The British Longhair cat is built like a linebacker but is covered in gorgeous, plush fur. Available in almost any color, but often found in unusual solid tones of grey, cream and rust, this is simply an awesome looking cat that absolutely commands attention.
Breeders of the British shorthair cat occasionally used long-haired breeds - most notably Persians - to strengthen the breed throughout it's history. As a result, the occasional long-haired kitten occurred in a litter of otherwise normal British short hairs.
For decades those kittens without the desired short, plush coat, were considered quite undesirable. They would be given away, or in some cases, actually destroyed to preserve the original breed type.
So it was with some controversy that some breeders chose to begin breeding specifically for a long coat, and to this day, only a handful of cat organizations recognize the British Longhair as a separate and legitimate breed.
The British Longhair has been developed apart from the British shorthair for just a few generations, and some Persian blood was infused to solidify the long-haired trait. Therefore, the British longhair is not simply a long-haired version of the British shorthair. They have a distinct personality from the more famous cat, and, underneath the beautiful fur, there are some physical differences too.
British longhairs tend to have a more square skull than short hairs. They have a more prominent forehead, and do not have the distinctive dished face that some show-ring short hairs display.
But of course the most obvious difference is the dense, soft and glorious coat, that sometimes has a very unique texture and wave. This beautiful coat comes in a rainbow of colors, and makes the British Longhair cat a true show-stopper.
The personality of the British longhair is pleasant and a little reserved. These are somewhat thoughtful cats that will not push themselves on you, and definitely hope you return the favor.
British Longhair cats enjoy the company of family, but are not classic "lap cats". They are more likely to want to join you at the foot of the bed, or the arm of the couch. Although they look like teddy-bears, they are not fond of being handled or carried either, and do not make good pets for young children because of this.
What they offer though, is a sweet and loving presence, happy to be stroked, up for a little game of fetch or a stroll in harness and leash. They are undemanding and giving at the same time, and they can be an excellent choice for a busy single who is worried about leaving their pet alone.
British Longhair cats are exceptional apartment cats and are well known for entertaining themselves. They seem to enjoy a little solitude, and will never make you feel guilty about working a long shift.
These cats are not always thrilled with the idea of other cats in the house, so be especially careful introducing a new member, especially if your long hair has been an only child for a while. They do, however, seem to enjoy the company of dogs, especially those with mellow personalities like their own.-British Longhair Cat Facts
British Longhair kittens tend to be a little less busy than other breeds.
They are happy, pleasant, quick-learners that are consummate domestic companions. These sturdy little kittens tend to learn a routine quite quickly, rarely missing the litter pan, choosing their favorite spot on the windowsill or sofa and making themselves at home.
Training them to a harness and lead should begin early, and any tricks or games you might want your little one to learn should be started young, because they can get a bit set in their ways.
Kitten-proofing is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing a British Longhair kitten.
High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these wriggly little 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.
British Longhair kittens don't develop their full coat and bushy tail until they are well into their first year of life, and males in particular, may take up to 3 years to really fill out and start to shine.
Remember, this is a very new breed that is not recognized by all the breed associations, so finding one may be a chore.
Head Shape: Overall, very much like the British Shorthair, the head should be large, broad and well rounded with full, even "chubby" cheeks, a broad, well-formed muzzle with strong chin and, in show specimens, Expression is important and should be sincere and beautifully enhanced by the very large, round eyes. The eye color may be any, but their are some requirements with certain of the many coat colors available.
Body and Tail: The body is medium to large, not much longer than tall, with the most important factor being quality and width. A broad chest and hips with flattened top line, the cat should be wide when viewed from above, but muscular and well-kept. The neck should be short and with a bull-dog quality, especially evident in males. The legs are medium in length, well-boned, strongly muscled and with large round, well-knuckled feet. The tail is medium in length, wide with only a slight taper and carried at back level when relaxed.
The coat should be plush, double, and very dense.
Pattern: Although many cats of this breed are blue in color, a large variety of
colors and patterns are accepted with lengthy explanations of each
color's desired appearance. Each individual Cat Breed Association has
their own specific preferences.
be a medium to large size cat of great substance. Bone and muscle
should be powerful, broad and high-quality. Thick, but not fat. Stocky
but not soft. These are well-rounded, pleasant and intelligent cats.