A close-up of a grey British Longhair.
(Photo Credit: Santiago Urquijo | Getty Images)

British Longhair

The British Longhair is a mixed breed cat–a cross between the British Shorthair and Persian cat breeds. Friendly, independent, and affectionate, these cats inherited some of the best traits from both of their parent breeds.

The British Longhair is an easygoing cat who looks like a plush teddy bear in feline form! These cats enjoy human company, but they’re also independent and low key enough to be okay if left alone for longer periods of the day. Just remember that when you’re dealing with a long-haired feline, there are extra grooming needs to commit to.

When considering a British Longhair, it’s advisable to prioritize adopting from rescue organizations or shelters to provide a loving home to a cat in need. However, if you decide to purchase a British Longhair kitten, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder. Conduct thorough research to ensure that the breeder follows ethical practices and prioritizes the well-being of their cats. Reputable British Longhair breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their cats, conduct necessary health screenings, and provide a nurturing environment for the kitties. This active approach ensures that you bring home a healthy and happy kitty while discouraging unethical breeding practices.

Quick Facts

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Size: Medium to large
  • Breed Group: Longhair
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Coat: Long, dense, with a soft, silky undercoat
  • Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, and laid-back
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate
  • Training: Relatively easy to train
  • Grooming: Regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles
  • Health: Generally healthy, but can be prone to certain genetic health conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and hip dysplasia
  • In a fun little cameo, a British Longhair makes an appearance in the 1997 film “Spice World.”
  • The most popular color of the British Longhair is blue.
  • Only The International Cat Association recognizes the British Longhair as a breed.

British Longhair Pictures

British Longhair History

When it comes to the history of the British Longhair, it all begins with the parent breed that gives these cats their names–British Shorthair. At some point widely speculated to be between 1914 and 1918, breeders began to cross the British Shorthairs with the Persians in a bid to produce a kitty with longer hair. The British Longhair was the result, and the breed has prospered as a super popular domestic cat ever since!

In 2009, the British Longhair was officially granted championship status by the International Cat Association (TICA). These days, you may find British Longhairs in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you!

British Longhair Size

The British Longhair is a medium- to large-sized cat breed who’s often a little on the stockier side. As is always the case, exact size standards might vary.

Most British Longhairs weigh in at nine to 18 pounds. That said, many may be smaller or larger than average.

British Longhair Personality

At heart, the British Longhair is a loving and friendly cat who will also show a great deal of tolerance. They are sociable towards people when they’re around, but the breed is also happy to enjoy their own time, which makes them a smart choice for someone who might be away from the home for long hours due to work commitments.

While there is a laid-back nature about the British Shorthair, it’s important to encourage the breed to stay active and engage in exercise. Think of the British Longhair as a breed of cat that you’ll need to invest some time and effort in when you’re around them to get the best out of them.

Also note that the British Longhair is an affectionate cat, but they do not generally enjoy being picked up or carried around. They are a breed that might be better suited to adult lifestyles rather than a home buzzing with kids all the time.

British Longhair Health

British Longhairs are generally considered to be healthy cats; although, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your cat’s vet. Some of the more common health problems British Longhairs suffer from include:

  • Renal Polycystosis: Renal polycystic disease in cats, also known as feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD), is an inherited condition that leads to the development of multiple fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. This condition is most commonly seen in Persian and related breeds. PKD is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, meaning that only one parent needs to carry the gene for their offspring to inherit the disease.
  • Neonatal Isoerythrolysis: Neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI) in cats, also known as hemolytic icterus, is a condition that affects kittens. It occurs when there’s an incompatibility between the blood type of the mother cat and her kittens, specifically related to the blood group antigens. This condition is most commonly seen in cats, particularly those of blood type B.

British Longhair Care

The British Longhair needs a little coaxing to make sure they remain active and engage in enough exercise. Otherwise, feline obesity and other related health issues might set in. A smart way to encourage the breed to exercise is through the use of treat-based games and play sessions. Also, consider interactive feeding devices if it seems like your British Longhair is becoming a little too much of a lounge cat.

Along with scheduling yearly wellness vet visits, your British Longhair will need to have their nails checked and trimmed on a regular basis. If you’re new to cat maintenance, your vet can show you the safest way to carry this out. Adding a scratching post to your living environment can also help promote healthy scratching and keep the cat’s nails in good condition.

Beyond nail care, examine the British Longhair’s ears for signs of dirt building up or possible infection every couple of weeks. It’s also smart to speak to your vet about beginning a regular teeth brushing regimen that will suit your British Longhair.

British Longhair Coat Color And Grooming

The British Longhair’s coat can come in a wide range of colors, although blue is the most popular shade. Other frequent colors include tabby, white, cream, and black. As the name suggests, the British Longhair is a long-haired cat whose luxurious coat will require a commitment to daily brushing. This is imperative to help ward off any mats forming, and during times of seasonal shedding, you’ll need to engage in longer than usual brushing sessions.

Regular grooming will also lessen the chances of hairballs occurring. When it comes to climate, the British Longhair is generally seen as an adaptable cat who can usually live happily in most climates. Just remember to always make sure adequate shade and fresh water is provided when the temperature spikes.

Children And Other Pets

The British Longhair can live happily with children. Although, this generally tolerant cat often doesn’t take well to being picked up and carried around. So be sure that early socialization takes place and boundaries are properly set on both sides, and supervise early interactions between kids and cats.

When it comes to other household pets, the British Longhair is usually fine sharing living quarters. However, you’ll want to supervise early interactions between the new cat and existing pets, as well. Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this breed. Make sure to reward your British Longhair for good behavior when you bring them home to your family!

British Longhair Rescue Groups

It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for British Longhair cats because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try British Shorthair or Persian cat breed specific rescues, as they sometimes care for breed mixes. You may also try shelters and rescues that cater to all types of cats, including British Longhair cats, as well as your local shelter. Here are some nonprofit rescues you can try:

Life Span
15 to 17 years
Medium to Large
9 to 18 pounds
Country Of Origin
Great Britain
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