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There are few things more adorable than a British Shorthair kitten. The big eyes, soft coat, extreme intelligence and sweet personality make these precious felines a favorite among cat owners in the United States. But sometimes when you bring home your British Shorthair kitten, you find you have a hyperactive pet on your hands! So when do British Shorthairs calm down?
A British Shorthair will usually calm down by the age of one year as long as they are properly socialized and played with during their months of kitten training. The temperament of a British Shorthair can be attributed to their stages of development as a kitten. Color can sometimes play a role in cat hyperactivity.
There are a few variables in British Shorthair cat behavior, but the good news is that the cat will likely grow out of the hyperactive stage and settle into a laid-back, loving pet.
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Color and Genes
British Shorthairs are known for their short, soft coat, yellow or copper eyes, and round, teddy bear-like faces. They are one of the oldest cat breeds in the world, and also one of the cutest cat breeds! It is believed that these felines sat next to the emperors of ancient Rome.
Their modern descendants inspired the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland” and the popular “I Can Haz Cheezburger” meme of the mid-2000s. They can be a bit large, reaching 15 pounds and 12 inches tall, and males are generally larger than females.
The British Shorthair’s wide variety of colors could be a determining factor in its behavior. British Shorthairs are often gray, but can also be tabby, white, black, cream, silver, cinnamon, and several other colors. A study of British shorthair kittens showed that those with red, cream and tortoiseshell colors were significantly more hyperactive and disliked being handled, compared to kittens of other colors.
It is thought to be because these cats have the “red gene”. Since russet fur is an early mutation of domestic cats, some scientists believe that cats with this fur color are a little less used to being confined. Therefore, your British Shorthair with the red gene may find it difficult to calm down because his genetic makeup gives him the instinct to explore outdoors.
Personality of the British Shorthair
Although color may play a role, early environment and activity are much more likely to determine your cat’s personality. When you bring home a British Shorthair kitten, the little one will probably feel a lot.
Excitement, curiosity, fear, happiness, sadness, that’s a lot for a little fur baby! This can cause them to act up, scratch furniture, run furiously, or not be able to settle down! If you’ve had kids, you know their energy can seem limitless. It’s no different for a kitten.
A big part of their development is early socialization, which means the cat learns to interact with other cats, other species, and humans at a very young age. Socialization consists of having objects to knock and play with, followed by the ability to play with littermates. The socialization period ranges from 2 to 12 weeks of age, with some variation. Location is also part of the process, which means keeping the kitten in a specific area and letting it become attached to a certain environment.
Moreover, even a few minutes a day of introducing the cat to people will have significant effects on its ability to adapt as a pet. If you get a British Shorthair from a breeder, make sure he has been properly socialized, which should help calm him down as he grows out of the kitten stage.
If you find a British Shorthair in a shelter and they have behavioral issues, chances are they weren’t properly socialized when they were young or have become estranged from their mother. before you can complete the process.
This does not mean that the cat cannot become a good pet. It just means that she may need some extra attention (and you could get a few bites and scratches along the way.) When your kitten comes home, it’s important to confine her in a small area for a few days.
Since they’ve been used to a certain place all their life, you’re starting the locating process over again, so you don’t want to overwhelm the kitten. Introducing them too quickly at home and to people can lead to more hyperactive behavior due to fear or confusion.
With proper socialization and a slow introduction to new surroundings in their new home, chances are that as your British Shorthair gets closer to one year old, they will begin to relax.
What if my British Shorthair does not calm down?
Even if you did everything right, your British Shorthair kitten might have trouble adjusting. If so, don’t worry! There are still steps you can take.
Schedule time to play
The best games to play with a kitten are games that allow her to exercise her natural hunting instincts, such as wands and feathers. Toy mice or things they can imitate jumping and catching on are also great. Puzzle toys that give out food and treats are particularly helpful in capturing your British Shorthair kitten’s developing intelligence.
With a kitten, you will have to devote more time to these activities. Include a warm-up and cool-down as if you were doing your own exercise routine. The cooldown is especially important so you can signal to the cat that playtime is over.
Check out these fun toys your cat will love to play with.
Give them a great view
Find a window your kitten can see that provides a view of nature, neighbors, and wildlife. This stimulates their brain and their hunting instinct. Place a cat tree or other raised furniture near the window, so they have a perfect perch.
If you don’t have a window with this type of view, there are plenty of YouTube videos and DVDs you can upload with wildlife clips just for cats. (Keep an eye on the cat to make sure it doesn’t damage your computer or TV!)
Include your kitten in your activities
Kittens need love and comfort, especially when they come home. Let your British Shorthair sit with you and be sure to pet and cuddle him as much as possible. As they get older, British Shorthairs may be a little less cuddle-loving, but they love being around their owners. Teach them from the start that you are safe and reliable.
Give them a companion
If you’re up for it, a companion cat of the same age can often be a solution to a hyperactive British Shorthair. These felines generally get along well with other animals, so a companion to play with might be just what they need.
Sometimes cats that feel lonely become anxious, so keep that in mind when deciding to become a pet owner.
Talk to your veterinarian
It’s a good idea to take your kitten to the vet often during her first year. The doctor can check for any underlying issues that could make your cat worse or act out, and recommend additional behavior modification techniques in case the cat doesn’t calm down!
Adult British Shorthairs are calmer
British Shorthairs are generally a good cat to get if you’re looking for a laid-back, intelligent, and cuddly feline friend. Like any cat, time spent as a kitten is important in developing their adult cat personality. Make sure your British Shorthair is well socialized, has plenty of brain and body stimulation, and has no underlying issues. Then have fun as your fuzzy spaz transforms into a big huggable buddy.