The British Longhair: the long-haired variant of the British Shorthair

The British Longhair is a long-haired variant of the British Shorthair that comes from crossing this cat with a Press. Except for the coat both cats are almost identical. Only the coat of the British Longhair is longer than that of the British Shorthair. This longer coat requires a bit more attention than the shorter coat of the British Shorthair. Curious what extra attention the coat requires? Then read on!


The origin: a cross between the British Shorthair and a Press

The ancestry of the British Longhair is identical to that of the British Shorthair. The British Longhair is a long-haired variant of the British Shorthair. Not all registers consider the cat as a separate breed.

You are not going to find an older breed of cat than the British Shorthair. The story goes that the British Shorthair was brought from Egypt to Britain by Roman soldiers. Here the cat had a practical function. The cats served to protect against vermin. For a very long time the cat lived in seclusion in Britain. When at the end of the nineteenth century more and more attention was paid to the beauty and personality of the cat, this changed. There were cat shows where the British Shorthair was immediately popular.

Between 1914 and 1918 there were intersections between the British Shorthair and Persen. From these intersections a long-haired variant emerged. This long-haired variant was called the British Longhair. This long-haired variant is not recognised as a separate breed by all the registers. Only The International Cat Association (TICA) has registered the British Longhair as a separate breed cat. In 2009 this breed got the championship status so that the breed can also participate in competitions at cat shows.


The character: a calm and friendly cat full of love

The British Longhair is a very friendly cat full of love. The cat loves a lot of attention but is not demanding. This breed of cat can enjoy itself very well and waits patiently until you come home from work, for example. The cat is very loyal and dedicated to his or her owner. The cat really builds a bond with his or her owner(s) where the cat often prefers a person.

The British Long-haired is not very active but can have some crazy moments where the cat behaves like a small kitten. At such moments the cat wants to play and act crazy. It is worth noting that the cat likes to go with both feet on the ground. A British Long-haired cat does not really like to climb, clamber and jump. The cat also does not like to be lifted all the time. They prefer to keep their dignity with their feet on the floor. This makes the British Longhair not a real lap cat either.

In general, the British Longhair is easy to combine with other animals. When you have for example also a dog this can be combined well with a British Langhaar. However, it is important that you let the dog and the cat slowly get used to each other. When you do this in a good and quiet way your dog and this cat can eventually also become very good buddies.

All in all, the British Longhair is a calm and loving cat with a lot of patience. The cat adapts quickly to different situations and is very easy to combine with children and other animals. This makes the British Longhair a perfect family cat. 

Infographic British Longhair

The appearance: a fairly large cat with a powerful appearance

The appearance of the British Longhair is identical to that of the British Shorthair with the exception of the coat. It is a medium to large cat with a rather compact body. Because of the long hairs the size of the British Longhair looks a lot bigger than that of the British Shorthair. The weight of this cat is usually between 3.5 and 8 kilograms. Male cats are often a bit bigger and therefore a bit heavier than females. In addition, the jaws of a male cat are often more developed than those of a queen.

The body of the British Longhair is a bit stocky and muscular. This gives the cat a rather powerful appearance. The chest is nicely rounded and also the shoulders are quite broad. The hips are almost the same width as the shoulders so the lines of the torso are quite straight. The back is – in contrast to other cats – quite straight. The legs are medium to small in size. It is noticeable that the distance between the ground and the belly is smaller than the distance between the belly and the back of the cat. The legs are round in shape and in relation to the legs quite large in size. The tail has a rather thick base and is quite straight. Furthermore the tail runs slowly down to a bit of a rounded end. The tail is less long than the length of the body.

The head of the British Longhair is nicely rounded and has a nicely rounded snout. The snout is quite broad and is nicely connected to the cheekbones. The cat also has a nice firm chin in the same line as the nose. The cat has somewhat convex cheeks and also on top of the head the forehead is nicely rounded. In males the head is big while in females the head is medium sized. The ears are small to medium in size and have a broad base. Furthermore, the ears are well rounded and are quite wide at the top of the head. The eyes are large and round in shape. They stand quite wide apart because of the width of the nose. Preferably the eyes have an intense colour. The colour must in any case go well with the coat colour.

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The coat of the British Longhair

In contrast to the British Shorthair, the coat of the British Longhair is a lot longer. The coat is half long and the cat often has a well pleated collar. The coat is quite dense and thick and stands away from the body. Furthermore the coat is almost everywhere the same length.

The possibilities of coat colour and coat patterns are the same as with the British Shorthair. There are several colours and patterns that can occur with this cat. A number of variants that can occur with the British Longhair are:

  • Turtle: This pattern mixes two colours. The mixing of this colour creates a kind of turtle effect.
  • White spots: White is mixed with another colour. The patterns are random and different for each cat.
  • Two-tone turtle: This is a combination of the turtle pattern and the white spots.

In addition to these patterns, the British Longhair is also available in several colours. For the exact appearance and possibilities of the coat it is wise to take a look at the breed standard of the British Longhair.


The upbringing: let your cat get used to human contact

It is very important for a cat that sufficient attention is paid to socialisation when the cat is still a kitten. It is important that a kitten learns to deal with strange noises, other animals but also human touches from an early age. Doing this at an early age prevents a cat from developing anxiety disorders and becoming shy of humans. A kitten learns how life works and that it is not at all scary to be picked up, for example.

The period in which it is important to pay sufficient attention to this is also referred to as the socialisation period. This period consists of two periods and lasts approximately until a kitten is 14 weeks old. Because most breeders give kittens to their new owner when they have reached an age of about 13 weeks this period takes place almost entirely at the breeder. When you get your kitten from a breeder it is very important to see if the breeder has paid enough attention to this. Take a good look at the behaviour of the kittens. When the kittens are shy this is not a good sign. It is also very important for the development of a kitten to have grown up in the presence of the mother cat as this is a familiar environment.

When you get your cat from the breeder, it is important that the breeder learns the rules in the new house. This is an important part of the upbringing on which you as the owner have a great influence. It is important that you teach your cat what is good and bad behaviour so that the cat will behave well. You can do this by addressing your cat severely when it behaves badly and rewarding it when it behaves well. By doing this immediately after a certain action your cat will recognise a positive or negative relationship. This will eventually result in your cat showing the desired behaviour more often.

brits langhaar liggend tussen planten

Care: give your cat a regular bath

It is important for the health of your cat that you take good care of it. Taking good care of your cat consists of several parts. Firstly, it is important to take good care of your cat’s body. For example, it is important to take good care of your cat’s coat and to keep his eyes and ears clean. In addition, it is important that your cat gets enough exercise. Cats with a good condition are generally a lot healthier. Last but not least, it is very important that you provide your cat with good nutrition and adjust this to the cat’s energy consumption.

Keeping the coat of the British Longhair in good condition takes a little more time than that of the British Shorthair. By brushing the coat daily you prevent tangles from forming. It is also wise to bathe your British Longhair regularly. Doing this on a regular basis will keep the coat looking nice and shiny. It is important to do this at set times from an early age so that your cat gets used to it and can even enjoy it in the end.

In addition to the coat, it is also important that you take good care of your cat’s nails. As cats naturally scratch to remove the dirt under their nails it is wise to get a scratching post in the house. In addition to getting a scratching post in the house, you prevent the development of deformities by cutting the nails at least a couple of times a year.

It is also important that you keep the cat clean. Regularly bathing your cat will go a long way, but it is important to pay extra attention to the ears and eyes. This is where dirt sometimes builds up. If you don’t remove this in time, infections can result.

Finally, it is important that your cat gets enough exercise. Cats have a tendency to be overweight. Especially if a cat is not as active – as is the case with the British Longhair – a cat can sometimes become too heavy. Moreover, a cat with a good condition will feel a lot better in his skin and will generally stay a lot healthier. As an owner you can contribute to this by playing sufficiently with your cat but also by getting enough active toys in the house.


The food: look carefully at the ingredients

In addition to good grooming, it is also very important that you provide your cat with good nutrition. It is important that you choose quality food with the right nutrients. Since cats are natural carnivores, a cat gets the most nutrients from natural proteins and sufficient fats. So there’s no point in feeding your cat a diet full of cereals and vegetables.

A good option is to provide your cat with wet food such as raw meat. Meat contains almost all the nutrients a cat needs and is also very similar to a cat’s natural food. In addition, wet food helps maintain a cat’s fluid level. This is because cats naturally drink very little. A disadvantage is that raw meat doesn’t keep very long and often gives a lot of mess.

An alternative to meat is dry food such as cat food. Cat kibble does have a long shelf life and gives little mess. A disadvantage is only that cat kibble doesn’t really look like a cat’s natural food and often contains a lot of carbohydrates. When you are planning to provide your cat with dry food it is important to look carefully at the ingredients on the label. In many cases there is food available that specifically meets the requirements of a particular breed of cat.

In addition to the type of food, it is also important to match your cat’s food supply to its energy consumption. As an owner you can give a cat that is very active more food than a cat that is a lot less active. A cat that is more active uses more energy so the cat also needs to get more energy from its food.

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Diseases common to British Longhair

Just like people, cats can also be affected by diseases in their lives. Two diseases that are relatively common in British Long-haired cats are Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and Hypertrophic Cardiomypathy (HCM). These are two hereditary diseases that most breeders test well for. By testing well for these diseases, the chance that the diseases will be passed on to the litter is as small as possible. When you get a kitten from a breeder, in many cases you will also get a document in which the absence of certain diseases is guaranteed. With the British Long-haired kitten this would be the case for PKD and HCM.

The Polycystic Kidney Disease is a hereditary kidney disease in which the functioning of the kidney deteriorates over time. This disease can be recognised because your cat’s appetite is reduced, the cat becomes a lot leaner, is less active and can get pale mucous membranes. In addition, the cat starts drinking and urinating a lot, which also causes dehydration.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a hereditary heart defect in which the blood is less well pumped through the body. The disease can be recognised by the fact that the cat eats less, suffers from breathing and can become paralysed on its hind legs. What makes this disease very treacherous is that there are not always symptoms that can be recognised. It is also possible that the cat dies without really suffering from any symptoms.


How old can British long hair get?

A British Longhair is usually between 12 and 17 years old. How old your cat gets depends on several factors. For example, with good care and a lot of love, it is possible for your cat to grow older than 17 years, but if your cat is affected by an illness, your cat may also die prematurely.


What you need to know before you take in the British Longhair

When you are planning to take in a British Longhair, it is important to read in well. Think carefully about whether the character of the cat suits your household and whether you also have time to take good care of your cat and provide it with enough love. For example, do you have a very busy job that doesn’t make you home much? Then check carefully whether having a cat at home is really smart.

In addition, it is important to get the good stuff in the house. For example, it is important to have a good litter box, cat basket but also enough toys in the house. If you get your cat from a breeder, for example, the cat can immediately nestle in his or her new home. For a cat this is very nice.

It is also important that your cat has been dewormed, vaccinated and possibly chipped. In most cases the breeder will take care of all these things but it is always useful to check this carefully. It is also wise to have your cat neutered or neutered to prevent unexpected kittens being born.

brits langhaar kitten buiten

What price do you have to think of?

A British Longhair usually costs between $800 and $1000. However, it should be noted that there are several factors that influence the price of a cat. For example, there can be a difference in price between cats with different looks but also the price per breeder can be very different. In general cats that are suitable as show cats or for breeding are a lot more expensive than cats intended as pets.


Do you also choose the British Longhair?

The British Longhair is a very sweet and quiet cat with a nice appearance. This is also one of the reasons why this cat is very popular together with the British Shorthair. We are very curious about your experiences with this breed and the reason why you have chosen this breed of cat. You can let us know by leaving a comment on this article!

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We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

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