Breed-related disease: British Shorthair Cat

John K. Rosembert


The British Shorthair is a dignified, intelligent and affectionate companion. They aren’t your general lapcat, but they tend to be always by your side on the sofa or at least nearby. Females tend to have a serious demeanor, while males are more happy -go-lucky. These laidback cats can get along well with dogs and are calm around children, but they don’t enjoy being hauled around.

The British Shorthair is solid and muscular with an easygoing personality. As befits his British heritage, he is slightly reserved, but once he gets to know someone he’s quite affectionate. His short, dense coat comes in many colors and patterns and should be brushed two or three times a week to remove dead hair.

British Shorthairs are generally a robust breed without too many problems. Because they have been bred with Persians in the past there is small chance of a being affected by:

  1. Polycystic kidney disease: a condition where cysts, present in the kidneys from birth, gradually increase in size until the kidney cannot function normally, resulting in kidney failure. A genetic test is available for this disease.
  2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a condition where the volume of blood that the heart pumps with each contraction is reduced. This can cause fainting, tiredness and other signs of heart disease.


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