The British Shorthair is affectionate without being clingy and enjoys curling up beside you rather than being a lap cat. The Brit is a healthy, hardy feline that matures slowly in three to five years. Playful, alert and intelligent, this cat loves children. Though reserved with strangers, this breed quickly warms up when love is given in return. The British Shorthair is compact, well-balanced and powerful, with a short, dense, plush coat.