Alright fellow cat enthusiasts, when I say ‘British Shorthair’, what’s the first image that pops into your head? Chances are, you’re picturing a chunky fella with an impressive blue-grey coat and piercing amber eyes – the iconic ‘British Blue.’
But guess what? These fabulous cats come dressed in a whole array of dazzling colors and patterns, not just the classic blue.
We’re talking White, Black, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Ginger, Cinnamon, Fawn, Cream, Tabby, and a heap more. It’s like a veritable fashion show in the world of British Shorthairs!
A lot of these unique hues have been officially recognized by cat registries. They’re not all about solid colors, or ‘self’ colors as us cat fanatics like to call them. There’s a whole spectrum of patterns out there, including points, calicos, tortoiseshells, and a whole bunch of tabby varieties.
Now, there are some colorations that aren’t recognized and might get a cat booted off the show circuit, but honestly, they’re often some of the most beautiful and captivating.
So, in this article, we’ll take a peek at the breed as a whole, and then dive deep into the world of colors that British Shorthairs can rock. Prepare to be amazed, folks!
The Adorable and Irresistible British Shorthair: A Breed Overview
“The British Shorthair, or the ‘Brit,’ as many of us cat lovers affectionately call them, are one of the most adored pedigree breeds across the globe.
And boy, it’s not hard to see why. Apart from being absolute lookers (I mean, come on, have you seen their adorable chubby faces?), they are charming as all get out.
They might not be the kind of cats to curl up on your lap for hours, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you to pieces.
These fur-balls are ridiculously loyal, super friendly, and just so darn easy to get along with. Even when annoyed, they’d rather just find a quiet corner to chill in than cause a scene. Classy, right?
Now, let’s talk about their physique, because these cats are just a bundle of charm. The breed standard describes them as ‘cobby’—which in cat lingo means they have a sturdy, muscular body, and a broad chest. Think of them like little fluffy bodybuilders. Their paws are round, and their tails are blunt and broad-based.
They’ve got these small, rounded ears that sit a bit far apart on their heads, which just makes their faces look even more round and squeezable.
These kitties don’t have squashed faces, just slightly snub noses. Their chins are strong and line up perfectly with their noses. Big whisker pads and, for some male cats, prominent jowls give them an adorable ‘swooshy’ face.
And let’s not forget those round eyes and that perma-smile! Their faces just scream ‘friendliness.’ Seriously, it’s pretty much impossible not to fall head over heels in love with a British Shorthair when you meet one. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Bright Eyes and Show Standards
If you’ve been around British Shorthair cats, you know they’ve got some pretty dazzling peepers. But if you’re aiming to strut your BSH in a show, those eyes better be a deep, soulful orange.
Now, there are a couple of exceptions – if your fur baby is a white BSH, then those blue eyes or even mismatched colors are totally in the clear.
And the black silver tabbies? They’re rocking the green or hazel eyes on the catwalk. One thing’s for sure, though – that eye color has to be 100% pure, no color rims or stray flecks in the iris allowed!
Meet the ‘British Blue’: The Dove of the Cat World
Okay, let’s talk about the “British Blue”, arguably the poster child of British Shorthair cats. This color has been in the family for a hot minute, thanks to some intermingling with Russian Blues a few generations back. And honestly, it’s an absolute treat for the eyes! British Shorthairs strut their stuff in all sorts of colors, but the Blue variety? It’s the crowd favorite, hands down.
This unique color comes from a neat little gene that tones down the black pigment in their fur, and every major cat association gives it two thumbs up.
Now, the blue can range from light to dark, but it always has this cool, bluish hue. You know how some folks call the Blue British Shorthair the “dove” of the cat world? Yeah, it’s all because of that soft, mellow coloring. It’s truly something special!
The “blue” in a Blue British Shorthair’s coat is commonly described as a “smoky” or “ashy” hue, making it one of the most desirable colors in the breed.
Yet, due to its genetic recessiveness, not every cat carrying the gene will exhibit the color fully. This may lead to some cats sporting a lighter coat or even a partial blue tint.
Nevertheless, no matter how subtle the shade might be, a British Shorthair sporting any degree of this blue hue is still recognized as a Blue British Shorthair.
Diving into the specifics, the coat of a Blue British Shorthair is characterized by a uniformly distributed light to medium blue-grey color, absolutely pure and solid in appearance. This crisp, dense coat is without any spots, and notably, there’s no hint of tabby striping. It’s crucial to note that there should be no presence of white hairs anywhere, preserving the purity of this beautiful color.
When it comes to kittens, a touch of silver tipping is acceptable, but for the young one to ascend the ranks and become a show-stopping specimen, they will need to grow out of it. Matching the overall aesthetics, the nose leather and toe pads should also possess a blue hue, complementing their coat beautifully.
Equally important are the cat’s eyes. These should display a powerful, coppery orange or deep amber color. However, don’t be alarmed if this isn’t the case right away. Many British Blue kittens start their journey with eyes of a flat brown color. As they grow and develop, their eyes transition into their striking adult color, adding to the overall allure and charm of these enchanting felines.
Snowy Splendor: The White British Shorthair Cats
So, you might be wondering, do British Shorthairs come in white? Absolutely, they do! The White British Shorthairs are quite a spectacle with their unmistakable snowy coat. They sport a perfectly white coat devoid of any markings or stripes, making them a truly distinctive breed.
Add to this their short, sleek fur, round faces, and large eyes, and you’ve got a breed that’s widely recognized and admired by all major associations.
The origin of their pristine white coat traces back to a unique genetic mutation, which blocks the production of melanin—the pigment responsible for color in fur.
Consequently, these beauties boast an all-white fur coat, a trait that might not be welcomed in other breeds but is a real showstopper in British Shorthairs.
Owners and cat enthusiasts alike often prize white-coated British Shorthairs for their rare beauty. Their striking, unique coloration sets them apart, making them a sought-after favorite among cat lovers and collectors. There’s no denying it—these cats simply steal the show.
Now, when it comes to show-quality cats, the white coat must be clean and pure, with no hint of yellow or other colors. A white British Shorthair cat can have sapphire blue eyes, earning the title of a ‘blue-eyed white British Shorthair.’
If their eyes are orange, they should display copper, amber, or deep gold hues. Interestingly, odd-eyed BSH cats also fit the breed standard, with one sapphire blue eye and the other being amber or golden. However, any other eye color combinations won’t make the cut.
Don’t forget about their nose leather and paw pads—they should be a rosy pink. While kittens might have some coloration on their head, adults must be pure white all over.
The Midnight Marvel: Black British Shorthair Cats”
Ever wondered if British Shorthairs come in black? Well, let me assure you, they do! The Black British Shorthair cat is a truly stunning creature, sporting a sleek black coat paired with striking orange eyes. These cats are big on love and affection, making for excellent companions.
What sets Black British Shorthairs apart is their laid-back nature. They’re perfectly content lounging around the house, quietly observing the world as it spins by. They prefer peace and quiet, and definitely aren’t fans of being disturbed in the midst of a good nap. Now, where did this mesmerizing black coat come from, you ask? It all traces back to a genetic mutation that occurred in the early 19th century, resulting in a black cat with captivating orange eyes.
Even though the Black British Shorthair isn’t a purebred, it’s a mixed breed that’s recognized by most major cat registries. When it comes to their coat, it should be a pure jet black, with no hints of rusty shades or brown patches.
While kittens might show a tad bit of rustiness, they usually grow out of it, and the adult coat is nothing but solid black.
These black beauties also feature black nose leather and paw pads (no pink or brown ‘toe-beans’ here!). Paired with their iconic orange eyes, they truly are an arresting sight to behold.
Decadently Sweet: Chocolate Self-Coloured British Shorthair Cats
Chocolate British Shorthairs are like rich, living truffles, their delightful colour a result of cross-breeding with chocolate Persians.
After this cross-breeding, breeders dedicated immense effort to regain the characteristic short, plush British Shorthair coat. Their hue, paired with the British Shorthair’s signature orange eyes, makes for a truly captivating sight.
The coat of Chocolate British Shorthairs presents a range of rich chocolate shades. There isn’t a fixed standard; any shade of deep, creamy chocolate falls within the accepted breed standard.
Their paw pads and nose leather could be dipped in chocolate too, or they may be an adorable pink. These cats are an absolute treat to the eyes, living proof of how beautiful and diverse British Shorthair cats can be!
Dainty Delights: Lilac Self-Coloured British Shorthair Cats
Meet the Lilac British Shorthair, an epitome of feline grace and subtlety. When cat fanciers say “lilac,” they’re referring to a soft, frosty grey, a lighter hue than the classic blue and imbued with a distinct blush of pink. The fusion of these colors gives the British Shorthair’s coat an enchanting lilac shade, hence the name.
These cats carry the lilac hue all over, right down to their paw pads and nose leather. Both are expected to match the fur, donning a similar pink-tinged lilac. Seeing a Lilac British Shorthair for the first time can be a wonderfully surprising experience, their unique coloration unlike any other, a testament to the surprising and delightful diversity within the British Shorthair breed.
Bold and Beautiful: Red (Ginger) Self-Coloured British Shorthair Cats
Just when you thought you’ve seen all the British Shorthair colors, here comes the fiery and vibrant Red or Ginger British Shorthair. Although this coloration is a relatively new addition to the breed’s palette and is still considered provisional, it’s impossible to ignore the appeal of these rich, deep red-coated beauties.
The coat of a Red British Shorthair should ideally have minimal tabby stripes or markings to best showcase their impressive red hue. And the color coordination doesn’t stop with the coat. These kitties flaunt brick-red nose and paw pads, creating a charming and cohesive color profile.
Another unique feature of these ginger delights is the presence of adorable freckles on their bare spots, such as their pads, nose leather, ears, eyelids, and lips.
Just like their human redhead counterparts, they wear these freckles with pride. And, even in the cat show world, a smattering of freckles won’t hold these cats back, provided they’re not overly pronounced.
A Ginger British Shorthair is truly a spectacle to behold, bringing a spark of fiery color to the diverse world of British Shorthairs.
Cinnamon Delight: Cinnamon Self-Coloured British Shorthair Cats
Welcome to the newest member of the British Shorthair color parade – the warm and alluring Cinnamon British Shorthair. This coloration, much like the spice it’s named after, brings a lovely reddish-brown hue to the breed, reminiscent of cozy autumn days.
A rather recent addition to the breed standard, Cinnamon British Shorthairs have truly made a mark with their inviting, earthy tone. Cats of this coloration, much like their spice namesake, carry a warm and appealing shade of reddish-brown throughout their coat.
Completing their delightful palette, these feline wonders showcase pink or cinnamon-colored noses and paw pads. The gentle blend of these tones creates a harmonious and heartwarming appearance that further endears these cats to feline enthusiasts everywhere. With the Cinnamon British Shorthair, the breed certainly proves its capacity for color variety and never fails to surprise and charm us with its diverse color range.
Cream Delight: Cream Self-Coloured British Shorthair Cats
Picture this: A fluffy, charming British Shorthair cat, wearing a coat that’s as smooth as cream. Cream British Shorthairs are a sight to behold, with a warm, pale off-white hue that distinguishes them from the rest. It’s a delicate shade, not as vibrant as the red, and not as earthy as the fawn coloration – a perfect balance.
The intriguing bit about these cats is that their nose leather and paw pads are pink, adding a touch of sweet contrast to their overall creamy look. But it’s not just their color that makes them unique. You might spot a few faint tabby markings on their coat, which should be as subtle and minimal as possible.
And then there’s the freckles. Yes, freckles! Just like their red British Shorthair counterparts, cream ones might surprise you with slight freckling. Don’t worry, though! As long as it’s light, it’s perfectly acceptable, even in adult cats. It just adds to their adorable charm, making the Cream British Shorthair a real creamy delight.
An Array of Stripes: Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The wonderful world of British Shorthair cats is rich with an array of colors, and the tabby variety is no exception. Dotted with distinct markings, Tabby British Shorthairs are a sight to behold.
These cats’ markings fall under three primary categories: classic tabby, mackerel tabby, and spotted tabby. No matter the type, these markings need to be vivid and well-defined, with no hint of blurriness or brindle. What’s more, a tabby British Shorthair must not have any white hair – their lips and chin might be lighter, but never white.
Here’s a fun fact: these cats wear ‘mascara’! They should have an unbroken line that runs from the outer corner of both eyes, much like a stroke of mascara. Their ears match the color of the stripes, with a ‘thumbprint’ of the base color at the base. And let’s not forget the quintessential ‘M’ on the forehead, a classic tabby face marking that looks like a frown.
This ‘M’ is connected to lines running over the cat’s head, extending to the shoulder markings. When it comes to their tails, it’s all about the rings. Their tails should bear ring-shaped markings that are narrow and numerous, with the tip of the tail matching the color of the stripes. It’s these unique patterns that make Tabby British Shorthairs truly remarkable.
When it comes to Tabby British Shorthairs, the unique markings continue beyond their faces and tails. A tabby’s belly should exhibit spotted markings and its toes should carry the same pattern.
For classic and mackerel tabbies, the cat’s legs should display even, barred markings; these “bracelets” need to extend from the body markings all the way to the cat’s paws. For the hind legs, the markings should stretch from the hock to the sole of the foot.
The spotted tabbies break the mold with a different pattern on their legs. Rather than barred, the pattern should be spotted – but we’ll delve more into the specifics of spotted tabby’s coloration later.
Symmetry is a key feature of these cats’ appearance. The markings on each side of the cat should be mirror images of each other.
Additionally, the base color and the stripe color need to be in harmony, with neither overshadowing the other. It’s these detailed markings and their perfect symmetry that make Tabby British Shorthairs such a delight to observe.
The Iconic Classic Tabby Markings in British Shorthair Cats
The distinguishing features of Classic Tabby British Shorthairs are distinct and highly sought after. A key part of their markings is the ‘butterfly’ pattern spread across their shoulders.
The butterfly design has both upper and lower wings that should be clearly defined and sharp. Interspersed within these wings are patches of a lighter base color, further enhancing the pattern’s distinctiveness.
Another essential feature of the classic tabby pattern is the line extending from the butterfly, down the cat’s back, and reaching all the way to the tail. This line should be continuous, with corresponding lines running uninterrupted on either side, all along the length of the cat’s back.
The cat’s flanks should exhibit an oyster-shaped oblong mark encircled by at least one complete ring. Lastly, the tail rings of a classic tabby should be unbroken, emphasizing the precision of their pattern and further contributing to the breed’s unique appeal.
Distinctive Mackerel Tabby Markings in British Shorthair Cats
Mackerel Tabby British Shorthairs are defined by a unique set of markings that distinguish them from their classic counterparts. Their facial features match those of the classic tabby, but the body patterns significantly differ.
The defining characteristic of the mackerel tabby pattern is the presence of numerous slender stripes, noticeably lacking the oblong “island” markings seen in the classic tabby.
These lines radiate from a central line that runs continuously along the length of the cat’s spine. Surrounding this central line are broken lines, which create a sort of ‘fishbone’ effect, hence the name ‘mackerel’.
As for the tail, it is adorned with ring-shaped stripes that may be either complete or broken. These unique traits of the mackerel tabby pattern add to the captivating charm of the British Shorthair cats.
Striking Features of Black Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Black Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats are adorned with a luxurious coat of contrasting colors. The dense black markings on a silver ground color create an eye-catching combination that is highly desired among cat enthusiasts.
Aside from the remarkable color palette, this variety of British Shorthair cats also deviates from the standard when it comes to eye color. They can have green or hazel eyes, in addition to the characteristic orange eyes typically seen in the breed.
The nose leather in these cats is preferably brick red, although black is also accepted. Their paw pads, matching their markings, should be black. However, any brown tinge on the nose or paws is deemed a fault in this otherwise magnificent coloration.
Indulgent Hues of Chocolate Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Chocolate Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats exhibit an enticing blend of chocolate brown and silver hues. Their distinct markings, including stripes, are rendered in a deep chocolate brown. This rich colour contrasts strikingly against their ground fur colour, which displays a lighter, silvery chocolate tone.
According to breed standards, these cats should possess chocolate-coloured nose leather. As for their paw pads, they may be either chocolate or pink, providing an interesting pop of colour against their primary coat hues.
Captivating Charm of Blue Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Blue Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats are a delightful variant of the breed, known for their captivating colour scheme. The base of their fur showcases a pale silvery-blue shade, beautifully complemented by darker blue markings. This combination offers a subtler aesthetic compared to the stark contrast found in Black Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats.
As for other distinguishing features, the breed standard prefers blue nose leather for these cats. However, their paw pads may be either blue or pink, adding another intriguing touch to their unique colour palette.
Enchanting Shades of Lilac Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Lilac Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats showcase a rare and captivating color scheme. Their coat markings appear in a welcoming, pinkish-grey hue that complements the ground fur color of a muted, silvery lilac. This delicate blend of colors exudes an almost otherworldly charm.
In alignment with breed standards, these cats should feature a pink shade for their nose leather and paw pads. Whether dark or light, the pink accent contributes to their overall mystical appearance.
Fiery Elegance: Red Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Red Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats boast a captivating coloration that is both vivid and vibrant. Displaying a more striking contrast compared to the conventional ginger tabby, these cats have deep red markings that brilliantly stand out against the pale silvery cream of the ground color. In keeping with the breed standards, the cat’s nose leather and paw pads should showcase a rich, fiery red hue.
Creamy Whispers: Cream Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Cream Silver Tabby British Shorthair Cats present a very light and delicate rendition of the traditional tabby aesthetic. The coat colour features warm cream markings that softly contrast against an almost white, silvery base colour. In alignment with the breed standards, the nose leather and paw pads of these cats should be tinted with a light or rosy pink hue.
Vibrant Warmth: Red Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Red Tabby British Shorthair Cat is an alluring breed, not to be mistaken with its counterpart, the Red Silver Tabby. These felines exhibit a ground colour of light red, which should not be excessively pale as it constitutes a deviation from the breed standard. The distinct markings on their coat should be a deep, rich red, adding to their vibrant appeal. As per the breed’s standard, the cat’s nose leather and paw pads should also carry a brick red tone. As one of the most ancient pattern colours in the breed, the Red Tabby British Shorthair continues to be highly adored by cat lovers.
Radiant Earth Tones: Brown Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Brown Tabby British Shorthair Cat boasts a profound and intricate color palette, displaying markings of deep jet black set against a rich copper-brown base. However, an excessively pale brown ground color is considered a deviation from the breed standard. Ideally, these cats should have brick red nose leather, although black is also accepted. The paw pads should be black, adding to the harmonious earthy tones that make this coloration particularly attractive.
Misty Blues: Blue Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Blue Tabby British Shorthair Cat is a variant with an endearing soft color palette. The base or ground color is reminiscent of a soft bluish fawn, lending a misty hue to their coat. Set against this subtle background, the stripes and other markings appear in a deeper, richer blue. Complementing their coats, their nose leather and paw pads may be either a soft blue or a contrasting pink, adding to their distinctively enchanting appearance.
Velvet Truffles: Chocolate Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Chocolate Tabby British Shorthair Cats are characterized by their richly pigmented coats, reminiscent of delectable chocolate truffles. Their coat markings are an opulent chocolate brown, contrasting against a warm, bronze-toned ground color. This balance between shades is important, as neither the markings nor the ground color should be too light or too dark. Complementing their luxurious coat, the cat’s nose leather exhibits the same chocolate brown hue. In terms of paw pads, this variant allows for either a matching chocolate or a contrasting pink, adding a touch of whimsy to their overall appearance.
Silvery Shadows: Lilac Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Lilac Tabby British Shorthair Cat is a true ode to gentle, cool hues. The defining markings of this breed are of a distinct lilac colour, a warm grey tinged with a gentle pink.
This lends the breed an air of softness and elegance that few others possess. The ground colour is a cool light beige, contrasting subtly with the lilac markings and accentuating their unique colouration.
The cat’s nose leather and paw pads mirror the pinkish hue of the markings, perfectly completing the soft, pastel palette that characterizes the Lilac Tabby British Shorthair Cats.
Creamy Dream: Cream Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Cream Tabby British Shorthair Cats are like a soft, creamy dream come to life. Their rich cream markings stand out beautifully against the pale, cool-toned cream of their ground colour. The combination creates a soothing, elegant appearance, a look that is uniquely their own.
This soft and light colouring gives the breed a look of serene calmness. In perfect harmony with their coat, their nose leather and paw pads also adopt the same lovely pink hue. Their overall colouration is a beautiful blend of creamy tones, making them a truly stunning sight to behold.
Tortoiseshell Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Tortoiseshell or “Tortie” tabby British Shorthair cat, also known as Torbie, is a gorgeous mix of colourations. This particular variety is uniquely female due to the genetic properties associated with the tortoiseshell pattern.
In a Tortoiseshell tabby, the tabby pattern will be present, but with patches of red or cream breaking up the usual solid dark areas of color.
The red and cream patches are generally intermingled with one or more other colors, including black, chocolate, blue, or lilac. The distribution of the colors can be quite random.
This cat should have all the usual tabby markings, but in addition to the tabby pattern, there will be patches of red or cream. These patches can be quite large or small and evenly or unevenly distributed. Like other British Shorthairs, Tortie Tabbies are known for their round faces, dense coats, and stocky bodies.
Tortoiseshell tabby British Shorthairs can come in a variety of spotted patterns and colours such as:
- Brown tortoiseshell tabby
- Blue tortoiseshell tabby
- Chocolate tortoiseshell tabby
- Lilac tortoiseshell tabby
- Black silver tortoiseshell tabby
- Blue silver tortoiseshell tabby
- Chocolate silver tortoiseshell tabby
- Lilac silver tortoiseshell tabby
- Red silver tortoiseshell tabby
- Cream silver tortoiseshell tabby
The Tortoiseshell tabby British Shorthair cat is a beautiful blend of colours and patterns that make this particular variety quite stunning and unique.
Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Bi-colour and tri-colour British Shorthair cats are quite striking and add a beautiful variation to the breed. They are known for their distinct colour patches, providing a charming contrast with their white coats.
Brown Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
The Brown Ticked Tabby British Shorthair has markings of rich, dense black against a warm coppery brown base colour. Ideally, the coat will be evenly ticked all over the body with no stripes, spots, or blotches. Nose leather can be black but brick red noses are preferred. Paw pads should be black.
Blue Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Blue Ticked Tabby British Shorthair cats have an intriguing coat colour. The markings are a deep, dark blue while the base colour is a soft, bluish fawn. Similar to the brown variant, the coat should be evenly ticked without any stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads may be blue or pink.
Chocolate Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Chocolate Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs have a rich chocolate brown colour for their markings, against a warm bronze base colour. As with the other ticked variants, the coat should ideally be evenly ticked without stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads can be either chocolate or pink.
Lilac Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Lilac Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs have markings of a warm, pinkish grey against a cool light beige base colour. The coat should be evenly ticked without any stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads should ideally be pinkish.
Cinnamon Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
In Cinnamon Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs, the markings are a warm cinnamon brown against a pale, warm-toned beige base colour. The coat should be evenly ticked, with no stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads can be either cinnamon or pink.
Fawn Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Fawn Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs have a warm mushroom colour with a rosy hue for their markings, against a paler warm beige base colour. The coat should be evenly ticked without any stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads should be a pinkish fawn.
Cream Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Cream Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs have markings of a warm but pale off-white hue against a cooler pale cream base colour. The coat should be evenly ticked, with no stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads should ideally be pink.
Red Ticked Tabby British Shorthair Cats
Red Ticked Tabby British Shorthairs have deep, rich red markings against a paler red base colour. The coat should be evenly ticked without any stripes, spots, or blotches. The nose leather and paw pads should be a rich red.
There are also silver variants of all these colours, where the base colour is a shiny, glittering silver. In these variants, the colour of the markings remains the same while the base colour changes.
For example, a Black Silver Ticked Tabby would have black markings on a silver base colour. The nose leather and paw pads in these silver variants should ideally match the colour of the markings.
Bi-colour British Shorthair Cats
Bi-colour British Shorthair cats have coats showing patches of one self-colour (Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Cinnamon, Fawn, Red, Cream, Tortoiseshell) and white. The pattern of these patches can be random. Ideally, the distribution of white should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cat, but it may vary. Bi-colour cats may have “lockets” (spots of white) or “gloves” (white paws). Their nose leather and paw pads can be either pink or the colour of the patches.
Tri-colour British Shorthair Cats
The tri-colour, also known as tortoiseshell and white, combines black, red, and white, but other colours are now accepted too. The patches of colour and white can be quite random and typically the three colours are mingled throughout the coat, rather than appearing in distinct patches.
Tortoiseshell and White British Shorthair Cats
This is a classic tri-colour pattern that has existed for a long time. Tortoiseshell refers to a mix of black and red, mixed throughout the coat. The addition of white creates a tortoiseshell and white pattern.
Calico British Shorthair Cats
Calico British Shorthairs, a name more commonly used in North America, is another term for the tortoiseshell and white pattern. Calico cats have distinct patches of white, black, and red rather than a mingling of the colours.
In all cases, the colour of the eyes should conform to the standard for the self-colour included in the coat (for instance, copper to gold for black, blue, and chocolate; green or hazel for lilac and fawn).
Tipped British Shorthair Cats
Tipped British Shorthair cats are indeed an attractive variety, showing a unique “frosted” look to their coat due to the way their hairs are colored. The hairs are predominantly silver (or another light shade), with just the tips showing a darker color. This creates a beautiful shimmering effect, which is highly prized.
Silver Tipped British Shorthair Cats
In silver tipped British Shorthairs, the undercoat is silver or cream, and the tips can be any one of the accepted self-colours. The tipping should be even across the entire body, with the exception of the underbelly and chin, which should be lighter.
The tail can have faint rings, and legs should also show the fading color towards the paws. It’s important that the coat doesn’t show any strong tabby markings or white patches. The eyes are usually in line with the breed standard, which is a deep golden or copper color.
Golden Tipped British Shorthair Cats
In the golden tipped variety, the undercoat is a rich apricot-gold, with the tips being either black or dark brown. The golden color should be solid all the way to the roots of the hairs, without any fading or darkening. The chin, stomach, chest, and under the tail should be a pale apricot color. These cats should have green eyes.
As the British Shorthair breed continues to grow and diversify, it’s not surprising that more varieties of tipped cats are appearing. As with any breed, it’s essential to remember that a healthy, well-cared-for pet is always more important than a specific color or pattern.
However, if you’re interested in showing your British Shorthair, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the breed standards and specific requirements for each color variety. This will help you choose a kitten that will grow into a successful show cat, if that’s your goal.
Last Updated on June 10, 2023 by Jessica Vanclap