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22.07.2022

Male or female British Shorthair—that is the question

British Shorthairs meet all the criteria of what constitutes a perfect companion—affectionate, independent, healthy, and low-maintenance—but is there a difference between a male and a female British Shorthair?

Untamed explains visual and temperamental differences between toms and queens of the breed in detail. You will also learn about their common health problems and dietary requirements, so you know how to take great care of your new feline friend.

Male vs female British Shorthair—visual differences

There are only slight visual differences between male and female British Shorthairs. They are solid and muscular felines—especially males—and they have short, dense coats suitable for chillier climates. Both have round, expressive eyes, but females' eyes tend to be slightly larger. These felines’ faces are also rounded, but boys often have a bit bigger jowls.

The only noticeable distinction we can make is in size. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males, and they may seem a bit more delicate upon closer inspection.

Here is the average size of fully grown male and female British Shorthairs:

Gender

Weight

Height

Male

5.5–8 kg

40.5–51 cm

Female

4–5.5 kg

35.5–45.7 cm

Gender and colour correlation

Tri-colour and torties are almost always girls.

Source: Max Böttinger

British Shorthairs come in various shades and patterns, which you can check out in the following table:

Colours

Patterns

  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Tabby 
  • Tipped
  • Colour-pointed
  • Bicolour
  • Tricolour (calico)
  • Tortoiseshell

Interestingly, calicos and tortoiseshell felines are almost exclusively females, except under very few rare genetic conditions. 

Female vs male British Shorthair—personality differences

All British Shorthairs are incredibly peaceful, patient, quiet, and independent, but there are still a few differences in personality.

Male British Shorthair

Male British Shorthairs tend to be more sociable than females. They are fantastic with kids and cat-friendly dogs and typically take less time to get used to their new home and form a strong bond with the family. This s a particularly important consideration if you are thinking about adopting an adult feline.

Unlike most males in the feline world, male British Shorthairs aren't prone to territorial, aggressive, or destructive behaviour, especially when neutered and adequately socialized in kittenhood. Even if they have picked up a few bad habits along the way, you can fix them relatively quickly. 

Female British Shorthair

Queens are loving and calm most of the time, but they can get moody sometimes, especially if their space and privacy are at stake. When they feel like they want to be left alone, they will demonstrate it clearly. 

Unlike toms, girls tend to choose the family members they like. While boys will be open with the entire family, girls usually pick one person to adore and stick with them. That one person will get lap time, cuddles, or even an occasional hearty conversation. The others will get the respect they deserve—but from a distance. Female British Shorthairs are also more willing to cuddle with kids than males are.

While males retain their playfulness longer, females need more encouragement to stay active in later years, as they often lead an even more sedentary lifestyle than male British Shorthairs. Still, girls seem to have less trouble staying at a healthy weight.

British Shorthair boys and girls—health considerations

British Shorthairs are exceptionally healthy, especially girls.

Source: Josh Couch

British Shorthairs are exceptionally healthy, especially girls. Female British Shorthairs also typically live longer than males. Their lifespan is from 13 to 20 years, and they can even exceed this life expectancy. Males usually live between 11 and 20 years.

Boys tend to suffer from two conditions:

  1. Haemophilia B—British Shorthairs are more likely to get this condition than other breeds, but as breeders started testing for it, haemophilia B became pretty rare. Females are carriers, but they don't develop the symptoms
  2. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)—This is a more common condition that predominantly affects males, especially in later years and if they are overweight. Females rarely suffer from this condition, even though they could theoretically get it. HCM can be kept under control if caught early with appropriate diet and medication

It's important to note that even though they’re healthy in general, British Shorthairs can develop many lifestyle and diet-related diseases, like all other felines.

British Shorthairs and lifestyle-related illnesses

A sedentary lifestyle, stress, and inadequate nutrition are the primary causes of poor health in British Shorthairs, regardless of gender.

The most common illnesses caused by bad dietary choices include:

  • Diabetes—Diabetes mellitus is an inability to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. It is prevalent in overweight felines, and without proper treatment and dietary changes, it causes symptoms such as:
    • Increased appetite (felines usually lose appetite as the disease progresses)
    • Increased thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Weight loss
    • Vomiting
    • Dehydration
    • Lethargy
    • Abnormal motor function
  • Urinary tract infections—UTIs can be caused by fungi, bacteria, or parasites. Felines who suffer from hyperthyroidism and diabetes are at more risk of developing them, which increases the risk of bladder infections and cystitis. Felines who suffer from bladder infections also often have kidney or bladder stones. Diet change and increased water intake are more than welcome in such cases
  • Joint degeneration—Also known as osteoarthritis, this is a chronic condition caused by cartilage loss in joints. As the cartilage wears away, bones begin to rub against each other, leading to inflammation and pain. This disease can be a consequence of ageing, injury, or joint abnormality. Excess kilos contribute to the development of this disease, and since British Shorthairs become lazy and prone to obesity as they get older, careful choice of food and controlled portions are a must

Do male and female British Shorthairs need different nutrition?

British Shorthairs—and all other felines—have the same dietary needs regardless of gender. The only difference is the amount of food they need. Males need more energy because they are bigger and usually more active, so they typically need more calories per day than females. An average adult British Shorthair needs around 250–300 calories per day, but the exact measures depend on their actual size and activity levels. 

What is the ideal feline nutrition?

Ideal feline nutrition resembles what they would eat in the wild.

Image (c) Untamed

In the wild, felines eat freshly caught birds, mice, frogs, slugs, and other small animals and bigger insects. It means they need a high-protein diet to get all the necessary nutrients and stay healthy, so the best diet for domesticated cats is the one that mimics their natural eating habits

High-quality cat food that can satisfy your felines' nutritional needs should contain:

  1. Animal protein
  2. Animal fat
  3. Vitamins and minerals
  4. A tiny bit of carbs

Animal protein

Whichever type of cat food you choose—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, or homemade—animal protein from meat or fish must be the number one ingredient. These ingredients are the primary source of energy for felines and the only source of essential amino acids, like taurine, necessary for:

  • Normal organ function
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Strong muscles

The best sources of animal protein are:

Pork, ham, or bacon are also acceptable but in smaller quantities. They contain a lot of fat, so if you overdo it, it can lead to obesity.

As there is no such thing as a vegan or vegetarian cat, you should avoid cat food that contains vegetable protein from:

Many food manufacturers add these supplements to food, but that only means that the meat content is low or of poor quality. 

While vegetables are not toxic for felines, they can cause various digestive problems, including:

Animal fat

Animal fat is a natural taste enhancer and ensures your feline loves their meals even if they don't usually enjoy wet food. More importantly, fat is crucial for:

  • Skin and fur health
  • Vitamin absorption
  • Nutrient transport and absorption

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A, E, K, and B complex, thiamin, magnesium, and calcium are crucial for feline health. Your kitty will get all the vitamins and minerals they need from meat and fish, so there is no need to supplement them. 

No carbs

Felines don't need carbs, and they lack the enzymes necessary to process such nutrients. If you feed your cat grains, fruit, vegetables, bread, or sweets regularly, they are more than likely to become obese and suffer from weight-related health problems.

The ideal composition of cat food

For you British Shorthair to get all the micronutrients and macronutrients they need and stay healthy and fit, you should offer them food that contains:

Nutrient

Ideal percentage

Animal protein

At least 50%

Animal fat

Up to 20%

Carbohydrates

Less than 3%

How can Untamed keep your British Shorthair healthy?

Untamed offers balanced and complete meals for your British Shorthair.

Image (c) Untamed

If you are looking for top-quality wet cat food with an ideal protein-to-fat ratio, try Untamed!

Your British Shorthair will thrive with our meals since all of them are:

  • High-protein—Untamed tins contain two times more animal protein than most products on the market
  • Of human-grade quality—We only use the highest quality whole meat and fish, and animal derivatives have no place in our dishes
  • Allergen-free—We know how severe cat food allergies can be, so we created two single-protein dishes for particularly sensitive felines—Chocka Chicken and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly. All other products are entirely free from all known allergens, including:
    • Grains
    • Nuts
    • Eggs
    • Fillers
    • Artificial taste enhancers and colouring
  • Vet-formulated—We cooperated with vets to ensure that all our meals are balanced and complete and that your kitty's nutritional needs are met regardless of their life stage or gender

How do you sign up for Untamed?

Ordering healthy and delicious cat food online is effortless. To get a trial pack, you need to:

  1. Take our online quiz and share some details about your British Shorthair
  2. Select products to create a tailor-made meal plan
  3. Place your order

The package will arrive at your doorstep in a day, and once your kitty picks their favourite meals, we will replenish your stock every month.

Our services include:

  • Free shipping
  • Easy order change
  • No-questions-asked cancellation

According to our clients, you can expect visible results as soon as one week after switching your furry companion to Untamed. Here is what they report:

  1. After a week—Regulated bowel movement and good mood
  2. After two months—Easy digestion, reduced shedding, and a shinier coat
  3. Within four months—Fewer hairballs, improved muscle tone, good bone density, and no dental issues
  4. Long-term—Effortless weight management and improved overall health