can only agree with every word about how wonderful BSH cats are. My first was a blue /white bicolour bought as a birthday present 20 years ago. My heart broke when he died under the vets care at 5 years old having his teeth cleaned. Strongly suspected he had a heart problem they had ignored. 6 months later I had two more from the same breeder, two creams boys who helped fill the awful empty space in the house. I bought two together because I was working and wanted them to have company - I would have bought the whole litter if I could have afforded it.
At age 5(ish) one of them had a "funny turn" and was diagnosed with hypertropic cardiomyopathy - thickening of the heart wall. He was taking three typres of heart medication for the rest of this life. He also suffered from urinary tract problems -which again were treated - but finally died of cancer at age 11.
His brother also had heart problems but much less severe and with treatment he kept going until just after his 15th birthday at which point (last week) his kidneys finally gave out.
I know of far too many other British Shorthairs who suffer from heart problems and if not treated die young from these
Buy one, adopt one, love one by all means but like every pedigree they are susceptible to particular ailments -my vet tells the heart is their weakness and a google search shows this too. I do not regret the time I had with my boys, they bought me huge joy, but they have left an irreplaceable hole in my life now they are gone.
My boyfriend bought me a British Blue cat for my birthday 4 months ago and I would highly recommend this cat to anyone who is looking for a low maintenance, super affectionate, clever and interactive companion. She sleeps on our bed most nights and has learned tricks such as sitting on command, standing on her back legs to take small treats from your hand. She does not like to be picked up,however will sit next to you and roll over and loves her ears and neck being stroked. the only negative thing I can say about the breed is they are very particular about their litter tray. If there is more than one wee in the tray she will reject it and do this on the floor, though in the sameplace every time.
For as long as I can remember we have always had cats in our family, my mum always had cats from when she was a child and so did I starting with my first cat Lilly who lived until she was 16 years old. I now currently have 3 cats Poppy and Daisy who are 6 years old, they were born a week apart and Layla the baby of the family who will be 2 in 3 weeks time. All three of my girls are totally different ranging from Layla who has long fur and can only be described as more fur and not a huge amount of cat, then there's Poppy a semi long haired cat and Daisy a British Short Haired Cat (who I will be reviewing)
Characteristics of a Short Haired Cat
The characteristics of a short haired cat are not only their fur, they have rounded faces with almost chubby cheeks, they have large wide eyes and small rounded ears. Short haired cats are often described as being quite muscular with strong shoulders and legs. This breed of cat often has rounded paws as well as a rounded tail, looking at the descriptions of these cats it would seem that everything about them is rounded, I have also read that they are referred to as Bulldog cats due to their bulkiness and muscular frame, my little Daisy is far from a bulldog!!!! Short haired cats have a rather relaxed temperament, they love attention and whilst they are not too keen on actually being picked up they do like a fuss made of them whilst sitting next to you, they will also often follow their owners from room to room as they either like to be with their owner or to see what is going on. This breed of cat I have recently read is ideal for those who go out to work all day and leave their cat shut in or they make perfect house cats as they are quite happy to lay around the house all day and are not destructive as with some other breeds of cat.
Despite being a short haired cat Daisy does not fit in with the traditional characteristics. She is a grey tabby with almost symmetrical markings apart from a small white patch on her nose, she does not have the rounded chubby face of a traditional short haired cat but has a small slightly pointed face, she also does not have the small rounded ears, again her ears are a little on the large size and also slightly pointed. However despite her facial features being a bit difference compared to the regular short haired breed she does have the strong muscular body, to look at her you would not think she was overly strong, she is not a huge cat, although a little on the plump side, but the minute you try to put her in her cat box to take her to the vet she tenses all her muscles up and it literally takes 2 of use to force her into the box whilst she has her paws braced on the sides of it refusing to let go. However even though she has strong muscular body of a traditional short haired cat she is in no way bulldog liked if fact she is a right wimp when it comes down to it which I think is due to her being the runt of the litter.
We brought Daisy from a lady who was running a local animal sanctuary, she had 2 litters of kittens and both the mothers were strays which she fed at her stables (Poppy came from one litter and Daisy from the other) when we arrived to choose our kittens it was obvious she had her hands full with 2 litters, however she wanted good homes for them all and was therefore e charging £20 for them as she thought if you were prepared to pay you obviously wanted them and she put the money toward the cost of her sanctuary. She had already refused to let one kitten go as she didn't like the way the potential owners were handling it. We stood watching the kittens playing and one tiny little grey tabby pushed its way to the front and sat looking at us with huge eyes, huge ears and small everything else, we had to have her (this was Daisy) we discovered that she was actually born on the same day we had to have our old cat Lilly put to sleep. Daisy was so tiny you could sit her in your hand and there was still room around the edges, I think the fact that she was the runt is partly why she does not look like the traditional short haired cats and has slightly different features. Although extra small she soon grew, however feeding times were interesting , because Diasy had basically been starved of her mothers milk she was very protective of her food so if she was eating and Poppy tried to join her she would growl and sit with her paw out blocking her path, Poppy being the laid back cat that she is allowed her to do this and would only eat once Daisy had finished, I'm pleased to say that she did quickly grow out of this habit once she realised there would always be food for her. Being the runt and also having to battle Cat flu when she was barely 2 months old has left Daisy with a bit of a delicate tummy and any little thing can upset her causing her to be sick, despite this and also being a little on the tubby side probably due to laziness she is a perfectly health 6 year old.
Short Haired cats eat exactly the same type of food that most cats eat. All of our girls including Daisy eat pretty much the same they love Tesco Premium wet food and Purina or Go Cat crunchies. I try not to give Daisy too much meat during the day as she does tend to eat whatever is in her bowl and as she is a bit plump around the middle she does not need the extra calories from the meat in jelly that she loves, she has a small amount for breakfast and again for tea and then has crunchies to nibble on during the day. When we first started doing this with her she wasn't too pleased and did meow for her meat to be in the bowl as well but now she has accepted this and will eat the crunchies on their own. The jelly in the wet cat food is, as my vet told me like junk food for animals its high in fat and calories which is why they like it so much, all 3 of our cats will eat he jelly and leave the meat. Daisy should weight between 5 and 7kg, I'm not sure exactly how much she weighs but she is a couple of pounds over what she should be for her size.
As with their food there are no special treats which you need to give to your short haired cat, it really is down to their personal preference. Daisy loves either Whiskers temptations or Tesco's own brand of treat sticks. If you get a pack of either of these out and she hears it rattle she instantly stops what she is doing and comes to you, they are extremely handy for getting her in at night when it is bed time. We do have to limit the amount of treats Daisy has as she would eat the entire packet in one sitting. Short Haired cats can be prone to obesity as we have found this with Daisy, she is definitely not obese as we do keep a careful eye on what she eats (well when she's in the house) but if we gave in to her and gave her what she wanted there is a chance she would become very overweight, especially now she is older and less active then when she was a kitten.
When we first bought Daisy home (and Poppy) we brought them all sorts of toys including balls, a scratching post and a mouse, whilst Poppy would play Daisy would often just sit and watch and did not seem to keep up with what was happening, by the time she had worked out what to do it was all over. Short Haired cats are not hyperactive at all but they do like to chase thing and do enjoy playing, however for a long time she never seemed to master this. Whilst Daisy did used to play with her toys it was better if you played with her alone, it was almost as though she had learning difficulties, while Poppy was into everything and discovering things rapidly, Daisy was always that little bit behind, this could be due to her being the runt and maybe slightly under developed. So when it came to play time Daisy did not fit into the stereotypical short haired cat characteristics. She is now 6 and a lot less active, she enjoys a wander in the garden when the weather is nice and she does sometimes play with Poppy which involves them chasing each other around the house but her activities have declined as she has got older.
As I have mentioned Short Haired cats are not overly keen on being picked up and cuddled and this is definitely the case with Daisy, she is frightened of everything, any noise or sudden movement, even a cough or sneeze results in her dashing out of the room, and if you pick her up her eyes go all wide and scared and her whole body tenses, the total opposite of the rather relaxed Poppy and especially Layla who loves being picked up and cuddled over your shoulder like baby, try to do this with Daisy and she meows like you are doing to drop her. She loves to have a fuss made of her and will curl up next to you with her head on your lap, in fact I wake up some mornings and she's crept under the duvet with us! But she likes all 4 paws to be on the ground.
Daisy is an extremely loveable little cat again fitting in with the characteristics of her breed, she loves to be with people all the time and will follow us around, often a bit too closely resulting in her being kicked or trodden on which I am always feeling guilty about. She is now a total contrast to the tiny little kitten we picked up 6 years ago, she has grown normally to a decent size although she does not have the average facial features of her breed. Whilst I am convinced she has learning difficulties she manages to get on with things. In temperament she is the traditional short haired cat even though you would not think so to look at her. She is my gorgeous little fur baby.
I first fell in love with British shorthaired cats in 1995 when I acquired my little princess Casey. I had seen the cats in an advert (for sheba cat food I think) and I loved how velvety their fur looked and the big round bright orange eyes. I found a local breeder from Cat World and contacted her. She had a litter available and we went to see them and I was hooked straight away. She was just a tiny bundle of fur who at 4 weeks did not want to leave the comfort of her brothers and sisters. I had to wait a further 8 weeks for her as the breeder did not like letting them go before 12 weeks. I also broached the topic of breeding, but the breeder was not keen and usually stipulated no breeding. However as she got to know me she relented and agreed to help find a stud when the time came.
This was still a long way off when I got my little baby home. I already had two cats Toby and Ginger two lovable moggies. We lived in a flat on the seafront which unfortunately had a busy road in front, but we hoped that she would only want to explore out the back and would be safe. We had lost a black kitten (Toby's brother) about 4 years previously, but both Toby and Ginger had developed a good road sense and we hoped Casey would too. As she got older I began to get more and more apprehensive about letting her out and one early summer day we were at home and had the double doors of our ground floor flat open onto the small balcony outside. It was next to the pavement and road, but too far for Casey to jump upto so I thought. At some point in the morning I suddenly noticed that Casey was missing. I searched the flat (it was only small so that took 5 minutes) but to no avail. I started to panic about the wall and the road. I was in tears as I was sure that she had jumped up and got onto the pavement and was either dead, stolen or lost. My husband was just as frantic. He walked up and down the road calling her name. I was in such a state I could not think. I just sat on the settee and cried. He came back empty handed and my stomach started to churn. I got up to rush to the loo feeling sick and as I walked by our kitchen which was part of our open plan lounge a moving door caught my attention. I stopped and stared and the door swung lazily open and then my gorgeous insolent little kitten meandered out, stopping briefly to shake herself. She then looked curiously up at me as if to say 'whats all the fuss about and then wandered over to her biscuit bowl and started eating. I was so relieved I just started crying again. My husband just could not stop himself laughing. We had been running around lamenting and wailing and she was playing hide and seek all the time.
After that my nerves could not take it. I immediately started looking for a house. We did not have the money for a deposit and there was no way that we would be able to sell the flat as we were in a negative equity situation, but that did not even register. My one goal was to buy a new house for my little princess. We eventually found the perfect house (after seeing over 40 - I am not fussy honestly, but they had to have a safe garden) and sat down to think how we could buy. We were very lucky at the time, because the banks were desperate to get business and lend to people and we found a bank that was willing to lend us the money and I got a loan for the deposit. The bank did not even want to know about the other mortgage. When the bank representative came out to see us to do all the paperwork, he just said don't even tell me about it I don't want to know (no wonder the banks have problems now). He advised us to sell it if we could or rent it out. From that point on everything went smoothly and in the August of 1995 we were in our new house and our cats, especially our little princess were safe.
I don't suppose there are that many cats that have a house brought for them, but Casey was so special. She loved her new home and had a lovely large garden to wander in and lots more places to hide from us. She developed that beautiful plush coat that is so typical of the British Shorthair and had the deepest orange eyes that could look at you so scornfully after having left her with babysitters for a few days if we went away. She hated to be picked up but was content to sit beside you and be stroked and adored. She formed a very close bond with Ginger my big ginger moggie and when she had her first season she made very obvious overtures to him, to his extreme horror ( he was neutered). Still he did recover from his shock but was unable to oblige her.
After her first call (season) we put her on the pill to give us time to sort out our plans to breed. In the March of 1996 we got a Labrador puppy called Willow and things went haywire. I forgot to give Casey her pill (1/2 once every week) and during a particularly bad potty training session with Willow Casey got out into the garden and was immediately pounced on by the ugliest and meanest black and white moggie. I am not exaggerating. She got round my ankles and was in the garden for 5 minutes. As soon as I had sorted Willow out I turned round to get Casey, who was cavorting shamelessly with the local bad boy who had just appeared out of nowhere. The next thing I knew and she was rolling around on the floor meowing and he was sat practically smoking a cigarette. That was it, the moment of conception. I hoped that nothing had happened, but our luck was out and her nipples started to pink up in weeks. She just carried on getting bigger and bigger till sometime in June when she had 4 kittens, 3 black and 1 black and white. The day she had the kittens that bloody tom cat was back at the front of the house calling for her to come out. My husband chased him off.
The birth was not fun. At first she tried to give birth in the litter tray so we had to transport her upstairs to her birthing suite (our spare bedroom), Where she produced two and completely stopped. I had to transport her and the kittens to the vets for an oxytocin injection to push her to give birth, which worked a treat. Getting them breathing was fun, you have to hold them in your hand like a cricket ball and swing them reasonably hard (without letting go), but that did work and they were fine. Tragedy struck because Casey unbenknown to us was a cat flu carrier and she passed it on the kittens. We lost two, but a black and a black and white survived. My friend had the black female kitten and we kept the black and white boy and called him Felix.
In November 1996 we got a second Labrador called Freya and in May 1997 we got a Cavalier King Charles puppy called Digby. We had a bit of respite till the end of 1998 when we went back to Casey's breeder and had two more kittens Magic and Grenville two exotic boys, one black and one blue. Our little menagerie was growing.
In 1999 we decided to try breeding from Casey again and so in the march took her off her pill. Unfortunatley before we could even sort out a stud she went straight into a call, so I put her in our spare bedroom for a few days. The inevitable happened and she got out. I did not realise till I found her on the stairs with 9 month old Grenville and Magic who were actually taking turns with her!!. I managed to catch her and put her back upstairs, but a couple of hours later my husband let her out by accident. She was outside in a trice and Felix her son who had not been neutered (our fault I know) immediately did the deed (incest a game all the family can play.) We knew that one of the 3 cats must have got her pregnant and it was a waiting game. Sure enough the nipples started to pink and she gained weight. At the end of July she delivered 5 little bundles, 1 pure blue, 3 black and 1 black and white. We decided not to breed anymore scheduled in for her to be spayed as soon as she had finished rearing the kittens. The birth had the same problems, the rush to the vet for the magic injection to help her give birth and one of the kittens had a badly cleft pallet, a sure sign of inbreeding and he had to be put to sleep poor little thing. We called him Herman and buried him in the garden. I kept the blue and called him Renzo and he is now absolutely huge. I also kept the black and white female who we called Lizzy and she is a timid dainty little cat. The two black girls went to a friends mum.
After the kittens were weaned Casey went straight to the vets and was spayed. I hated doing it, but we could not afford any more mishaps. She had to wear a collar and stay indoors for 10 days, so I kept her in my bedroom. On the 10th day I took the hood off and went out to get her some food and came back into the room to find she had ripped at two stitches. I had only been gone a few minutes. Back went the hood for another few days till she went to the vets to have the stitches out.
Casey really was my little princess. She was always my cat and used to sleep next to me in bed and would come racing upstairs on a Sunday morning with my husband when he brought me a bacon sandwich. I would then have to continually push her off as she tried to steal my bacon. She also loved chips. She would steal them off my husband's plate with a deftly aimed paw. Sadly I lost Casey on the 26th July 2009. She was 14 ½. It broke my heart, but she had cancer and lost so much weight so quickly and there was nothing we could do but give her the final kindness. I still have her 3 children Felix , Renzo and Lizzie so I still see her everyday in them.
I will always love British blues and would recommend them as perfect pets. They are very loyal and loving and get extremely devoted to their owners. They do not need a lot of grooming, although they can get knots if not checked regularly.
If you are looking to add a cat to your family, I can't recommend this breed highly enough. Proper cats!
A bit of a story I am afraid!...Last year my parents found a ginger cat living under a bush in their garden. It was a lovely little cat, very friendly and just seemed to love people. Six weeks later it was still living under the hedge. Mum had started feeding him, dad had made several trips around the neighbourhood to see if anyone had lost him, but to no avail. He didn't leave their garden. Mum, being a cat lover got really upset, she didn't like that he was living outside under a bush. We made posters and contacted local vets, still nobody came forward. After about 3 months of him living in the garden and mum becoming more upset I said I would take him in....so I did.
A week passed and he settled in perfectly. I called him Baggins and absolutely fell in love with him. The following week I though I had best take him to the vet and get him checked out....and there it was...he was chipped!!! Don't ask me why we hadn't thought to take him to a vet and get that checked. None of mum's cats had ever been chipped, so i guess we just didn't think about it. The vet checked the register, and low and behold the owner was found, not far from my parent's house.
I was so upset! I couldn't bear to take him home, but it was the right thing to do. The owners didn't seem bothered, despite telling the vet they wanted him back. I left him there knowing they wouldn't really look after him properly.
When I had taken him to the vet, the nurse had said she thought he had some 'posh cat' in him, British Shorthair. I started to do some research and found out that if this was the case it must be why he was so friendly and good natured. I decided to look into getting a british Shorthair and got in touch with a local breeder through the vet.
This story is getting rather long (sorry) so I will cut it a little short. I got my kitten on 20th September 2008 and he is the most beautiful and fabulous cat I have ever encountered! Although he has been a bit nervous from the word go, he loves people and always greets me every night after work and outside the bedroom door every morning.
There is something very dog like about him! He follows me from room to room and is such great company. He has the loudest purr imaginable, I've never heard anything like it. I had lots of moggies growing up, but none behaved like this. When he plays with toys he will practically fetch them and bring them to you!
It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to let him outside, but I did eventually and he loves it. Doesn't venture far and mostly goes out at night (thanks to a £250 cat flap I had to have installed through a double glazed window!)
He is so affectionate, gentle and loves being picked up or stroked. I have never experienced him scratching or biting. he was bred in a house with 5 children in it so I guess that stood him in good stead for a lot of handling.
These cats are beautiful. They have the most fantastic thick, plush fur. You will never have felt anything like it. It's so thick it 'breaks' when the move and they look like they have a rippled effect. They have gorgeous rounded heads and cheeks and thick, bushy tails. Just like bagpuss really! (but not pink!) They can grow to be 20lbs, mine is 12 at the moment and not fully grown. They are impeccably clean.
My cat, Alfie, is blue and white. He's not pure as he has a white flash on his back. he cost £275, but you can expect to pay up to £400 for a pure. It's so worth it. if you do purchase one, or any pedigree cat, please make sure you go to a reputable breeder as there are some real scoundrels out there.
This cat has converted my husband to a cat lover!
A few months ago, Boyd, a border collie joined our family. It was interesting to say the least at first, and did end up with rescuing the cat from a very tall tree at one point! All is peaceful now, and they get on well. I have heard that British Shorthairs do get on with dogs pretty well in general. Be warned though, you must be patient and supervise all introductions for quite a while. It really isn't a case of just throwing them together and letting them get on with it, that's asking for trouble. In a nutshell, let the cat feel he is boss, and you are onto a winner!
And just to end....Baggins came back to mum and dad's within a week of going home. He kind of lives with them in the garden now. They have taken him home several times, but he always comes back.
It was about three years ago that my husband and I decided that we would add to our family by getting a kitten. My husband had never had a pet before in his life, had no particular views on cats but he did know how happy it would make me. I had a few cats during my childhood; my most loved being Billy who died about ten years ago when he reached the ripe old age of fifteen.
I have previously made enquiries about getting a cat from a rescue centre but been unsuccessful. Of course I am all for ensuring the animals go to good homes where they will be cared for, but I don't think a process on a par with adopting a child is absolutely necessary. I love cats, I have grown up in a family with cats, I know how to look after a cat and what that responsibility means and I am willing to demonstrate this. Yet I was apparently an unsuitable owner because I go to work. Yes, far better that cat sits in a cage all day. Anyway I digress, perhaps I was unlucky with my rescue centre experience and I certainly don't want to put anyone off. I will even give it another go myself one day.
So we started our search for a kitten. There was no compelling reason why my husband and I decided to get a pedigree cat, but it helped to narrow down our search and we knew if we chose a reputable breeder that we would get a healthy well looked after kitten. The British Short Hair (BSH) is the cat used in Sheba commercials (a blue) and also in Whiskas commercials (a silver tabby), I have always thought it was a beautiful looking cat and after a little reading up it seemed this breed could have the temperament we wanted as well. We had no interest in either showing or breeding from our cat we just wanted a pet. We later found a lot of breeders will stipulate that the cat should only be a pet. Cats that are sold as pets don't typically have the fancy names that their parents will have been registered with.
About the breed~~
British Shorthairs come in many different colours, although the one most commonly associated with the breed is the blue, which is a kind of dark grey but with a definite bluish tint. Other self (solid) colours include cream, lilac, red, chocolate, black and white. There are also bi-colours which do not have any particular markings but are as the name suggests, a mixture. Then there are colour points, which are mainly white but the nose, ears, tail and possibly paws are a contrasting colour, perhaps chocolate a bit like Siamese, but the contrast can be other colours too. Tabby's also come in a variety of colours.
The cat's fur is short but very dense, being fluffy is a big no-no for the breed. Additionally there should be no white fur on any other than a white cat or a colour point. Some owners choose to brush their cat on a regular basis, but more than once a week would seem unnecessary on this low maintenance short coat. It certainly is not essential to groom anyway as the cat will take good care of its own coat.
As cats go, the British is a big chunky cat and it is often referred to as a teddy bear. As an owner I can totally understand this comparison. They have broad shoulders and chest and short but sturdy legs with round paws. Their heads are round, with chubby cheeks and they look like they are smiling because of the prominent whisker pads. Their eyes should be round and wide open. Most cats will have green eyes as kittens but these will gradually change to a colour somewhere between gold and copper during their first year. There are some exceptions such as the white self or colour points, which will probably have blue eyes and the silver tabby is likely to still have green eyes as an adult.
The cat is not considered to have reached maturity until about 4 or 5 years old and at this point a male will weigh somewhere between 10 - 16lbs, bigger than the average moggy who will be in the region of 8 - 12 lbs. Females of the breed are noticeably smaller. A long life of 14 - 20 years can be expected and there are no particular health problems to watch out for in this breed.
According to all the reading I have done, the BSH is a friendly and affectionate cat that is well suited to life in a household with children and other pets. It is also said that the breed is loyal and likes to remain close to its human beings but will probably not want to sit on anyone's lap or be picked up and cuddled. Apparently the breed is also more than happy to be a house cat.
Getting a kitten, my experience~~
We carried out our research on the internet and I think we were fortunate in that we found a wonderful breeder fairly easily. Her website indicated that she had been breeding and successfully showing for about 18 years, she was registered with the Governing Council of Cat Fanciers, had quite a few prize winning cats and had a lot of information on her website about her cats and her cattery.
So we got in touch and arranged to visit the following weekend. We were shown around the cat facilities, which were spacious, clean and heated. The kittens and their mothers all spend time in the house as well which we were very pleased to see as this is important for socialisation. But mainly we were comforted to see that here was a breeder who loved her cats.
On the day we visited there was a litter that included two creams, one of them was playful and friendly, the other was the smallest and shyest kitten in town, we concluded he must be a runt of the litter. We had decided before hand that we wanted a cream and so reserved one. Kittens will not leave before they are 13 weeks old, if any pedigree cat breeder ever offers a kitten before this age then find another breeder as this is the standard. It is also standard that the breeder will have had the kittens vaccinated and will have paid for the first six weeks of insurance, which you may choose to continue with. You should keep up with annual booster vaccinations. Most breeders will provide some information on the breed and general care and some food.
Eight weeks later, we went back to pick up our new kitten, we had decided to name him Lewis. He was terrified, as soon as he was handed to me he started to claw his way up and over my shoulder, it was hard to hang on to him. We quickly realized that we had been given the very shy, small one. But no matter, in the circumstances we did not believe there would be any health issues concerned with this, we just decided he was small, so we put him in his carrier and took him home. He was so small that half his body fitted into the water bowl attached to the side of the carrier.
When we got him home we opened the carrier and waited for him to come out by himself as advised. But he was an extremely nervous kitten, two hours later we were still waiting and so we took the top half of the carrier off to encourage him, he came out but was shaking with fear. We decided that my husband should leave so there was one less person for Lewis to deal with and I would try to settle him by myself. It took a long time, I eventually managed to sit Lewis at one end of the sofa and I sat a comfortable distance from him. I took one of the toys we had already bought for him and very gently wiggled it from side to side, it caught his attention so I carried on doing this but didn't move any closer to him. Finally, after about 30 minutes, Lewis very nervously stretched out one paw and tapped the toy before quickly retreating. That was the moment I knew everything would be all right. Three hours later my husband returned to find Lewis and I sitting and playing together comfortably. That night Lewis slept on my husband's pillow.
Not long afterwards we decided that we should get a companion for Lewis and we went back to the same breeder. She had some kittens with the same father as Lewis, they were in the house at the time and we opted for a lively, lilac self coloured boy. Lilac is a bit like a blue, but a paler grey and with a pinkish hue. When we picked him up at 13 weeks old we realised he was a lot bigger than Lewis had been as there was no way half his body would have fitted in the water bowl. When we got home we opened the door to his carrier. He strolled out, immediately located the kitchen and started to tuck in. After much deliberation, we decided to call him Billy in honour of my childhood pet.
Billy was a very sociable kitten and very pleased to meet his older half brother Lewis. Unfortunately the feeling was not mutual, a few batterings later and Billy's feelings had cooled somewhat. We spent about a week in family mediation. We didn't leave them alone together to start off with and fortunately we had glass doors in the house so when we went out we would have one on either side so they could see each other without getting into another fight. This is all long behind us now and they are best friends although they do play fight and chase each other around the house.
A British Shorthair will typically cost between £250 and £400.
Lewis was three years old last week and Billy will be three in June. Two years ago they decided to move to Bermuda and agreed we could come with them. They enjoy the relaxed lifestyle but have decided to return to the UK later this year.
I have read a lot that BSH are content to be a house cats but I am not totally convinced. When he was ten months old and we were still in the UK, Billy jumped out of an open first floor window so keen was he to taste the outdoors for the first time. He didn't know what to do once outside though and an hour later when we realised what he had done, we found him sitting exactly below the window where he must have landed.
We nevertheless have mainly kept them as house cats, but we let them out from time to time, say if we are sitting outside as well. They will try to go outside at every opportunity, so long as the weather is not inclement that is. They don't like rain or wind and sometimes Bermuda is too hot for them so they come back in panting.
The main advantage of keeping them inside is that it keeps them safe, a bonus is that it keeps them tick free. The disadvantages are litter trays and that I am just not sure they want to be house cats. When we move back to the UK we have decided that we will allow them more freedom, we will be living in the country and the gardens back onto fields so touch wood it will be safer.
Apparently our boys are not fully grown yet but they are already very large cats, Lewis is 11.6lb and Billy 12.5lbs. Whenever I see another cat now I am amazed by how small they are and how pointed their faces are in comparison! The small, shy Lewis is long gone and the only sign that he perhaps was once a runt of the litter is that he will always let Billy eat first, even though they don't share bowls. He doesn't seem to have forgotten that he was brought home first though and has a continuing reluctance to let Billy use the litter tray. We tried to fix the problem by getting two but he just decided he needed two.
Personality wise and I can see a lot of truth in the general comments on the breed. Our two are generally not good with people they don't know, I think this is conditioning and due to them not going outside a lot. Lewis gets used to guests much quicker than Billy now, although Billy is far more affectionate with us. They both love to be around my husband and me and almost without exception whatever room we are in they will be in too. They are not after cuddles or attention they just want to see us and be near us. Lewis hates to be picked up for even a moment and he would never sit on our knees, but he likes to sit close by or on the back of the sofa behind our heads. Billy is more affectionate, he likes to be picked up and cuddled for a few seconds but not much more, he would also come and sit very close beside us and perhaps halfway on a lap. Neither of them would say no to a tummy or back rub at any time of day. And they both love to sleep on the bed, sometimes on our feet but quite often then like to sleep at the top too.
At three years old they are still quite playful, Lewis much more so and strangely for a cat he will even play fetch with his toys. We didn't think there was ever any danger of them bringing home life gifts for us, but Lewis has caught two lizards, hence his nickname Lewis, The Dragon Slayer. Although he hasn't caught any wildlife yet, Billy loves the outdoor life more than Lewis, he is bolder and will wander further, Lewis will only follow him or stay close to us but won't wander by himself.
My husband has said that he never expected to get attached to the cats in the way he has and also that he didn't realize that two cats would have two different personalities. Neither of these things was a surprise to me however.
We both love the breed and look at our cats and think how beautiful and refined looking they are, I get so much pleasure simply from looking at and watching them.
Compared to cats I have owned previously and I think these two are more loving and seem to want to be in our company far more than any others. The following us from room to room is certainly a bit different. But for all I know that could be a symptom of them being house cats rather than something genetic. Nature or nuture, I don't know.
I do know that they make a gorgeous, robust, friendly and loving addition to any family and would not hesitate to recommend them to somebody considering the breed for the first time.
This review is far longer than I expected it to be, if you did stay with me this long then you are probably a cat lover like me and thank you for your perseverance.
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Since my husband and I got married just over 2 years ago, we began talking about getting a kitten. I have had cats all my life, and when I left home, all my pets stayed with my mum and dad. They only live two minutes away so I would still see them every day. But my new house simply wasnt a home without a pet. Im sure anyone with a pet will tell you that they make your home a much nicer place to be in. My husband and I both work full time so we decided that it would be better to get two kittens, as they would provide company for each other during the day. So after a year of careful consideration and weighing up the extra expenses, etc. we finally decided to start a serious search of two kittens just over a year ago.
Initially, we thought about rescuing two kittens, but finally decided to have pedigrees, mainly so that we knew the medical and behavioural genetics and background of the kittens. We also felt rescue kittens, who had probably already gone through trauma, are better off in a home where the owner is around all day.
We then had to decide on the breed of kitten that we wanted. One thing we were certain about was that we wanted two kittens from the same litter so that they would have a strong bond. We began searching the Internet and reading books. After a month or so, we felt that British Shorthairs seemed to be the best breed for us. However, we had never actually seen one, so we decided to go to a local cat show. We looked at all the breeds of cat that were there (about 10 in total), but were still keen on the British Shorthair. We began talking to the exhibitors at the show and asked various questions about British Shorthairs, but also asked for recommendations of good breeders.
When purchasing a pedigree kitten, it is a two way inspection process between the breeder and new owner. Any good breeder will ask the new owner questions about their personal circumstances and lifestyle and any genuine prospective owner will ask all the necessary questions about the kittens and their background as well as the environment in which they are bred. We began talking to breeders at the show and soon realised from answers they were giving to our questions that choosing the right breeder would be harder than we initially thought.
Many breeders seemed to be in the business for the money. Their cats were kept outdoors in catteries and once their breeding days were over, the cat would be sold on. We wanted a breeder who treated their cats like part of the family, just like we would. We wanted our kittens to be used to the home and everything that comes with it, kids, hoovers, washing machines, the TV, etc. We wanted our kittens to be brought up as pets and now a money-making asset from the moment they were born.
When we returned home, we continued our investigations further. We contacted the RSPCA and asked their advice on reputable breeders, we looked at the websites of cat clubs, we contacted owners of cats bred by certain breeders and checked things out with vets in the area where breeders lived. This may seem a bit extreme, but our kittens would be part of our family and we wanted them to have the best possible start in life.
Eventually, about 13 months ago, we found the person who seemed like the ideal breeder. I phoned her and was very impressed. She also asked me a lot of questions to be sure that we would be good owners for her kittens. Breeders do have the right to refuse to sell their kittens to a person who they dont think would be a suitable owner. They can do this at any point. The breeder had to Queens (female cats used for breeding) who were pregnant at the time so she sent us some photos of them to see which cat we preferred. One of her Queens was cream and the other was a blue colourpoint. We decided to go for two kittens from the blue colourpoint Queen.
The litter of six kittens was born on 23rd September 2003. The breeder sent us lots of photos and we decided on a lilac colourpoint boy and a blue colourpoint girl. When they were about 4 weeks old, we went to see them for the first time. We loved them from the first moment we saw them and luckily, they felt the same about each other. They were extremely close to one another even at that young age.
About a month later, we visited our kittens again. By this point, we had decided that due to their excellent breeding, we would also try showing them. The breeder gave us lots of advice and we came away feeling really happy. The breeder said she would make sure they were given really nice pedigree names for showing them.
Our next visit, when the kittens were 13 weeks was the day we brought them home. It was 19th December 2003. I had finished work for the Christmas holidays and was really looking forward to two weeks at home with them. We collected them that evening and set off on our 2-hour drive home. You have to be prepared to travel a distance if you want kittens from an excellent breeder.
So, that evening, Max and Mollie arrived at our home. They looked so small out of the surroundings in which we were used to seeing them. That night, we left a lamp on in our bedroom and didnt sleep a wink all night. We sat up watching them sleeping, eating, exploring and then sleeping again. Within a couple of weeks, they had settled in really well and our house became their home. I returned to work in the New Year and Max and Mollie were fine on their own during the day. We had to be careful when they began maturing in case they mated. It was difficult for quite a few months until they were old enough to be neutered. They were neutered in July and made a quick recovery after their operations.
Max and Mollie were entered into their first show in September 2004 and did really well. Mollie came first in the Open class, which is the most important class in the show. The judge didnt award her a Premier Certificate due to some shading on her new fur, which was growing back over the scar from her operation. She was awarded another two first places; one third place and one fourth place in her other classes. Max came third in his Open class. He also got two second places and a fourth place. We were really delighted. In October 2004, they were entered into their second show. Max came first in his Open class and was awarded the Premier Certificate, which means he can now be entered into the Supreme Cat Show at Birmingham NEC (this is the cat equivalent of Crufts). He was also awarded Best of Breed and got a second and fourth place in his other classes. Mollie came second in her Open class and was awarded two first places and a third place in her other classes.
We are currently in the process of purchasing a third kitten from the same breeder. This time, it is a cream male. He was born on 24th September 2004 and we are due to bring him home just before Christmas. We havent met him yet but he will be an extremely loved pet, just as Max and Mollie are. His showing potential seems to be even greater than theirs so we will show him as well. All we need now is a name for him!
If you are interested in getting a kitten, think very carefully before you go ahead. They have feelings and will love you and rely on you. You cant give them away if things get tough. It would break their heart in the same way that it would if you gave your child away. Your financial circumstances need to be secure. The kitten will need annual injections to stop it from picking up life-threatening illnesses. You will need to insure your kitten at least for the first year of its but preferably for the whole of its life in case of a major illness, accident or injury, as vets bills in these circumstances could run into thousands of pounds. The kitten needs feeding at least twice each day. You will also have to pay for flea powder, worming tablets and toothpaste. Cats teeth need cleaning to prevent side effects of tooth decay, which can be as serious as kidney damage. You will need to buy cat litter. You will need food bowls, water bowls, litter trays, a comb and toys. Your cat will need constant love, care and training. It will need time devoted to it each day when you play with it, cuddle and stroke it, feed it, groom it, change its cat litter tray, clean and sterilise its equipment. All these things will need doing every day for the rest of your cats life, which could be anything up to 21 years.
This may sound like a lot of hard work, but it does become routine and doesnt take up as much time as it appears. However, all this hard work is well and truly worth it for the love, friendship and entertainment they give you. They will bring a whole new dimension to your home and will be your best friend for life!
They want feeding every 5 minutes, they cry and often wake you up at night, so it is no wonder that getting a cat is often the first sign of commitment between a couple, before they go the whole hog and get the baby! Well this is how it was for us, my husband decided that he wanted a cat and as I had never lived in a house without one I didn?t take too much persuading. So for the princely sum of £47.50 each ( We split everything equally in the early days, nowadays he pays) we acquired Digby a small cute British Cream Shorthair kitten and as we paid half each that meant hubby got the pooy end and I got the head, fair deal I think ? that was 12 years ago, now he?s a fully grown, very opinionated cat. British Cream Shorthairs are a very beautiful breed; they originally appeared by accident in litters of tortoiseshell cats in the late nineteenth century. I must admit this information completely flummoxes me as there is nothing tortoiseshell about them; they look like tabby cats that have been dipped in a tin of cream paint, but the thing that really sets them aside from other cats is their eyes, they look artificial like the eyes that toymakers put in teddy bears. Now this has two effects, the first is it makes them look incredibly cute and appealing, the second is like dying your hair blonde it makes them look like they have a lower IQ than other cats, and just aren?t as streetwise, I?ll come to the reality of this perception later. There are other forms of British Shorthair, the others similar to ours being Black and Blue both of which also appeared around the end of the 19th Century. The more modern bi-colours blue/white, cream/white (very pretty cats) and Blue/cream all appeared around the 50?s. On the whole the temperaments are pretty similar, although I have had friends who have had Blues and they have been quite
viscous. Then you get all the tabbies, tortoiseshells, reds, lilacs, white, tipped the list seems endless. So moving onto temperament, now the book says (The Ultimate Cat Book by David Taylor) extremely good natured, intelligent and affectionate towards its owner. I say, Digby has about as much intelligence as a pickled Wombat, he has absolutely no common sense at all. We have had Burmese in the past and they can work out how to open doors and all sorts, Digby cries at the patio window to be let in having walked past the open door to get to it! Affectionate? Well I can sort of see where he?s coming from if affection means never sitting on your lap, but sitting on the top of the sofa and poking your head from time to time with his paw, whilst purring in your ear. He does show affection, probably in a more human way by trying to stroke your head, but the only time he has ever sat on my lap was while I was pregnant, then baby kicked and he jumped six foot into the air and got all upset when I laughed. Good Natured, well I think that is the only one I agree with completely. So why chose a pedigree? From my own personal viewpoint, I have no idea. As a kid I always had good old fashioned moggys who you could let outside without worrying that they would be stolen, they cost you nothing except food and vets bills and went outside and caught mice, then presented them to you as a present. There is this whole world of pedigree cats that to be honest doesn?t interest me, Digby is a pet first and foremost. I have no desire to show him and there are plenty of websites out there for any of you who may be interested. However having owned one, I am familiar with what you should look for, I will concentrate solely on Creams at this point, the colour of the cat should be as near to completely cream as possible, all of the
cats have some tabby markings on them and this can vary depending on the weather, ones that fade completely are better to show. If you are buying a kitten you should look for a pale cream colour coat. They are very muscular cats and have a strong, stocky body, Digby?s was helped by the fact that he had to spend just over a year on Steroids because of a heart condition when he was younger, so we would probably have been disqualified anyway!! This brings me to another thing to look for when chosing a kitten, look at the health of the whole litter, Digby was the sole survivor in his which should have told us something. To show or stud from a pedigree you need to maintain the birth certificate that comes with the cat as this is his registration. I?m always reminded of the TS Eliot poem from the Old Possum poems at this point, the ones that formed the musical CATS as all pedigree cats have two names, the one they are called and the one on their birth certificate. I really wish I could tell you what Digbys proper name is but his certificate is unused in the loft somewhere but it is a really posh name. The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey -- All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -- But all
of them sensible everyday names But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -- Names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover -- But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name Pedigree cats cost money, Digby was cheap at £95 as the breeder only wanted to cover her costs, stud fees etc. He was never going to be good enough to show. You can expect to pay anywhere from £250 upwards, for rare cats you are talking in the thousands, but whatever you go for always chose a reputable dealer, (or should that read breeder), your vet should be able to recommend one. Ongoing costs are no different to regular cats, unless you want to spend a fortune in grooming products, they need feeding once or twice a day, there are many different ideas about what you should and shouldn?t give them, some people just use dried food, others use a mixture, vets suggest the science diet which cost a fortune. I don?t know, all I do know is they need plenty of water, more if they only have the dried food, an
d not to think you?re being kind by giving them extra treats etc, Digby has 2 sachets of Kit e Kat a day, more if he can persuade multiple members of the family that he hasn?t been fed which he is very good at doing. Vets bills are the other consideration, there is an annual £28 for worming and top up boosters, it is worth considering pet plan, as things can go expensively wrong and you don?t want to have to consider putting them down because it is a cheaper option. You also have to have your jabs up to date if you ever want to use a cattery whilst you go away, which is fair enough but neighbours always feed ours. Pedigrees have a safety issue as well as you do get a number of cat thieves around, so Digby has always been a predominantly indoor cat, until we moved a couple of years ago and he discovered that he could get out of the garden, he never goes very far though and interestingly always comes back inside to use the toilet! Indoor cats do naturally need a litter tray, which isn?t the most pleasant job in the world, Digby always thought of this as a game to see how far he could kick the litter! So would I get another pedigree cat, probably yes, the advantages of putting your shoes on and not finding a dead mouse in the bottom are appealing, I wouldn?t pay a fortune for one though as I have no intention of winning best in show, he?s best in my house and that?s all that matters. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments.
I own a beautiful blue tabby British shorthaired kitten; Levi is now 7 months old. If you can't imagine what he looks like then if you've seen the recent Whiskas advert where the cat goes to the dinner table and the camera zooms in on his face. Picture that cat and then you will have a rough idea of Levi, one difference is that the cat on the advert is a silver British shorthaired and therefore the markings are alot stronger. Levi's hair is a mixture of light greys. We have not had an easy ride since we've had him; we moved into our house about 4 months ago and bought him straight away. I visited the breeder several times before purchasing him. When we first saw him he was 5 weeks old. A bundle of fluff, he was the last one to be sold so luckily for us we didn't have to choose one. There were six of them all really sweet and affectionate. We brought him home on the Sunday all excited and eager, we had purchased a bed, scratch post and feeding bowls for him. But it was not all good, we got him in and later that evening he had diahorra, we took him to the vet as he had to have a check over anyway. There was nothing wrong with him according to the vet, and so he had to undergo a variety of tests. (If you see my opinion on slippery elm in the cats section it explains more in detail the problems and solutions of Levi's illness) After finding out when he had a blood test done that he was allergic to certain foods causing the problem we then had to find a suitable diet for him. Even the vet food was no good for him, which was very expensive anyway. Finally we discovered High-life pet food and gave them a try, as they tend to be 70% real meat or fish. We then realised that he couldn't have certain flavours of fish even though blood test had not shown that he was allergic to this. The only flavour he can have now is Pilchards High-life, it works and we are grateful we have found it. During the time we
have had him he has always been a playful and active kitten and also very loving, he means everything to us. He has been microchipped, castrated and now has his own cat flap to go out. I am often nervous about him going out as he has just discovered how to get over the fence. We took him out and watched him for ages before and he just stayed in the garden but now there is so much he want s to see and do. He's never out long though before coming in and sitting on my knee again. I could never keep him indoors, as I would feel like I was stopping him from developing his natural instincts. He loves so much to go outside in the night as well now and with me at work all day I want him to feel as free as possible. I am glad I got a British shorthaired, he is so loving, he is always willing to sit with you for a cuddle, I wouldn?t change him for anything. I am just glad we got pet insurance from the start!
I've always wanted a cat, having grown up with cats at home. But being at work all day, I didn't think it would be fair to the cat to leave it for so long. 4 years ago, I moved into a large cottage in the country & changed my job, this was perfect for a cat. I had been worried in my previous house about my rather expensive sofa & hi-fi. I knew that my parents' Siamese had carried out a fetching redesign of their sofa & I wanted a house where I could shut the living room door, to keep the best furniture safe from claws. After moving into the new cottage, I discovered from the neighbours that the small country lane outside the house was very dangerous for cats. They had lost 3 cats on the road. I still wanted a cat, but I decided to try to keep it indoors as the cottage was very big. I started visiting cat shows, speaking to breeders & buying cat magazines. I was looking for a breed of cat that would be happy to stay indoors & also a breed that would be less likely to trash my furniture. I spent nearly a year choosing a breed & then choosing which breeder to buy from. I had decided to buy a pedigree, because I wanted the best chance of choosing the type of temperament & good upbringing. A good breeder knows how important the first few weeks can be. I chose a British Shorthair as the best breed for me. They have calm characters, don't crave company too much & they are not destructive to the furniture. The next step was to choose a breeder. I was initially looking for a blue/cream & I visited lots of cat shows & looked at all the British Shorthairs. One cat in the show was particularly cute, she was a Blue girl called Crystal. At cat shows, you must not touch the cats, because you can easily spread disease, so I was talking to all the cats. Crystal responded in a special way to me, purring & brushing against here cage & rolling over, each time I came close. After the show, I decided to contact Crystal's breeder & I
contacted the cat club to find her phone number. The breeder was very friendly, but she also asked searching questions of me. I could tell that she was not interested in selling her cats to just anyone & wanted to be sure that they would go to good loving homes. I was invited to the breeders home & the first thing I noticed was how clean, tidy & fresh smelling the small home was despite having 6 little kittens running around. I found out then, that Crystal was not for sale, as she was a show cat, but she was being mated that week to another show champion cat. Because of the colours of the two parents (Blue), it was likely that all the kittens would be Blue. However after seeing Crystal, I decided that I wanted a Blue cat, instead of Blue/Cream. I kept in touch with the breeder & waited for Crystal to have her kittens. A few months later, the breeder called me to say that she just had 6 kittens & I was surprised that she offered to let me see them that weekend. I decided by that time, that I wanted a girl cat. The reasons were that I felt that a girl cat was slightly less likely to have spraying problems & the girl cats were a little smaller & I felt better proportioned. Once a week for 12 weeks, the breeder let me come to see the kittens & play with them all. Another or her cats also had kittens & there were 12 little cute bundles of fluff running around. It took 2 weeks to be sure how many girls there were in Crystal's litter. A first, we thought there were 2 girls, but later, we found out that it was just one & of course, I fell in love with that girl kitten. Each Sunday, I would travel to the breeders, just after lunch & I would stay there most of the afternoon playing with all the kittens. Socialising the kittens is very important & the breeder was very happy with my help. My little girl kitten used to sleep in my arms every week after a good playtime. I decided on her name, Marmite. The breeder used her name all the time
when playing & feeding her. Spending so much time with the breeder allowed to me learn much more about cats & especially cat behaviour & how to avoid problems. The breeder wanted me to buy two kittens as they could play together, but now as I worked often from home, I felt that one was fine for me. Also near-show quality cats with good pedigrees are expensive! The breeder called me one day to say that my kitten was ill. I rushed up to see her & the breeder was feeding her special high protein recovery food. It seemed that with 12 kittens, my little girl was being pushed to the back at food times & she had been missing out on her dinner. This was noticed in time with an urgent trip to the vet to make sure that nothing was wrong & then my little one got specially hand fed for a few days. After that, she got fed separately from the others. When she was a kitten, she ate so daintily, taking little lady-like bites, but still managing to get food all over her nose! At 12 weeks, she was ready to come home with me. I had prepared everything for her. I would introduce her to one room first, an upstairs bedroom & she would stay there for 2 or 3 days. In that room, I had her litter tray, the same type of hooded tray & same type of litter that the breeder used. I bought her a little bed & a cat aerobic centre & lots of toys including a fishing rod type toy. I bought a food bowl, a water bowl & lots of the same sort of kitten food that the breeder used. I also bought a good carry basket that opened at the top. When the 12 weeks were up, I drove again to the breeder?s house with Marmite's carry basket. Collecting Marmite, she was interested in everything happening & was as happy as could be in the car driving home for 1 hour. After a while she settled down to sleep in her basket. Arriving at home, I took the basket straight up to her bedroom & opened it. I had put some food out & some water for her. This is what happened; she got
out of her basket sniffing around everywhere, but not being afraid. I sat on the floor near the middle of the room. She walked around the large bedroom, taking a little bit to eat & then a little drink. She then went to her litter tray & had a little pee. Then she went to her new bed & settled in it & went to sleep! I was amazed, the previous experience from my parents? Siamese had been days of crying & hiding. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect introduction to her new home. Over the next 2 days, I spent nearly all my time in the bedroom with Marmite, playing with her & generally just keeping her company by lying on the floor reading. After 2 days, I allowed her in the whole house. I went out & bought some good quality small scratch posts & I put one in just about every room, especially what I felt would be good "marking places" for a cat. I moved her aerobic centre to the top of the stairs & bought another smaller aerobic centre for downstairs near a front window. I also got a big roll of bubble wrap & made a pile of it downstairs in her main toy area. Marmite got used to the rest of the house very quickly & I spent a lot of time to help her. I had learnt how to pick up a cat correctly from the breeder, so I would pick her up & carry her around. I could then hold her up high so that she could sniff in all the interesting places, like the tops of doors. She also liked to climb on my shoulders & let me walk around with her like that. It was important not to wear jeans, or she would climb up my leg to get on my shoulders. At night I tried to shut her downstairs, but I soon realised that I was loosing this one because she would scratch at the carpet to try to open the door. After a few weeks, I decided that as I was restricting her from going outside, that I shouldn?t restrict her inside the house. So I then bought a car cradle bed & put it on the radiator near my bed. She loved this so much, that I bought 2 more, 1 downstairs & on
e on my office radiator. I also bought a second litter tray so that I had one upstairs & one downstairs. This was after a little accident one morning. Marmite was excited about me getting up & getting her breakfast. He litter tray was too far away, so she had a little pee in the corner of the bedroom. She's never had an accident since. In the area where she had a pee, I cleaned it with biological washing powder & then white spirit. Then I put her bed near the place. I never scolded her of course. Cats can only recognise scolding if it happens at exactly the same time as they're doing something. So if I see her standing on my hi-fi, she gets a short sharp, loud "NO" & the moment she jumps down she gets stroked. This means to a cat; standing on hi-fi = bad, standing on floor = good. But of course, they should never be scolded about doing a natural function like peeing. She needed some more training about morning wake ups. I got advice from a behaviourist at the vet about this, as I wanted to get it right first time. Marmite would wake me about 5:00am by scratching the valance at the bottom of the bed. She would wake me & I would get up & stop her from doing it. The attention was what she wanted to achieve & each time I got up, even to scold her, I reinforced this behaviour. I bought a personal attack alarm. The next morning, she woke me again & I had the attack alarm under my pillow. I made no sound & stayed in bed pretending to be asleep, but I operated the alarm for a few seconds. She ran out of the room. This happened the next morning & then never again. It worked because she learnt that scratching the bed was supposed to get attention from me, but it didn't, it caused a very loud noise from somewhere. So she stopped doing it & she has always waited patiently for me to wake up ever since. I do make sure that as soon as I get up, I always go downstairs & feed her first. So an indoor cat needs exercise & playtimes. Cats like ro
utine, so we have our playtimes at particular times of the day. Our main one is just before bedtime & Marmite actually waits for me in her play area when she hears me getting ready for bed. Getting her tired at night also helps her to maintain human sleeping & waking hours. She also gets a few little treats after playtime, but I hide these around the house, to give her some hunting opportunity. She has never tried to go outside & never shows any wish to go out the front or back doors. She loves to sit at the window & watch the birds & she also likes me to sit & watch the birds with her. I don't leave the outside door wide open of course, because she would not be equipped for the dangers of being outside, but I am satisfied that she is not suffering from being inside all the time. She only shows interest in the door to the extent that it's the one through which I arrive back home. Marmite is now 3 years old. She is a happy & contented cat. She is a little aggressive sometimes, to people who visit. She is ok with them as long as I am present. But for instance if they go upstairs to use the bathroom, she follows them up & sits outside the bathroom door. When they open the door, they're met by a fierce meow & hiss from a surprised Marmite, who seems to be surprised that someone strange has come out of the bathroom! I have to go upstairs to rescue them. I can help the situation by giving the visitor some cat treats to drop out of their pockets. So, I protected my furniture by providing plenty of scratch posts. Cats need to scratch, especially after sleeping. Their claws itch after being retracted, so place a post near the cat beds. Scratching is also a form of territory marking, both from sight (the scratch damage) & by smell from glands near the claws. So put scratch posts near the external doors. Marmite has never scratched any piece of furniture, curtains or wallpaper. Toileting also has a marking function. You should pl
ace litter trays in secluded places, a cat must feel safe at its toilet. For the marking function, try to put a litter tray as near to the front or back door as possible. There should be one litter tray on each floor of a house. If you have more than one cat, there should be one tray for each cat & one tray spare. So 2 cats = 3 trays. I changed Marmite's food to the best quality hard food I could find. I spoke to all the manufacturers & chose the one with high quality ingredients & a consistent recipe. I leave fresh water out for Marmite at all times & never feed her milk, which is bad for cats. There is no need to feed a cat a variety of foods & flavours. A cat is happy to eat the same food for a long time as long as it is high quality & fresh. If you feed a variety of foods, you just make a fussy cat that will be harder to please over the years. With an indoor cat, you can get an early indication if anything is wrong. This is because you can check the cat at any time & you see the urine & stools every day. If something looks unusual, you should see your vet straight away, don't leave it a week. Any behavioural or toileting problem, you should visit the vet first to check that there isn't a medical reason for the problem. An indoor cat does not have the opportunity to wear down its claws. It also does not need to climb trees to escape danger or protect itself. You should therefore trim the front claws every month or so. Buy some special cat claw scissors & get a vet to show you how to trim claws properly. You are just cutting the very end of the claw, just the sharp bit at the tip. Never ever feed a cat from the table or when you are in the kitchen. Feed her only at her mealtimes. If you start out like that, you won't get a cat that begs food from you. Feeding a cat a complete high quality food is just that. It provides all the nourishment that a cat needs, there is nothing else you should give her apart from wate
r to drink. She will probably like to drink from a running tap, this is fine & natural as a cat will naturally seek running water as this is more likely to be fresh in the wild. An indoor cat can be completely happy, safe from cars & kids with airguns & laser pencils. As the owner, it is your responsibility to give your cat everything it needs for a fulfilled life. I treat my responsibilities very seriously, Marmite is part of my family & she relies on me for all her needs. All the love I give to Marmite is returned 10 fold, by the cutest cat in the world.
It is easy to assume that British shorthair cats are just “pedigree moggies”, because in many respects they are similar to the everyday cat you see in most streets, sitting on fences or sunning themselves on door-mats. But a pedigree British Shorthair has several distinctive feature which help you to identify them. For example, they have short legs, thick tails, “rug-like” coats and broad jowly faces. They are strong, heavy cats, but are placid and gentle, and one of the easiest cat breeds to have around the home. British shorthairs come in a wide range of colours. Among the most prized are the creams, especially those which have colour points on the tips of their ears. Silver Tabby shorthairs are highly in demand at the moment, mostly because of the cat currently appearing in Whiskas adverts. I suppose to many people there’s something about having your cat illustrated to appealingly on tins of cat food. The “blue” colour is also popular, and the cat which shares our home, Winston, is a classic blue cat. OK, so he’s not blue as such but rather that lovely deep grey colour which qualifies as the classic shorthair “blue”. British Blue Shorthairs are easily mistaken for other breeds, particularly the Russian Blue, which while not sharing closely common ancestry (you need to go back to the deserts of Egypt for that), have been bred to a very similar appearance as the British Blue Shorthair. Our home also contains a non-pedigree shorthair, a silver tabby called Lucy, and her character is the most obvious feature marking her out as a non-pedigree. There is none of the extreme placidness of a true British shorthair, and her personality definitely tends towards the “moggy”. I don’t mean to imply that there is some sort of class thing among cats, but Lucy is downright ordinary compared to her rather refined and quiet den-partner. British Shortha
irs can be timid, and certainly Winston is reluctant to sit on the lap of his human den-partners, and is easily frightened by sudden noises or household appliances like carpet cleaners encroaching on his personal space. I mentioned earlier that they are strong cats, and to watch Winston lying on his back grappling with his scratching post makes you realise how dreadful it must be to be “prey”. However, this strength is not necessarily backed up with courage, enabling other less cultured cats to come off better in a scrap. Their fur is very thick, and tends to stand on end, rather like a rug. You put your finger into the pile as you would in a good quality carpet. Flea treatment is a must as it offers a wonderful home for the jumping creatures! Our experience is that British Shorthairs are easy cats to look after. Winston eats dried food and couldn’t really care less about the tinned variety which his den-partner Lucy insists on. He is never ill and seems to be immune to the eye-infections and other irritating problems which cause such expensive visits to the vets. He is neutered of course – not many people can cope with an “entire” tom-cat around the house. If there was one feature I would identify as being classic British shorthair, I would say it is their koala bear-like nature, quite unlike other cats (not that I really know what koala bears are like, but the impression they give is of a slow, ponderous animal). British Shorthairs are extremely gentle around the home, affectionate but not totally relaxed among people and when you live with a British shorthair and another breed you realise how “un-cat-like” they really are. They would be ideal pets for families with young children, or for older people, or perhaps for families where one or more people don’t really like cats very much. Even the most hardened cat-hater can see why this breed is perhaps more acce
ptable than the others and so they make ideal first cats where there is some uncertainty about launching out into pet-ownership. Owners of moggies may wonder why one would fork out so much money on a cat when moggies are so freely available. In our case, it was simply that someone we knew had two British Shorthairs and although we’d never owned a cat before this seemed to be an easy way in. Sure, Winston was expensive, but when you cost out the purchase price over the fifteen years or so he may live, its not that bad. And we get to look at and play with this magnificent creature, who is so admired by visitors and neighbours.
I have a lovely British Blue cat and would recommend them to anyone. The other contributor whose cats had dietary and chewing problems was unlucky as this can happen to non-pedigrees. Brit shorthairs are placid and affectionate and home-loving, specially if neutered. They have lovely chubby teddy bear faces and wonderful fur. After purchase they should cost no more than a moggie to keep, including their jabs for the usual feline diseases, and flea treatment. I wouldn't be without mine (cat not flea treatment!)
We've recently had one of our cats neutered? She's obviously not been too happy about it in the past but seems to have settled down quite well now. Now, what I've noticed is that marble, my cat, was very timmid before 'the op' and never really tried to get much attention. Sort of shy and retiring. But since 'the op' things have gone a little mad. Namely Marble. She's running around and biting things, scratching like crazy at anything wooden and beating up her brother when he tries to eat 'her' food. Not only thi but her backside has become absoultey huge. I mean she's putting on weight like there's no tomorrow. I love marble to bits but what I'm thinking is this... 'Is it really that good to have your cat 'done' if it means they're going to go through an entire personality change?' Goodness knows what'll happen if we get murphy's bits off.
I have had my two British Shorthairs for about a year now. They are just like children to me and I wouldn't part with them for the world. (However, my bank manager would probably think otherwise) The cost of buying the cats has been nothing in comparison to the vets bills which they have incurred. Each of them have fallen victim to conditions which the vet says are common to pedigree cats in particular. One has digestive problems meaning a special (expensive) diet involving no red meat or its derivatives; while the other has problems with his mouth meaning he doesn't chew properly........has anyone else had similar problems with their pedigree cats? Perhaps I'd have been better off with a moggie!