British Shorthair or Chartreux
There are mainly two breeds registered under these names in FIFE.
The British Shorthair on the one side and the Chartreux on the other side. However, today the Chartreux cannot be mistaken for the British Shorthair anymore. Its standard regulates that the cats are always blue with coppery eyes, a different coat and slimmer legs than the British shorthair. Both breeds are so different that neither of them can contribute to the improvement of the other. There are no crossings between these breeds. The Chartreux breed is often called "Karthäuser" in German. Unfortunately the British Shorthair with blue coat often is referred to as Karthäuser in colloquial speech, as well. This is often the case with non-breeders. However, breeders of the British Shorthair set great value on the linguistic differentiation between British Shorthair and Chartreux/ Karthäuser.
History and origin
The origin of the British Shorthair lies - as the name says - in Great Britain where it was already bred at the end of the 19th century. The British Shorthair was already shown in several colours in 1871 during the first cat exhibition in the Crystal Palace in London. The breeders wished for a sturdy breed with short coat by crossing the house cat with Persians. They succeeded and created a new breed which was particularly popular in the colour blue and in tabby varieties. Due to the crossing with Persian cats the British Shorthair also got the recessive longhair gene (I) which even today sometimes produces longhair cats (so-called highlanders). Cat breeding in Europe suffered extremely during both world wars. However, the breed survived thanks to the commitment of some breeders. Due to the crossing with Persian cats and a rigid selection of the breeding animals the recent type was determined, standardized and the wonderful colour variety was bred out.
The British Shorthair today
The British Shorthair is today a very popular cat breed and the fan community can be proud of its typical British Shorthairs thanks to committed and responsible breeding.