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Everything You Need to Know About Owning and Caring for a British Shorthair in Singapore

With its rounded features and short plush fur, the British Shorthair cat resembles a chubby teddy bear. Their adorable looks and calm personality have earned them much popularity amongst Singaporean cat enthusiasts.

Get to know more about this lovely cat and whether he’s the right breed for you through our comprehensive care guide!


We’d like to thank to following contributors for their valuable expertise and insights:

  • Charli Burbridge, the Co-founder of Petz,
  • Dr. Maureen Muritihi (DVM) from ExcitedCats and
  • Nicholas DeRoma, Veterinary Technologist from CatPet.

  • *Disclaimer: All content published in this article is for general knowledge. It should not be deemed as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Please consult a vet for an accurate diagnosis of your dog’s health condition.

    British Shorthair SIngapore infographic

    Key Physical Traits

    Weight
  • Male: 4 - 8kg
  • Female: 3.1 - 5.4kg
  • Height
  • Male: up to 35cm
  • Female: up to 30cm
  • Life expectancy 15 - 20 years
    Coat
  • Short and dense
  • Comes in many different colours like blue-grey, white, black, and more
  • Can have patterns on their coat such as tortoiseshell and tabby
  • Common Personality Traits 

    Personality traits of a British Shorthair

      Friendly

    British Shorthair cats have a pleasant temperament and make wonderful companions. Their friendly behaviour makes them great family cats. 

    They can get along well with children and other animals. However, you’ll need to ensure that the other animal is used to being around cats.

      Reserved

    British Shorthair cats dislike being picked up and would rather enjoy a spot on the couch beside you with plenty of pats. But that doesn’t mean that they’re haughty or snobbish. 

    Even though they aren’t clingy lap cats, they’re affectionate beings.  

      Easy-going

    British Shorthair cats have very laid-back personalities. They don’t actively seek attention or affection, and are perfectly okay with alone time. 

    Due to their relaxed personalities, they aren’t excessively active and enjoy resting. 

    Caring For British Shorthair Cats In Singapore

    Cuddling a British Shorthair

    Adapting to the hot and humid climate 

    Although the British Shorthair cat is a shorthaired breed, their distinct coats are quite dense and thick. They’re able to adapt to hot climates with the right measures.  

    Firstly, they should spend most of their time  indoors or under the shade. If you want to bring them outside, do it during the early mornings or evenings when it’s cooler. 

    You should also provide them with plenty of water and ice cubes to hydrate themselves. If your cat dislikes drinking water, Charli (Co-founder of Petz) recommends to try enticing them with a cat fountain

    Residing in a HDB apartment 

    According to HDB’s guidelines on pets, cats are unfortunately not allowed in HDB apartments. 

    They may have the tendency to wander out of the house and explore public areas, where they can urinate, defecate or shed fur. 

    Exercise for a British Shorthair cat 

    A British Shorthair on a cat tree

    While the British Shorthair has a naturally chunky build, you don’t want him to end up overweight. They’re a fairly low-activity cat breed, so it’ll be good to keep them moving around at least once everyday. 

    Getting your cat to exercise is generally more difficult than a dog. So, you’ll have to think of  creative ways to attract their attention and mentally stimulate them! 

    Here are some ideas for games that you can consider:

    • Pre-meal parades: Instead of serving a meal straight, sneak in a short exercise. Walk around the house with the bowl, encouraging him to follow along to earn the meal.
    • Treat runs: Slide your treats as far as you can across the floor and get your cat to chase after them.
    • Make use of the cat tree: Vary the placement of their favourite toy on different levels. This makes them climb up and down. 
    • Chasing games: You can use cat toys such as motorised mice and teasers. Dr. Murithi (DVM) states that these are good options to tickle their innate prey drive and make them run.

    Grooming for a British Shorthair cat

    The British Shorthair’s neat coat may look like a handful of work, but it’s fairly easy to groom. 

    • Brushing

     How often: 2-3 times a week
    This keeps their coats shiny and removes loose fur quickly.

    • Nail trimming

     How often: once a week
    Long nails can make them uncomfortable and cause them to hurt themselves.

    • Teeth brushing

     How often: 3 times a week
    Brush their teeth with a cat-friendly toothpaste to maintain good dental hygiene and fresh-smelling breath.


    Tip!
    It’s recommended that you start this grooming routine when they’re kittens. They’ll get used to it and won’t shy away from you as they grow older.

    These cats don’t require intensive grooming but you can visit a professional groomer once in a while to get a proper session done!

    Diet For British Shorthair Cats

    A British Shorthair eating out of a bowl

    British Shorthairs aren’t picky, but that doesn’t mean you should feed them anything and everything. This breed has the tendency to become obese if they’re allowed to eat freely and don’t exercise often. 

    An ideal diet for a British Shorthair should be

    • high in animal protein,
    • low in empty carbohydrates and
    • rich in vitamins and minerals to support health and growth.

    It’s also recommended that you control their portions to ensure that they’re not being overfed. Portion sizes and how often you should feed depends on your cat’s age, size, weight and activity level. 

    If you’re unsure, consult your vet for tailored advice. 


    Feeding tip!
    As cats don’t have a high thirst drive, Nicholas (Veterinary Technician from CatPet) advises that wet food is an effective way to keep them hydrated.

    Possible Health Issues  

    Noisy breathing

    A British Shorthair cat resting on a bed

    The British Shorthair is a Brachycephalic (flat-faced) cat breed that may experience breathing difficulties while sleeping and wheezing. This is attributed to features such as shortened nostrils and soft palates. 

      Symptoms:

    • Coughing and sneezing
    • Loud breathing while awake or sleeping
    • Open-mouth breathing 

      Treatment:

    • Surgery
    • Medication
    • Oxygen therapy
    • Fluid therapy 

    Obesity 

    Due to the body shape of this breed, it can be hard to tell if its roundness is a result of muscle or fat. Thus, it’s important that owners regulate their diet and eating habits. 

    Excess weight can lead to joint issues and other health issues as your cat grows older. 

      Symptoms:

    • Unhealthy eating habits
    • Reluctance to play or exercise
    • Excessive weight gain
    • Cannot feel ribs 

      Treatment:

    • Diet plan
    • Exercise
    • Medication

    Polycystic kidney disease 

    This is when cysts start to grow in your cat’s kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure. While British Shorthair cats aren’t very susceptible to this disease, they can develop it if there’s an affected cat in their lineage. 

    As there’s no proper cure, treatment is usually given to help alleviate symptoms and provide life support. 

      Symptoms:

    • Blood in urine
    • Increased urination
    • Increased thirst
    • Nausea and vomiting

      Treatment:

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease that thickens the walls of the heart, potentially decreasing its functionality. It’s one of the more common heart diseases that cats develop and British Shorthairs are prone to developing it. 

    Sadly, there’s no complete cure for the disease. Treatment is usually prescribed to control heart congestion and prevent possible failure. 

      Symptoms:

    • Weak pulse 
    • Abnormal heart sounds (e.g. murmurs)
    • Difficulty breathing 

      Treatment:

    • Medicine
    • Surgery 

    Price Of Owning A British Shorthair Cat In Singapore

    British Shorthair kittens

    One-Off Costs

      Sterilisation

    Sterilisation is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it stops unwanted behaviours like yowling and fighting over mates during heat. It also decreases the risk of health issues that are hard or costly to treat. 

    It’ll be more expensive to sterilise a female cat than a male cat. The procedure will cost around $210. 

      Microchipping

    A microchip is like a permanent form of identification that comes in handy if your cat gets stolen or lost. The procedure will set you back about $50 – $90.

    Recurring Costs 

    • Food: $72+ per month
    • Grooming: $50 – $100+ per session
    • Dental scaling: $190+ per consultation
    • Health checkup: $45+ per consultation
    • Vaccinations: $40 – $50 every 1 – 3 years  

    Aside from these, you may have to consider additional costs for things such as insurance and accessories like carriers and litters.


    Got a British Shorthair kitten recently? Pet Lovers Centre is gifting you and your new fur baby with a free Kitty Pack* (worth up to $57). All you need to do is sign up for our Kitty Bonus Plan!

    Pet Lovers Centre Kitty Bonus Plan

    The Kitty Pack includes
    kitten litter,
    kitten dry food of your choice and
    • a 1-year VIP membership for new members!

    *Redemption is limited to 1 pack per owner and address.

    Fun Facts About British Shorthair Cats

    A white and black British Shorthair cat

    They are one of the oldest cat breeds

    Don’t be fooled by their charming and youthful appearances! The British Shorthair is actually one of the world’s oldest cat breeds. 

    When the Romans first invaded Great Britain in 43 CE, they brought their cats along with them to guard their food supplies from rat infestations. The British Shorthair stayed from then on! 

    They nearly went extinct

    In the early 20th century, longhaired cat breeds became increasingly popular and outshined the British Shorthair. Cat enthusiasts also ceased breeding of the cat during World Wars 1 and 2.

    Extinction appeared inevitable until owners of the breed started to crossbreed their cat with other felines to ensure its survival. 

    Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat was inspired by the British Shorthair

    Did you know that the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland was inspired by the British Shorthair? 

    The Cheshire Cat’s famous curved smile and large eyes were taken from the breed’s face structure. They often have big round eyes, and their chubby cheeks and placement of whisker pads give them the appearance of a permanent smile. 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    A brown British Shorthair cat

    Are British Shorthairs aggressive? 

    British Shorthairs aren’t often aggressive and possess a calm demeanor. But similar to humans, cats have unique personalities of their own. 

    British Shorthairs that intentionally bite or scratch do exist. If your cat is one of them, there are ways to help calm down its aggression. 

    Do British shorthair cats like to be picked up and cuddled?

    British Shorthair cats are usually not that eager to be picked up and hugged. They may enjoy affection from their owners, but they also appreciate it when it’s subdued. 

    Do British Shorthairs shed a lot? 

    The British Shorthair sheds less in comparison to other indoor cats of this size and longhaired breeds. Their coat is short and dense, which helps to decrease excessive fur loss. 

    Brush your cat at least 2-3 times a week to loosen and get rid of dead fur. 

    How long does a British Shorthair cat live for? 

    They can live for an average of 15-20 years. Their rather lengthy lifespan means that they’ll be by your side for a long time!

    To keep them healthy and happy, feed them the right diet, make sure they exercise sufficiently and bring them for regular checkups. 

    How big does a British Shorthair get? 

    A British Shorthair cat will often be fully grown at about 3 years of age. Males are generally bigger and can grow up to 35cm. Females will reach a size of up to 30 cm. 

    Owning A British Shorthair In Singapore

    If you fancy a reserved yet affectionate cat, then the British Shorthair might be the one for you! This chubby-looking, loveable cat is bound to put a smile on your face and will be a great companion for life.

    With that said, make sure you’re 100% prepared to look after a new cat as taking care of a pet will require your full commitment.  

    Article by:
    Andrea
    Contributors:
    There's nothing Andrea loves more than dancing and playing the Sims 4. She is highly intrigued by astrology and enjoys fantasy novels of any sort. You can often find her obsessing over adorable animal videos.
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