The Cuddly Toy cat. Originating in Roman times, the Brit, as it’s commonly known, is cuddly and placid, and looks a little like an animated toy. The British Shorthair is reputed to be the model for The Cheshire Cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. With its thick and luxurious fur, the British Shorthair is also one of the most enjoyable cats to stroke. They are the stars of numerous ads; Whiskas, Sheba and, inexplicably, Bacardi Breezer. Mrs McClusky’s cat in Desperate Housewives is a British Shorthair.