Origins of the breed
It is believed that the British Shorthair is descended from Roman cats which were brought to the British Isles by the Romans. These cats would probably have interbred with the indigenous cats on the island and continued to be house pets, which were valued for their ability to catch rodents.
During the 19th century in England, interest in pedigree cats flourished and breeders sought to have their domestic cat recognised in its own right. These cats were first shown at the Crystal Palace, in London, in 1871. At this time, they were also bred with Persians.