This colour is one of the newer additions to the single colour British Shorthairs. The coat is a rich, dark brown chocolate shade, offset against orangish eyes, creating a very attractive appearance. Mature toms are especially impressive, with their large rounded heads outlined by jowls extending across the chin. The Chocolate grew in popularity during the 1990s, but these cats remain less well-known in mainland Europe or the USA than in the UK.
- BREED DEVELOPED: 1880s
- COUNTRY: United Kingdom
- TYPE: Shorthair
- BODY SHAPE: Cobby and strong
- WEIGHS UP TO: 8kg/18lb
- PLUS POINTS: Unusual coloration and affectionate nature
- WATCH POINTS: Can be susceptible to gingivitis from middle age onwards
The chocolate shade was introduced to this breed as the result of initial crossings with Chocolate Persian Longhairs. Subsequently, breeders have worked to ensure the resulting Chocolate offspring have the correct coat texture. The fur of these cats is dense and short, and stands out a short distance from the body rather than lying flat.
Potential faults that can be introduced from the Persian Longhair include a coat which is too long, or one which has a soft or woolly texture. In terms of coloration, the fur should be of an even shade over the entire body, with no lighter or darker patches evident. Any traces of white hairs in the coat are also a serious flaw. Black British Shorthairs sometimes develop a brownish hue to their fur during the summer, when the sun bleaches the colour of the coat. The black usually returns at the next moult.
- Grooming is straightforward, with a weekly brushing using a natural brush being adequate. More frequent grooming, with a rubber brush, may be needed during the moulting period.