When I came up with an idea of getting my first kitten, I wondered if British Shorthairs are good Indoor cats. That questions prompted me to do some research, and understand if that will be a good choice for me, as I lived in a small apartment (without a garden).
So, are the British Shorthair good indoor cats? Typically British Shorthairs are excellent indoor cats, as they are pretty laid back and enjoy spending their time just laying in their favourite spots for hours. Just make sure they will get all the nourishment and exercise, and you will have a great indoor companion for years.
Having said that if you have a bit of garden they will enjoy an occasional run for it and allowing your cat to spend some time outdoor might bring a lot of mental and physical benefits, explained later in the article.
What makes British shorthairs such great indoor cats?
The question should actually be: What makes the great indoor cat? In my opinion, there are a few factors that you need to consider:
- What is the personality of your cat?
- Can he be left alone without getting depressed?
- Will he destroy your furniture if left alone?
- How much time will you have to accommodate for grooming?
- Can he live with kids or any other animals?
- And finally but most importantly – Will he be happy living indoors?
So let’s have a look at how British Shorthair now.
The British Shorthair is very relaxed and laid back, which makes him a great indoor cat. Male will be a little bit more playful than female, but both like to keep their cool and pretend that they do not care about the World.
Rather than being a lap cat demanding constant attention and petting, you will find him following you around the house and inspecting everything you do. You can think of him as a “good old friend”, always there for you, interested in everything you do and of course have an opinion on the subject. What you might not know is that British Shorthair is also a very caring cat, so although he likes to keep his distance, whenever you feel moody or coming down with the cold, he will stay next to your bed for the whole day and night, looking after you. This is actually my favourite part of his character which you will definitely appreciate.
After reading through the forums about damages that bored cats can cause when left alone in a small apartment, I was relieved finding out that this will not be the case with the BHS (British Shorthair). He is a smart cat and learns very quickly that scratching should be only practised with the scratching posts and mats. So if you can provide your cat with a quality scratching post, he will test his claws there instead of on your furniture.
3.Medium Activity Levels
When considering an indoor cat, you need to think about his energy levels and activity requirements. British Shorthairs is a cat with a medium level of energy. He is most playful and jumpy during the kittenhood, but as early as 1-year old he will start to settle down. Think about the famous Garfield – this is how your British Shorthair will behave, and this is what meaks him a great indoor cat. He loves when you play with him, but don’t expect that to last too long as he will get bored/tired quite quickly and start looking for a sweet spot to lay down.
When thinking of an indoor cat you need to consider the level of grooming required. Luckily the British Shorthair is a low maintenance cat, where a weekly brush will keep his beautiful fur in a top notch condition. He will shed more than other cats, especially after winter, but with regular brushing, you will avoid any mess. As with every cat. It is essential to clean his ears regularly to prevent a wax buildup and ear infections. This is a straightforward task and can be completed in a few minutes. Once again British Shorthair proves to be an excellent indoor cat.
5.Ok With Being Alone
This is one of the most important aspects that you need to consider when thinking of an indoor cat. With the busy life and long working hours, he will be left alone for most parts of the day. And believe me, this can be a serious issue as depression is very common among the cats. British Shorthair can handle quite well long periods of being alone, he will miss you of course, but as he is a strong (mentally) cat, it will not affect his health. Just to make it clear, we are talking here about being left alone during the day, not weeks. Once your cat is older, you can leave him alone for 2-3 days assuming he will have access to fresh food and water at all times. Anything longer than that, I would suggest a cat sitter or friend that can visit your cat. You can find out more in this article: Can British Shorthair Cats Be Left Alone?
6.Good With Kids and Dogs
This is a huge issue – not all the cats will like to be around children and other animals. British Shorthairs are loving and patient animals that get along with kids and dogs, but what you must remember is the “introduction period”. Although BHS (British Shorthair) are accommodating and you have a good chance of making them a great addition to your family, you need to do it right and give them enough time to get comfortable. If you are thinking of adding a second cat to your family, check this article: Are British Shorthairs Cats Friendly?
7.So What About Health?
I’ve mentioned earlier that British Shorthairs are great as indoor cats, but they will enjoy a little of outdoors. This is not a necessity, but if you have a possibility, you should allow him some controlled “wildness”. British Shorthairs, can get a little overweight (obese) and allowing them to run around a garden for a few hours in the summer will surely help to combat this problem. If you do not have a possibility that’s ok, don’t worry, just watch his weight and make sure he follows a correct diet.
If you are looking for a great indoor cat than you cannot go wrong with British Shorthair. He is a great companion and a fantastic addition to your family, that will make you smile a lot. Coming back home after a long day at work will never be the same again as now you will be greeted at the door by a hairy ball of cuteness trying to tell (or meow) you everything about his exciting day.
I know that this is a vast subject and you might have some doubts, so bellow I’ve listed some most frequent questions I had when researching this topic. Have fun and let me know in the comments below what do you think.
Frequently Asked Questions about Indoor Cats
How is indoor cat food different?
As the activity levels of your British shorthair cat will be lower than a typical outdoor cat, you should feed him a food designed mostly for indoor cats. In most cases the indoor cat food will contain more protein, therefore, will be a less caloric. As suggested before, watching the weight of your cat is essential. Obesity can lead to some severe health problems like:
- shorter lifespan
- weaker joints
- high blood pressure
- diabetes mellitus
- difficulties with breathing
- hepatic lipidosis
- urinary tract disease
How to keep an indoor cat happy?
British Shorthair is an affectionate cat, and although he seems to be distant, he will definitely appreciate your company and any playing time. Just treat him as your best friend, talk to him, spend some time staring through the window together, and get to know him. I can assure you this could be a beginning of a great friendship.
Why does an indoor cat need shots?
Cat are very fragile animals, and if not protected (with vaccinations) they can get ill very quickly. Keeping your British Shorthair indoors will not protect him from all the health risks. For example, if you will move to a more prominent place with garden – your cat will be exposed to more threats and accidental contact with other cats. Vaccinations and regular visits to the vet will help you to keep your buddy safe and healthy.
How long will indoor cat live?
British Shorthair will live between 11-20 years, and I need to make it clear – the length of his life will depend on you! How much you know about your cat, how good his diet is, how happy he is. Obese and depressed cats will live shorter that happy and fit ones. He’s not a toy, so look after him and enjoy every day of him.