The British Shorthair cat is gentle and affectionate by nature, highly docile and perfect for apartment-dwelling. Though most commonly found in Great Britain, the breed has become an increasingly common pet throughout North America. Like all feline breeds, the British Shorthair has certain needs to which you must attend if you want to raise a happy, healthy and well-adjusted cat. Still, in comparison to many breeds, the British Shorthair requires minimal maintenance.
Keep your British Shorthair indoors. The British Shorthair is a shy and docile breed, highly dependent on humans and best suited for indoor living.
Feed your British Shorthair according to the precise instructions of the cat food manufacturer, and monitor your cat's weight. Due to their sedentary nature, British Shorthairs are highly susceptible to feline obesity. If you notice your cat gaining weight, reduce the food intake accordingly. Avoid feeding it table scraps.
Spay or neuter your British Shorthair when it reaches four to six months of age. Sterilisation prolongs the cat's life and reduces certain cancer risks. In males, it reduces -- and most likely eliminates -- the problem of spraying; and in females, it eliminates difficulties associated with the heat cycle. By sterilising your British Shorthair, you ensure a happier, healthier cat.
Brush your British Shorthair about once a week for five to 10 minutes, using a steel comb. The British Shorthair sheds its fur excessively during the spring and fall, so you may want to brush its coat daily during these seasons to prevent your home from becoming overrun with cat hair.
Trim your cat's nails to prevent scratch-related damage to your furniture and other items around the home. The British Shorthair is a completely non-aggressive cat, and will seldom attempt to scratch a person or animal, but it does have scratching needs just like any other cat, and it may try to scratch up your home. Place at least one scratching post inside your home, and trim its claws using a specially designed cat nail clipper.
Cater to your British Shorthair according to its individual needs. Some are very independent, and perfectly content when left alone. Others are devoted lap cats who crave constant physical affection. When you begin to bond with your cat, you will develop a sense of its needs.
Limit boisterous activity in the presence of your British Shorthair. Although many of these cats love children and will bond with the children in their home, most will shy away from loud, energetic people. The British Shorthair prefers quiet environments, and will hide in the presence of heavy excitement and loud noise.