Also known as the Roman cat, the European Shorthair cat is, as its name suggests, one of the most common breeds found in Europe. In addition to being a regular companion animal in homes of all kinds, it is also frequent to find it in the wild in colonies in cities. It is a very heterogeneous breed and with a multitude of variables both in its physical characteristics and its temperament. One of the reasons why it is so numerous.
Faithful, playful and unpretentious European shorthair cats are excellent companions that do not require much effort to maintain.
The European Shorthair cat, however, like all domestic cats, descended from a wild Nubian or Libyan cat. For thousands of years, these animals have lived in European settlements side by side with humans. Cats were tamed as mousetraps or pets, however, in the Middle Ages their population was severely affected, because animals, especially blacks, were suspected of interacting with the devil forces and were actively burned at the stake. Fortunately, over time, the number of European cats has fully recovered. And only in the middle of the XIX century, cat lovers drew attention to the usual “minke whales” that lived next to them. Enthusiasts decided to “legitimize” this beautiful native cat, creating breed standards for the European Shorthair cat and registering it at the official level.
The first to breed an ideal European cat were British breeders. Already at the end of the XIX century, European cats were presented at exhibitions, but did not receive prizes and titles, since the breed was not officially recognized. At the beginning of the twentieth century, specialists from Denmark, Sweden and Norway began to breed a real European cat. Alas, their attempts to register a new breed were not supported by international felinological organizations. While the European cat breed remained unrecognized, breeding routes in the UK and Scandinavia diverged greatly.
British breeders increased the backbone of their cats, tried to bring out massive animals with a large head, noticeable cheeks. And their European colleagues tried to consolidate the best natural qualities of cats. Therefore, in the early 1980s, the efforts of enthusiasts led to the emergence of two different breeds: European cats from the UK were registered as a “British” breed, and cats, over the standards of which Scandinavian amateurs worked, in 1982 received the official name ” European Shorthair “. Surprisingly, one of the oldest aboriginal cats in the world according to the classification of the International Organization for Breeding and Breeding new cats (FIFE) is one of the youngest breeds.
But even after registration a lot of classification difficulties arose: is the Siberian breed simply European longhair cats or a separate species? And what about the American Shorthair, because these are descendants of the same Europeans. The World Cat Federation (WCF) attempted to avoid confusion by registering a European Shorthair cat called “Celtic Shorthair Cat”. Therefore, European Shorthair cats can also be called Celtic.
Characteristics of the European shorthair
The main thing in assessing the quality of a European shorthair cat is the presence of its natural phenotype, that is, the absence of impurities of other breeds. Real “Europeans” should be of medium size, with a proportionate muscular body, straight slender muscular limbs, slightly tapering to strong and round paws.
Although infinite combinations and variations can be found in the specimens belonging to the European shorthair cat, the truth is that they all share some specific characteristics. For example, they are usually medium-sized cats, strong and muscular, although with a slim and athletic silhouette. They are well-proportioned animals in the length of their legs and tail, with a rounded head and a medium-sized snout. It also has medium-sized ears that always remain upright on the head.
The head is round with a slightly elongated muzzle and proportional ears rounded at the ends – their length should correspond to the width. Ears should be set upright. The eyes of European Shorthair cats are rounded, located at a slight angle. Their color can be green, amber and blue. The tail is proportional to the body – wide at the base, it tapers towards the tip. Short hair should be thick and shiny. The colors of European shorthair cats are diverse, the main thing is that they must be natural, that is, found in nature.
European shorthair cat behavior
European Shorthair – self-contained cats, even slightly aloof, they spend time alone with themselves, without requiring constant attention and affection. Moreover, they love the owners, as a rule, especially highlighting one of the family members, they will never show aggression, they will be faithful and devoted companions, without overloading the owners with their own needs. For those who spend the whole day at work – the perfect pet.
For centuries, conquering their own territory, European shorthair cats used to be masters of it. Therefore, they are reluctant to share the apartment with other feline or dogs. But with children, they are surprisingly patient, even if the kids inflict pain or inconvenience on them.
“If you prefer cats that are constantly sitting on their hands, running after the owners’ tail,” then the European shorthair cat will not suit you, ”explains Natalya Babicheva, head of the Hamilton cat cattery. – These cats are independent and calm creatures, with dignity and their own territory, in general, they are very far from the type of “Velcro cats”.
“Keeping European shorthair cats requires minimal effort from the owners,” says Natalya Babicheva, head of Hamilton Cattery. – Their meek thick hair does not require constant care – the owners can comb it no more than once every two weeks, however, during molting it should be done more often to help the animal get rid of falling hairs. Claws need to be trimmed and be sure to install a claw point at home so that the furniture does not suffer. Europeans need to be washed only as needed if the cat is smeared. In food, short-haired European cats are unpretentious and not prone to excess weight gain. It is better to choose industrial dry or wet food for pets, in the content of which the majority is animal protein.
Main diseases of the European shorthair
The natural development of the breed has made the European shorthair cat one of the strongest and most resistant in the entire feline kingdom. In addition, it adapts with maximum ease to any way of life, so it hardly suffers from diseases, and there is no known genetic disease that affects it in a special way due to the type of race.
They can develop some diseases common to cats, but not in greater proportion than other breeds. For example, allergies, cataracts, conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal problems with hairballs, etc. To avoid these and other conditions as much as possible, it is recommended that you go to the vet with your cat at least twice a year or whenever you notice any strange behavior. This way you can also keep up to date with your vaccination and deworming calendar and find out if you have any other problem.