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British Longhair Cat

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

British longhair cat standing in a garden

Height: 12 – 14 inches
Weight: 8 – 16 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Chocolate, cinnamon, silver, fawn, blue, black, cream, white, red
Suitable for: Seniors, families with small children
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, sociable, good with other pets

The British Longhair cat has the same plush look and is as elegant as his cousin the British Shorthair, with the main difference being that his extremely silky coat is mid-length. This magnificent cat is still relatively rare in the United States, but his adorable face promises him great success in the years to come. Peaceful, attached to his master while being playful, the British Longhair is indeed the ideal pet. Read on for more details on this darling breed.

British Longhair Kittens – Before You Buy…


What’s the Price of British Longhair Kittens?

The hereditary diseases that the British Longhair can suffer from show how important it is to choose a reputable breeder. Indeed, the health of animals and their young is important to a serious breeder. He will ensure a regular follow-up and a check-up for frequent hereditary diseases. He should, therefore, be able to show you the parents’ screening documents.

Never trust non-professional breeders who offer purebred cats at a good price and without any papers. Without the control of a breeding association, you could end up with unfavorable mating, which only increases the risk of inherited diseases. Professional breeders offer favorable conditions and do not hesitate to buy good quality food, do vaccines and preliminary screenings, and give female cats time between gestations.

However, purebred cats are expensive, and you will have to pay the price if you want to acquire a cat that is not only a feast for the eyes but also sufficiently socialized and healthy. Expect to shell out between $1,000 and $2,500 for a quality-bred British Longhair kitten.

As an alternative, you will also find gorgeous cats in welfare associations and animal shelters. There, many short and longhair cats of all ages are only waiting for one thing: a new home! This option will cost you a lot less, usually a few hundred dollars maximum.

3 Little-Known Facts About British Longhair Cats

1. This breed was created by accident.

By the 1930s, the British Shorthair had become very popular in the UK. Unfortunately, World War II brought its development to an abrupt halt. By the end of the war, the breed had all but disappeared. To save it, crosses were made with different breeds: Chartreux, Russian Blue, Burmese, and Persian.

This led to the appearance of medium-haired individuals. At first, these cats were simply excluded from breeding. Then, breeders decided instead to select them to create a new breed: the British Longhair was born.

2. There are over 300 color combinations listed.

As with the British Shorthair, there are unicolored and particolored cats in the British Longhair. Their shades of color range from classic black and brown (chocolate), to so-called “dilutions” (blue, lilac, fawn, and cream) through cinnamon and red. Black, white, and tri-colored cats often resemble long-haired domestic cats. Cats designated as “shaded” have a specific color at the tip of the hair only. It should, therefore, not be considered as a shade but as a stunning effect!

3. British Longhairs have a strong tendency to gain weight.

Physiologically, the British Longhair is prone to being overweight, and this tendency is reinforced by his lack of attraction to physical activity. This cat would rather laze on your lap than run and stretch his paws. Therefore, it is essential not to feed him a diet that is too rich and too high in calories. Above all, avoid excessive treats! Indeed, this cat is very greedy, and he will not hesitate to beg for your leftovers, but do not give in; you would be doing him a disservice! The best way to show affection to this sleek, stocky feline is yet to offer him attention by cuddling and playing with him.

british longhair cat lying on grass field
Image Credit: Kerstin Kaufmann, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the British Longhair Cat

The British Longhair combines the main characteristics of the British Shorthair and the Persian: he is a calm, reserved, and kind cat. In addition, it is a cat that develops a strong bond of affection towards its owner. He also likes to play a lot, adores children, and is very sociable; this is why it is said to be the pet par excellence. Besides, he appreciates the presence of his congeners as much as that of dogs.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Easygoing, the British Longhair is always peaceful and shows no aggressiveness. It is, therefore, a very suitable cat for a family with young children. Be aware, however, that you should always be careful when a child is playing with a cat. The tiny human must learn to respect his four-legged companion and analyze his body language to know when to leave him alone. The company of the British Longhair is also very popular with the elderly.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This phlegmatic cat gets along very well with his fellows and cohabits easily with dogs. His majestic build allows him to assert himself when necessary. He shows some independence but doesn’t like loneliness. If his owner is away all day, he will very much appreciate having another animal to keep him company!

Things to Know When Owning a British Longhair Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements

The British Longhair’s diet must be balanced to maintain the beauty of its coat and optimal health. Thus, his diet must be composed of croquettes containing high-quality proteins, fats, little carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, the portions you give him should be adjusted depending on factors like his age and level of daily exercise.

In addition, to facilitate the elimination of the hairballs that your British Longhair ingests daily, you can opt for kibbles formulated for long-haired cats or special treats that promote the natural elimination of hairballs. Catnip is also a good alternative for pets that don’t go outdoors.

Besides, if your vet has detected a predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or kidney cysts, you should adjust your cat’s diet accordingly. Do not hesitate to ask him to give you concrete advice!

Exercise 🐈

The British Longhair is a little home-like cat. It is therefore essential to make sure he gets enough exercise. Besides, this breed is considered a particularly intelligent cat who likes to be stimulated. So, the best solution for this is to play with your furball. You can use a whole range of play accessories: balls, false prey, fishing rods, or laser pointers. Your cat will be delighted to share with you this moment of relaxation, which will remind him of the games with his brothers and sisters when he was just a little kitten!

british longhair cat walking in the garden
Image Credit: Kerstin Kaufmann, Pixabay

Training 🧶

The misconception that cats cannot be trained is half true. Sure, cats can’t be trained like dogs, but they learn very quickly. That’s why it’s important to be consistent in educating your cat. For example, don’t let your cat beg at the table. This is especially true for purebred cats, who spend much of their day indoors, exercise less, and tend to be overweight.

Grooming ✂️

This beautiful cat’s long coat requires more care than a short coat. To avoid hairballs and knots in the undercoat, you will need to brush it frequently, at least once a week, and more often during the shedding period.

Also, to prevent knots from forming, your cat should be accustomed to the brush and comb from an early age. There are all kinds of cat grooming and hygiene products on the market, so it’s up to you to decide what works best for your cat. Start with a soft brush that does not pull the thin coat or cause injury to the skin. Give your kitty a small treat after each treatment session. Then, when grooming times are no longer a problem for you and your cat, you can choose more effective brushes and combs as needed.

In addition, true to their image of very clean animals, cats take care of their coats themselves. Indeed, the cat’s tongue has horny papillae, which are ultimately the most effective instrument for grooming. Unfortunately, this also means that cats swallow a significant amount of hair when grooming themselves. So, to help your cat get rid of hairballs naturally, you can give him catnip or special treats. However, when buying cat treats, make sure they have a quality composition, ideally free of sugar or plant by-products.

british longhair cat lying on wooden floor
Image Credit: Claudia Peters, Pixabay

Health and Conditions 🏥

British Longhairs are generally healthy cats. However, they can develop illnesses identical to those of their shorthaired cousins. Obesity is also a threat since this cat prefers to live indoors. The best solution is to offer your kitty regular exercise by playing with him.

Besides, the British Longhair very often suffers from polycystic kidney disease of the dominant type. This inherited disease is common in British Shorthairs and Persians and, therefore, also affects British Longhairs since it results from the cross between these two breeds. Kidney cysts develop very early, even from a young age, and can be detected easily by ultrasound.

The British longhair also frequently develops a condition of the heart muscle called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). A regular heart ultrasound is the best way to detect the disease early enough. On the other hand, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cannot be treated, but early diagnosis opens up treatment options that will extend your pet’s life expectancy.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Male vs Female

A male British Longhair cat is slightly larger than the female and heavier to carry. He also tends to be more cheerful and cuddly than females, as reported by most owners of this cat breed.

Final Thoughts

If you love cats with long fur, adorable little faces, and affectionate character, then the British Longhair should be for you! This is the longhaired variant of the British Shorthair, which inherited the curvy figure and soft, pleasant personality from its cousin. This cat, perfectly suited to indoor life, will delight a family with children as much as a single or older person.

See Also: Oriental Longhair Cat

Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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