Here at World Cat Finder, we are suckers for longhaired cats. One of the breeds we absolutely love is the British Longhair. There is some confusion about this breed because not all registries accept them as a distinct breed. American registries call this cat the “Lowlander.” Other names include British Longhair, British Longhair Variant, British Semi-Longhair, and Longhair British. Whatever you call these cats, we can only say they are absolutely adorable. Here are the basic things you have to know about the British Longhair.
The British Longhair started as a variety of the more popular British Shorthair breed. They were created through interbreeding with imported longhaired cat breeds like the Turkish Angora and the Persian. The first intentional crosses happened in the middle of the 20th century. The original aim was to create British Shorthair kittens with more rounded features, and the long coat was unwanted.
In recent years, cat breeders intentionally made the same cross to create a distinct breed with a long coat. The breed was often created and bred outside the UK. Nevertheless, the breeders paid homage to the cat’s origins. They decided to name them after the place where they were first created.
Cat Breed Characteristics
The long coat is the most dominant thing about these cats you will most likely notice first. However, it has many unique characteristics that are consistently passed down to the offspring. Here are some of the most critical traits British Longhairs must have.
The first thing we will focus on is the British Longhair’s coat. As the name implies, it has a long, double coat that protects them pretty well from the elements. They have a straight coat that is growing away from them. That gives the impression the act is larger than it actually is.
Another essential feature cats within a breed should share is their coat color. The most dominant color you will most likely encounter is the blue-gray color British Longhairs and Shorthairs are known for. Other pretty common colors are black, white, tabby, and cream.
The British Longhair is considered a medium-sized cat. Cats from this breed typically weigh 8 - 16 pounds, with males being slightly larger than females.
Physical characteristics are not the only thing that should be consistently passed from one generation to another; temperaments should be too. This is something all future owners should look into. These cats are friendly and affectionate towards those they are familiar with. They love cuddling and having company, but they do just as well all on their own. This is why the British Longhair is an excellent choice for those who have to leave their cats alone at home for more extended periods. They are not too fond of being picked up, and they hate rough handling. If there are kids around the cat, they should know how to safely interact and play with it.
Selective breeding helped “breed out” many heritable diseases from cat breeds. However, there are some diseases and health conditions that still bother the British Longhair. It is generally considered a healthy breed with a 15 - 17 years life span. Here are some of the common health conditions found in these cats;
- Polycystic kidney disease - This is an inherited disorder that causes cysts to develop within the kidneys.
- Neonatal Isoerythrolysis - This is a severe disease that kittens can get when they have a different blood type than their mother. As soon as they drink the colostrum, the antibodies will attack the kitten’s red blood cells.
- Obesity - These cats are pretty lazy, so feeding and activity should be carefully balanced.
World Cat Finder Team