Black British Shorthairs: 9 Cool Facts and Pictures

The Black British Shorthair is a cat characterized by its jet-black coat. Their black coat gives them a very unique appearance and makes them highly desired among cat owners.

While most people are aware of the fact that British Shorthairs can be black, there’s quite a lot of mystery surrounding this cat. Most people don’t know too much about them. Today, we’re going to change that with the top 9 facts about the Black British Shorthair.


Black British Shorthairs are not a distinct breed

black british shorthair sitting
image credit: blackcats.pro

Many people are under the assumption that the black British Shorthair is a distinct breed but this is not the case. Every color and pattern that this cat can have is part of the same breed which is named the British Shorthair.

However, the breed is sometimes also referred to as the British Blue. This can make naming a bit confusing since it makes the black variant the Black British Blue.


There’s a smoke variant of the Black British Shorthair

The Black Smoke British Shorthair is also black in color but has a white undercoat. Basically, what this means is that the roots of every hair are white while the tips are black. This makes these cats look black while they’re sitting still but once they’re on the move it makes their black undercoat visible, giving them a distinct Black Smoke Appearance.


Black British Shorthairs are considered a good omen in some cultures

image credit: meowlem

In many western countries, black cats are often associated with bad luck. Halloween is partly to blame for this because it associated black cats with witches.

However, that’s not the case everywhere. In some cultures, black cats are associated with good luck instead. Particularly in Japanese and Celtic folklore, these cats have positive associations. In fact, they were even considered sacred in Celtic mythology!

The Celtic countries are part of Britain, so it’s possible that the black British Shorthair contributed to the good opinion of black cats that people harbor in those regions!


They have beautiful golden or copper eyes

Black British Shorthairs cats are not only characterized by their black coats. A feature that stands out just as much is their eyes. Their eyes are a golden/copper color giving them a very unique and mysterious look.


To create a black British Shorthair Kitten both parents need a certain gene

The genetics behind cat colors are quite interesting. The full details on how every cat gets its color are too long and complex to completely explain here but the gist of it is this:

All cats have color genes called “alleles”. In order to create a solid black British Shorthair, you need two cats with the color gene B. But that’s not all, besides both parents needing the B allele, they also need the non-agouti gene. If a cat does not have the non-agouti gene it will have a tabby pattern which will prevent it from being solid black.


The Richest Cat In History Was a Black British Shorthair

Would you believe me if I said that there’s a cat that’s richer than you and me? It’s true, and it’s a Black British Shorthair named “Blackie”. This cat officially has a fortune of 12.5 million dollars, which he inherited from his English owner, Ben Rea.

What a cat needs that much money for we do not know. Even the fanciest cat treats can’t cost that much…


Black British Shorthairs are more resistant to disease

Research done by the National Institutes of Health discovered that the genetic mutation responsible for giving black cats their unique coat color might offer them protection from certain ailments.


Black British Shorthairs can “rust”

If you own a cat you probably know how much they enjoy lounging around in the sun. It’s one of their favorite pastimes. They do this because laying in the sun is an easy way for them to keep warm and regulate their body temperature. 

Most British Shorthair’s colors do not change when they lay in the sun but cats with black coats are an exception. If they lay in the sun for a while and they have a tabby stripe gene it’s possible for their coat to turn from jet-black into a rusty brown color. The reason this happens is that the sun’s beams break down the pigment, which gives the coat its distinct black color, revealing the rusty brown tabby stripes that are underneath.


Black British Shorthairs Are Believed to Help Love lives

It might sound weird, but in Great Britain giving someone who just got married a black cat is considered a good gift. The reason is that they’re supposed to bring the bride good luck and happiness. Since this is a belief in Britain, the most common black cat that’s given in these cases is, you guessed it, the black British Shorthair!

In addition, in Japan, it’s believed that black cats can bring young women more potential suitors.


Final words

There you have it, the top 9 facts about Black British Shorthair cats! I’m sure that at least one of these facts was new to you. Which one surprised you the most?

If you’d like to learn more, you might also be interested in the white British Shorthair.

Jesse A.