British Black Shorthair - Shorthaired Cats

More than any other feline, shorthaired black cats have through the ages been the object to fear, superstition and veneration – alternately persecuted as creatures of ill-omen and deified as bringers of good luck. In fact, such large numbers were executed during the Middle Ages in the belief that they were agents of the devil, and in an attempt by the Christian Church to purge Europe of the vestiges of paganism, that the black cat can indeed be thought of as a lucky animal to have managed to survive at all!

History
The British Black Shorthair was one of the first breeds to be shown at Crystal Palace in London during the late nineteenth century, and was selectively bred using the best examples of British street cats. These cats are now usually produced from like-to-like matings, although they sometimes appear in Tortoiseshell-and-white breeding programmes.

Temperament
Good-natured and very intelligent, the British Black Shorthair makes an ideal cat-about-the-house.

Varieties
There are no varieties of the British Black Shorthair.

British Black Shorthair
Shorthaired black cats are a common sight everywhere, but they usually have green eyes, rather than the sparkling orange or copper eyes of the pedigree version, which provide such glorious contrast against the dense, black coat.

Picture: British Black Shorthair

Best known as the supposed familiar of witches, who could, it was thought, adopt the feline form at will, black cats have always attracted the attention of the superstitious and credulous.

Head
- Round and broad with a short, straight nose.
- Black nose pad.
- Well-developed chin.

Eyes
Large and round, either bright orange, gold or copper in color.

Ears
Medium in size, and round-tipped.

Facial Characteristics
British Black Shorthair.

Body
Strong, stocky, and muscular; usually an excellent example of the Shorthair type.

Coat
- The fur is short and dense and should be a perfect, jet black color, without any white hairs.
- Color should be sound to the roots.

Tail
Short and thIck.

LegS
Short and well-propoRtioned.

Feet
) The paws are large and round.
- Black paw pads.

The coat of the British Black Shorthair may take on a brownish tinge if the cat spends long periods of time basking in the sun – a particularly unwelcome feature in a show specimen. Kittens may legitimately have some rustiness; this should disappear in six months or so.

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