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Eye colour varies according to coat colour, although the Shorthaired White is especially interesting as it can have deep sapphire blue eyes, deep gold, copper or orange eyes, or one of each, the latter being known as an Odd-eyed White, and all three variations having a slightly different breed number.

The British Shorthair has developed into a very laid-back relaxed cat, often perceived to be very independent although they will enjoy the company of an equally relaxed and likeminded cat.

They are an affectionate breed, but very much on their own terms and tend to prefer to choose to come and sit with their owners rather than being picked up.

However, by the turn of the century the breed was in decline, and amazingly, compared to today's statistics, the British Shorthair had almost died out by the 1950s, probably because of the introduction of so many new breeds during the first half of the twentieth century.

There was a dedicated band of breeders determined not to lose this old breed, and as numbers were so low, they were sometimes mated to Persian cats.

This was somewhat frowned on by the GCCF and offspring were regarded as variants and not permitted to be shown or registered as British Shorthairs, even if they resembled them as closely as the purebreds.

However, these offspring were mated back to pure British Shorthairs and it was permitted for kittens to be registered as British Shorthairs after three generations, therefore helping to save the breed.

The British Shorthair is described by the GCCF as being a 'powerful, compact cat' with its sturdy, rather cobby, body and legs, fairly short tail and round head with small widely-spaced ears, large round eyes and a short straight nose.