British Longhair is a calm cat with a round, chubby face. It is closely related to British shorthair and is similar in appearance and personality.
The biggest difference is of course the long, dense coat.
British long hair is derived from British short hair, and the history of the breeds is largely common. This breed arose by mating British shorthair with Persian cats. The aim was from the beginning to expand the gene pool for British shorthair, as it had shrunk after the First and Second World Wars.
The number of British shorthairs decreased and breeders were forced to use other cats to try to save the breed, including Persian cats.
The predisposition for long fur is a so-called recessive predisposition, which means that it can be hidden in a British shorthair. The predisposition for short coat is dominant over that for long coat. Two British short-haired cats can thus have long-haired offspring (if they carry the long-haired plant), while two British long-haired cats can only have long-haired offspring.
For a long time, these long-haired cats were not desirable and therefore it was not entirely uncontroversial that some breeders chose to start breeding specifically to produce long-haired cats. Even today, only a handful of cat organizations recognize British Longhair as their own, full-fledged breed. In terms of breed standard, it is also very similar to British shorthair.
British long hair has taken its personality traits from both British short hair and Persians. It is a calm and relaxed cat that is affectionate, friendly and easy going. This cat likes to hang out with its family, but it’s not a classic kitten.
It prefers to lie at the foot of the bed or in the corner of the sofa, and many British longhairs do not like to be worn. British Longhair is a relaxed and easy-going family member who does not get upset unnecessarily.
Appearance, size and weight
British Longhair is a medium to large cat with a firm body and a muscular appearance. They have a broad, square head, full cheeks and a short neck. The legs are short to medium length and the paws are round. Just like on British shorthair, the ears are small and round.
This together with the big, dark, round eyes and the soft fur makes the cat really look like a teddy bear.
Female cats weigh between 4-6 kg while males can weigh up to 8 kg.
Just like British shorthair, British long hair can have a variety of colors and patterns, in addition to the original gray (blue) color. They occur, for example, in black, white, beige, chocolate brown, red or cinnamon brown, light brown, purple, tabby and turtle color. They can also be masked.
In total, there are more than 200 color combinations!
The eyes can be blue, green, golden yellow or copper colored, depending on the color of the coat.
British long hair has a dense, double coat. However, the coat is shorter than in Persian cats and is therefore classified as half-long, so-called semi-long hair. The undercoat is incredibly thick so that the fur protrudes from the body, which gives the cat a really fluffy look.
To keep the coat in good condition, you need to brush the cat at least once a week, more often during periods when the cat sheds more than usual. Brushing prevents the development of tangles, which can be painful for the cat.
Regular brushing where loose fur is removed also reduces the risk of hairballs in the cat.
Special characteristics of the breed
The British Longhair is a relatively large breed that develops slowly. It can take up to four years before it reaches its full physique.
British Longhair is generally a healthy breed, but hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs in the breed. HCM is the most common heart disease in cats and means a thickening of the heart muscle, which in the long run can lead to complications such as heart failure or blood clots.
There is no cure for HCM. Some breeders choose to have their breeding treasures ultrasounded regularly to ensure that they have no changes in their heart. In this way, you can prevent the offspring from getting the disease.
The inclusion of Persian cats in the pedigree means a small risk of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This disease causes cysts (fluid-filled cavities) that develop over time. This leads to enlarged kidneys, impaired kidney function and eventually to kidney failure. The disease can be diagnosed with the help of an ultrasound examination and there is a genetic test that can determine if the animal carries the diseased gene.
As with other cats, feeding should be based on age, size and activity level. It is an advantage to feed the cat a varied diet, where soft food is an important component. Always consult your veterinarian if you are unsure about which food is best for your cat.
Obesity and obesity are a common health problem in cats. Remember that it is much easier to prevent obesity than to fix it. Proper feeding and encouragement of activity, especially if the cat lives as an indoor cat are important elements in the prevention of obesity.
5 fun facts about British long hair
- British Longhair is a newly established breed which is a result of long-haired cats, including Persians, being crossed with the British Shorthair breed.
- This cat is a calm and easy-going family member who does not get upset unnecessarily.
- The breed has a slow development and maturity and does not reach its full physique until around 3-4 years of age.
- British long hair comes in more than 200 color combinations.
- As with other cat breeds, obesity and obesity are a common health problem for British Longhair – prevent this through controlled feeding and activation.