The origins of the British Shorthair most likely date back to the first century AD, making it one of the most ancient identifiable cat breeds in the world.  It is thought that the invading Romans initially brought Egyptian domestic cats to Great Britain. These cats then interbred with the local European wildcat population. Over the centuries, their naturally isolated descendants developed into distinctively large, robust cats with a short but very thick coat, to better withstand conditions on their native islands. Based on artists' representations, the modern British Shorthair is unchanged from this initial type.