The History of the British Shorthair
When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought cats with them to help protect their food supplies from rodents along the way. The Romans eventually left, but the cats remained behind, conquering a country with only their charm. When the breeding of pedigreed cats became a fad in Victorian England, the British Shorthair (known simply as the Shorthair in Britain) was one of the first varieties to be developed. The Longhair came about when breeders made crosses to Persians during World War I.
As with so many breeds, British Shorthairs almost died out during World War II, victims of food shortages that left breeders unable to feed their cats. After the war, the breed was revived with crosses to domestic shorthairs, Russian Blues, Persians and other cats.
The American Cat Association recognized the British Blue in 1967, The International Cat Association in 1979 and the Cat Fanciers Association in 1980. In 2009, TICA recognized the British Longhair as a variety, the only cat association to do so.