When cat lovers are looking for the perfect mix of fluff and friendliness, the British Longhair is a top favorite. Read on to learn more about this laidback, loving feline and what makes it an excellent choice for cat-favoring pet parents.
Basic Characteristics of British Longhairs
Originating quite obviously in Britain, the British Longhair is a combination of two popular cat breeds that are well-loved by feline enthusiasts: the Persian and the British Shorthair. It was once a popular breed back in the 1930s but strangely nearly ceased to exist by the end of the Second World War. However, cat lovers were determined to help the breed make a comeback, initially making a variation with a medium-length coat and finally breeding the desired traits to properly bring back the beautiful British Longhair.
British Longhairs are pretty standard when it comes to their sizing. Although the extra fluff may make them look a bit larger than most, they typically weigh between 8 to 16 lbs. and top out at around 12 to 14 inches in height. As with nearly all cat breeds, the males tend to be a bit larger than the females in most cases.
They can come in a variety of different coat colors—ranging from white to gray to black, chocolate, red, and mixes of all of these colors—but they all have the same long, luxurious coats that give them their namesake. You may find yourself with a tabby, a bi-color cat, or simply just a solid beauty when aiming to bring a British Longhair into your family!
Temperament of British Longhairs
Thanks to its laidback—and borderline lazy—temperament, this cat is a wonderful addition to nearly any home or family. They’re not known for having any aggressive behaviors whatsoever and generally prefer to just lounge about and enjoy those around them, making them a great choice for senior cat lovers who don’t want too much wildness in the home as well as families that have children, a factor that might often overstimulate and stress out more high-strung feline breeds.
British Longhairs tend to go with the flow and be content with most environments. Whether they spend a lot of time home alone while you’re away at work or you’re the type to be right there with them most of the time, they typically are comfortable with nearly any scenario. Those with little experience caring for cats will find the breed to be a great starter option by comparison to other breeds that require tons of stimulation and exercise to avoid destructive tendencies.
With a British Longhair, that’s not something you’ll ever have to worry about. They enjoy some playtime here and there, but you’ll often find them taking a nap!
Additionally, these cats are calm and content, and they get along with nearly all people and pets they come across. They can be very independent but also very social, and they’re known to try to carry on conversations and be quite vocal when they need to get your attention.
Exercise for British Longhairs
Due to their laidback demeanor and notable lack of interest in physical activity, the British Longhair can be prone to issues with obesity. This breed may prefer to nap and lie around the home, but it’s always a good idea to still engage them in some playtime to not only bond with your feline pal but also to get them moving a bit more. Investing in a cat tree with encourage them to get climbing and get moving, and regularly offering playtime with some fun toys will simply add to those activity levels.
Grooming Your British Longhair Cat
It should go without saying that a long-haired breed with an undercoat will certainly require some regular grooming to help them stay mat-free and healthy. British Longhairs are the type to require daily grooming and brushing regardless of their age. Although they will groom themselves to an extent, just like any other breed of cat, no amount of self-cleaning is sufficient to manage what’s needed to keep the long hair of this breed in top shape.
With so much hair, these cats definitely shed. Staying on top of brushing and combing your British Longhair will help mitigate some of the fluff you find around your home (as well as cut down on the potential hairballs your feline pal may end up with after grooming themselves), but some cat parents may also feel comfortable enlisting the help of a professional groomer to tackle the task of keeping their British Longhair’s glorious mane in the best possible condition.
There are a variety of combs and brushes out there to tackle grooming cat breeds with such long coats, so it’s best to get your British Longhair comfortable with the grooming practice as early as possible and add in additional grooming tools as needed based on your cat’s comfort level with the process as well as any specific brush preferences they may have.
Vet/Medical Care for British Longhairs
The main problem most pet parents of British Longhairs will need to worry about when it comes to their feline companion’s health is obesity. That chill demeanor and lack of interest in running about can lead to some serious weight gain, especially if these cats are not being fed an appropriate diet. It’s important to watch your British Longhair’s calorie intake and ensure they’re eating the most appropriate diet based on your veterinarian’s recommendations to keep them healthy and avoid the risk of excessive weight gain that could lead to more serious concerns.
Genetically speaking, this breed is also at a high risk of developing both hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease. Both of these conditions can be detected via ultrasound if you or your veterinarian suspects either may be present. Reputable breeders are also able to perform genetic testing to see if any of the associated markers for these two conditions are present in their British Longhair kittens before adopting them out, allowing those eventual pet parents to have a heads up on the likelihood of any future health concerns when bringing a new kitten home.
Bringing a British Longhair Kitty Home
With how low maintenance this breed is, bringing home a British Longhair is not a task you’ll have to lose much sleep over. Providing space, some toys for stimulation, healthy and breed-appropriate food, and plenty of love tend to be sufficient for these relaxed and friendly cats.
Surprisingly, despite their popularity and great reputation, British Longhairs are not overly common. When adopting from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around $800 to $1,200. It’s not often that this breed turns up in many rescues, but there are purebred cat rescues that do occasionally acquire purebred British Longhairs, often adopting these purebred options out for a rehoming fee of between $150 to $500. British Longhair mixes will likely cost quite a bit less than those that are confirmed to be purebred.
This breed is a fantastic indoor companion breed that doesn’t require much strenuous activity, but it’s still important to ensure that you provide plenty of attention, daily grooming, and proper overall care for your furry friend to keep them healthy and happy for the 12 to 15 years they’ll be able to share with you.
Whenever you find yourself in need of a drop-in visit to check up on your long-haired, lounging feline while you’re away—or any other types of care we offer—feel free to contact us here at Space Coast Pet Services and let us know what we can do to make you and your favorite pet more comfortable when life gets hectic, and you need an extra hand.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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