What would you say that Italian fashion designer Stefano Gabbana and Naomi Campbell have in common? You probably have never met either of them in person and you may not have a yacht or a wardrobe that is similar to either of them.
There is one thing that seems to bridge the gap, however, and it is something that many of us would agree on. It is a very discerning taste when it comes to choosing the feline that will share our lives.
As you can imagine, it is not a run-of-the-mill shelter cat that finds its way into those celebrity homes. Mr. Gabbana has opted for a pure pedigree, the British Shorthair. It is a blue-blooded, Amber eyed, absolutely beautiful feline that has a face you can’t help but love.
The newest member of his family was introduced to the world via Instagram recently. It was a blue kitten named Prince.
So far, Prince has been seen stretching out on the table to have his tummy rubbed, napping on a red and gold Fornasetti tray and scratching at his scratching post.
Most of us are familiar with designer dogs but the British Shorthair (also called British Blues) is now the cat of choice for many celebrities. Because of their distinctive color and the celebrity status, you can expect to pay up to £1,800 and there is a waiting list to do so.
Some of the famous owners of this feline include actor Sadie Frost and singer Sam Smith. Advertisers seem to love them as well and they have modeled for many feline-related products, occluding Whiskas cat food. They have also been seen in Prada commercials.
They also seem to be quite popular on social media as well. You can find close to 4 million posts that are tagged #britishshorthair and in the UK, they make up the most popular breed.
Although they may enjoy some popularity, there may also be some issues associated with the deluge of online postings. ‘We do have concerns that people are choosing cats solely for the way they look, rather than for their temperament or personality,’ says Rob Young, head of catteries at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
‘We also think it’s leading to more impulse buying, people bringing in cats for rehoming are increasingly saying they bought them online. Meanwhile, black cats, in particular, are harder to rehome — and we think one reason is that they don’t show up so well in photographs.’
I’ll be the first one to admit that it is easy to get caught up in posting pictures of your cats on Instagram. We love them so much and we just want to share them with the world.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the British Shorthair is so appealing is because they are somewhat un-catlike in many respects.
They seem to love being around humans and they are cuddly, calm and relatively happy with their surroundings.
Many of us have a cat in our lives because they brought us comfort during a time when our life became very difficult. We may get them on a whim but they quickly become a part of our family.
In some cases, we may find that we are spending a significant amount of money on these cats and that certainly is true with this breed. They are a long-term member of the family, and we couldn’t imagine living life without them.
Here are a few examples of the British Shorthair that have made a difference in people’s lives.
Pandora’s Favourite Trick Is Playing Fetch like a Dog
Carla Malley, 46, works in customer service. She is single and lives in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, with her 18-month old cat Pandora. She says:
“I wanted a British Blue because I lived in an upstairs flat and thought it would be unfair to get a rescue cat that would want to go outdoors. Pandora loves her home comforts.
She’s very independent, but loyal. If I move from one room to another, she’ll follow me.
She sleeps on her back with her paws in the air, which is hilarious. I’ve never seen that in any of the cats I’ve owned.
Although she’s still young and has energetic, kittenish moments she’s quite lazy, too. I bought her for £650 when she was 13 weeks old. It’s a lot of money but I saved up because I knew I wanted this breed.
One of her tricks is playing fetch like a dog. She has a little stick toy with a feather on it and if you throw it she’ll bring it back — but only if she wants to play. Everything is on her terms.
I get so many comments about her, particularly about her amber eyes. Her coat is very dense, almost like velvet, and I brush it every day.
She sheds but I keep it under control.
I’d read this breed could be clumsy and didn’t believe it until I got one. She doesn’t like to jump on things and if she does, she’ll have a bit of a wobble at the top.”
Like many cat breeds, the British Shorthair does have some distinct personality traits. They tend to shed a lot, so it is something to consider if you are fastidious in your housecleaning. They also tend to eat a lot and gain weight quickly, so you need to be cautious about what you are feeding them.
Here are more examples of these delightful felines:
Hugo loves company – and he herds my wife and I together
Benjamin Howe, 35, a business owner, lives with wife Emily, 37, a writer, and their cat Hugo in South London. Ben says:
“Hugo is the closest thing to having a dog, without having a dog. He’s friendly, companionable and wants to know where my wife and I are at all times.
If we’re in separate rooms, he’ll try to herd us together like a sheepdog. He’ll wait for me outside the bathroom and then nudge me in the direction of where Emily is sitting.
I did a bit of research and found that British Blue Shorthair cats were the first breed to be show cats. That first show took place in Crystal Palace in South London. As we live in that area, it seemed a good reason to buy one!
We found a breeder in Kent and paid £800 for Hugo. He’s now 18 months- old. He’s greedy and we have to ensure we don’t feed him too much. He sits at my feet when I’m eating, hoping something will fall from my plate.
He’s allowed outside but never ventures very far.
It was Emily’s idea to start up an Instagram account. It’s called @onemanand hiscat.
I’ve only got a few followers but enjoy seeing people’s reactions. ”
They stay indoors so the sun doesn’t spoil their coat
Joan Farrell, 51, an IT specialist lives in Astley, Greater Manchester, with her four cats Macy, Ruby, Dotty and Lady Luck — and four kittens.
“As a companion cat, British Blues are amazing. Every night when I come in from work, my cats will come to greet me. If I’m working from home, they’ll sit next to me while I’m at my computer. They’re very laid back, don’t need much grooming and are no fuss.
I have four adults and also four kittens (one called Woody is pictured) which I’ve bred to sell on. I’ll be keeping one of them. I have been breeding for about five years. I sell the kittens for around £650.
Other breeders, particularly in London can charge up to £900. If someone has brought a new cat in from Russia or Eastern Europe to ‘refresh the breeding line’ they can charge around £1,800.
I love the colour. They can be anything from the palest grey blue to the darkest blue. But it’s their gorgeous copper eyes like autumn leaves that I find most beautiful.
As house cats they prefer to be indoors although I have a cat run if they ever want to escape on a really hot day. But if they stay out too long, the sun can brown their coats.”