The British shorthair shares many of its qualities with its off-shoot breed, the American shorthair. Its muscular body requires little grooming and can withstand enthusiastic petting or grabbing [sources: Edwards and Taylor]. This breed faithfully bonds with children and adults and was lauded back in the days of ancient Rome for its loyalty to man and its hunting talents [source: Cat Fanciers Association]. The British shorthair demonstrates lots of personality and is often playful.
Despite being typecast in books and films as a witch's black cat, the British shorthair in reality is known for its friendliness (and comes in several other colors). At ease with or without human interaction, the British shorthair is unfortunately prone to more ailments than other cat breeds. All British shorthairs are prone to sunburn, white ones in particular are prone to tumors, and white ones with blue eyes are prone to deafness. Actually, cats with blue eyes are often prone to deafness, although you shouldn't interpret a blue eye color to mean that a cat is certainly deaf [source: Taylor].
For the newest breed on the list, read about the Tiffany.