The American Longhair cat is a full-bodied, handsome cat with a dog-like personality and a medium-length to long-length double coat.
The American Longhair cat was the result of attempts by breeders to infuse certain Persian color varieties into American shorthair cats. The longer coat and some of these colors seemed genetically linked, and the result was a cat with a combination of traits from both it's Persian and American shorthair ancestors.
Different from the Domestic Longhair which has no clear lineage, the American Longhair comes from champion bloodlines, and some individuals are registered in multiple cat fancier associations, but the breed itself is not recognized by the larger organizations just yet.
The main difference between American Longhair cats and Domestic Longhair cats is that American Longhair cats must have a pedigree that can be traced back to both the American Shorthair and the Persian.
Most American Longhair cats possess a bit of the snub nose of a Persian cat, but this varies among individuals. The well-muscled, athletic body is standard, along with the dense, and profusely shedding double coat.
Occasionally Maine Coon cats are referred to as American Longhairs, because they were developed in the United States.
The personality of the American Longhair cat is usually quite mellow, with a bit of an independent streak.
They can be a great choice for a bustling household or a working single because they do not require much fussing or attention, but the long coat does require some care as it will mat easily without a good brushing once or twice a week.
American Longhairs tend to be a bit more active than either of their parent breeds. They are more athletic than Persians, and more friendly, in general, than American Shorthairs.
These cats make great additions to barns as they tend to be very fond of other animals like horses, goats and cows, and they usually get along very well with dogs. Large dogs need not be too delicate with the big-boned American Longhair, and small dogs often find themselves with a warm cuddle-buddy.
These kitties are not usually lap-cats, but because of the Persian influence they can make very pleasant, patient companions for elderly or house-bound folks, as long as their grooming needs are met.
The American Longhair really enjoys the outdoors and may spend lots of time gazing out the window. Fortunately they tend to be easily trainable and calm enough to adjust to a harness and leash for a little outdoor stroll.
Although large animals and dogs are their friends, these cats tend to be crafty hunters, and parakeets, small animals, and even pet fish might be on the menu if their cages and tanks aren't properly secured!
These cats adapt to various lifestyles well, but may not be the first choice for a family with many small children, not because they will be aggressive but because they may be elusive, choosing to avoid the commotion.
Beautiful, long-lived and hardy, the American Longhair can be a wonderful pet for the right household.
Much like American Shorthairs, American longhair kittens tend to be just a little less rowdy than some other breeds. They are even-tempered, maybe a little shy, and may take a little time to adjust to a new environment.
They should be handled often to insure deep bonds with family members, and kept on a regular feeding schedule as they may tend to overeat.
Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing any kitten.
High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these excitable youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong urge to explore.
In Appearance, the American longhair kitten looks somewhat like a miniature adult, but they tend to have a bit of "baby fuzz" that they loose at about six months, and their full size and weight may not be achieved till well into their first year.
The true length of their coat may not be revealed until their second full winter season. Some may eventually develop guard hairs as long as 6 inches year-round, loosing only the undercoat in the warmer months, while others may maintain more of a "plush" look, with hair no longer than 4 inches.
Head: The head should be large, round, broad and well-developed. The cheeks should be full presenting a powerful look. There should be a slight concave or "dished" quality to the face. The muzzle is squarish and may be somewhat compressed, with a strong, well-formed chin.
Ears: The ears should not be unduly large, but medium in proportion to the head, broad at the base with rounded tip and good space between. Feathering on the ears is highly desirable.
Eyes: The eyes should be large and round, widely spaced, bright, clear, and of any color. Odd-eyes are permissible, as long as it is not accompanied by deafness.
Body and Tail: This should be a medium to large size cat that is slightly longer than it is tall with a powerful , broad body and deep, well-formed chest. A pad of fat on the abdomen is common for this breed and completely acceptable. The neck is short and stout. The legs are medium in length and well boned with a meaty quality. The feet are medium to large in size and round with five toes in front, four in back. The tail should be of medium length, plume-like, and is usually carried level with the top line.
Coat: There is a full double coat with long, straight outer guard hairs. Any color except ticked or pointed patterns.
Overall Appearance: This should be a robust, broad-faced and attractive animal with a natural, only slightly refined appearance, calm, sometimes reserved, but not timid. A lovely, classic domestic cat, with full, double coat and well-furred, plume-like tail.