The British Shorthair is one of the original pure breed cats. It has been specifically bred over generations to bring certain traits to the fore. These traits are what make it such a popular cat, but they are also why it has such specific nutritional needs that are different from other cats.
For the pet owners who are after cuddly, soft companions to laze around with, none is better than the British Shorthair. Although their solid build is great for cuddling, it’s important British Shorthair owners keep an eye on their cat’s eating habits as this breed has a tendency to easily become overweight. They are quite large cats by nature but their weight should come from muscle rather than excess fat.
Adult males can weigh up to 8kg and with the breed enjoying a more sedentary lifestyle, overeating and lack of activity can not only add kilos but also put a strain on their joints. That is why it is important that British Shorthair owners keep their cats active – even if it is only for short bursts.
As well as exercise, this is a breed that responds very well to being fed a high-quality, high-protein diet that includes ingredients that support bone and joint health. By feeding them a diet that combines higher protein, lower fat and L-carnitine supplementation, the breed is less likely to become overweight and more likely to maintain a healthy muscle mass.
Ideally, their diet should also contain appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorous to support their bone and joint health, as well as a combination of specific vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids to support heart, coat and muscle health.
Along with their bulky build, the British also has a thick coat of fur that sheds profusely when the season comes around. Regular grooming can manage this by removing dead hair and distributing the skin’s oils. However, seasonal big moults and following regrowth mean grooming should be done more often at times to keep their coat and skin health at premium levels.
This mixture of a bulky body, sedate lifestyle and thick fur mean they have a different combination of nutritional needs to most other cats. It is why many British Shorthair owners feed their cat a breed-specific British Shorthair diet. If you’ve got a British Shorthair and you want to see them at their best, it’s worth considering doing the same.