The ancestors of the British Shorthair are cats that had adapted to the harsh climate of the British Isles, in particular by developing a coat dense enough to protect them from bad weather and cold.
Harrison Weir, one of the English pioneers of cat breeding, founder of the National Cat Club, and organizer of the first cat show in London in 1871, played a leading role in developing the British Shorthair. Moreover, a female of the breed was exhibited in this first edition at the Crystal Palace. With her beautiful blue coat and amber eyes, the cat did not go unnoticed.
The two world wars were very close to making the British Shorthair disappear. In the inter-war period and after 1945, many breeders made crosses with Persians, then Russian Blues, and some Chartreux, to reconstitute the numbers. The contribution of Persian gave a long-haired version of the British, called British Longhair. At the same time, other breeders worked to preserve the lines of British shorthair cats. Their efforts eventually paid off since, by the 1970s, the British Shorthair was no longer threatened.
Today, the British Shorthair is one of the most famous cats in the UK.