Before the Brazilian Shorthair came to be a pure breed, it was roaming the streets of Brazil. Its presence in Brazil was brought about by Portuguese settlers - around the 1500 A.D. period -who owned cats that descended from the Felis Iberia. The settlers brought the cats along on their journey to help protect the ships’ goods from rodents. It was suggested that these cats became the foundation of the Brazilian Shorthair cat.
The development of the Brazilian Shorthair started with the efforts by engineer Paulo Samuel during the mid 1980s. Samuel was a cat breeder and founder of the first Cat Federation in Brazil as well as the first Cat Club in Rio de Janeiro. He studied the cats that roamed the country’s parks and streets and noted similarities in the behavior and physiology of those cats. At the same time, Samuel might also have realized the need for a native Brazilian cat and those similarities that he noted on the street cats of Brazil proved to be a good trait for the development of a pure breed.
He began working on the breed with the Iberian Peninsula cats bought over to Brazil by the Portuguese. Long years of experimental breeding programs with other traditional breeders then paved the way for the Brazilian Shorthair to be finally approved by the World Cat Federation. That then started the participation of the breed in contests held around the world. United States now has the largest population of the breed as well as its breeders.
Physical appearance and attributes
The Brazilian Shorthair is a medium to large sized cat that weighs between 11 – 22 pounds. It has a medium – long body with good musculature. This toned body display lines of elegance and strength. The complementing tail is well proportionate, broad at the base and tapers into a rounded tip. It has powerful legs that are well muscled and that taper into rounded paws. The composition of the body makes the cat appear longer than it is tall.
Head of the Brazilian Shorthair is slightly longer than it is wide with rounded contours. Females have a slightly smaller head. Set atop the head is a pair of upright and medium sized ears. They are wide at the base and taper into rounded tips. The cheek bones are distinctively high and when viewed in profile, a slight curve can be traced from the brow line to the tip of the nose. It possesses a substantial and vaguely narrow muzzle with a firm chin. Brazilian Shorthair has large, expressive and almond shaped eyes. They are well-spaced apart with approximately the length of one eye’s width and donned with a matching color to the coat.
As the name suggests, this breed wears a short coat of hair that lies close to the body without any undercoat. The texture is silky and should luster with a healthy sheen. It can come in a variety of colors and patterns
Personality and temperament
This is an affectionate breed that thrives under human contact and attention. It possesses an easy-going temperament and is open to bonding with anyone that cares. The Brazilian Shorthair is not a one-man cat and knows how to enjoy the companionship with everyone in the household, even though it will seek out the friendlier owner. Its high intelligence also gives it the knack to learn skills and tricks fast. The muscular body gives it a high level of agility. Coupled with its playfulness and activeness, the Brazilian Shorthair sure knows how to seek out interactive and entertaining play.
Care and health issues
This is a hardy breed with an average lifespan of 13 years. Like most other cats, it is susceptible to the common feline ailments, but is generally a hearty cat. It is important to obtain a written health guarantee from a qualified breeder when purchasing the cat to ensure that that are no pending health issues.
Grooming this Shorthair breed is considerably effortless as it requires only a weekly grooming to help remove dead hair and distribute skin oil. To maintain an overall health and hygiene, the teeth should be brushed frequently with vet-approved toothpaste. The nails should also be trimmed whenever necessary. Do check the ears for redness or odors that might indicate infection. If cleaning is needed, a damp cloth with a gentle cleanser that is vet-approved could help.
The ideal home
The Brazilian Shorthair can be both an indoor or outdoor cat. Outdoor spaces would however need to be safe and escape-proof. Not a cat to be kept in solitude, the Brazilian Shorthair needs a family that is ready to set aside the time to care and play with it. It is an easy-going cat that gets along well with children and other friendly pets, proving itself to be an ideal pet to most types of household.
Do prepare interactive toys, cat trees and cat gym sets for this active and playful to help encourage an active and hearty growth. The Brazilian Shorthair does not shy away from displaying its affection, making it a ready and winsome companion in any home.
Photo by J.Jazz - CC BY-SA 3.0