Relaxed | Loyal | Lazy. If you want your very own teddy bear in cat form, this kitty is for you! Today we’ll be covering everything there is to know about the British Longhair, the UK’s cuddliest furball. So, whether you’re thinking about adding a British Longhair to your fur-fam or already have one at home to snuggle with (we’re very jealous), this breed guide is for you.
British Longhair Basics:
Average Lifespan: 12- 17 years
Average Weight: Male: 4kg – 7.7kg Female: 3.2kg – 6kg
Colours: Black, blue, cream, red, grey, lilac
Patterns: Solid colour, tabby, bi-colour
History of the British Longhair:
The British Longhair is a relatively new breed of cat, only being officially recognised as a pedigree breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2009. However, this chubby chipmunk-cheeked cat’s origins couldn’t be more ancient. British Longhairs are descendants of British Shorthair Cats which were originally imported to the UK from Egypt by the Romans when they invaded Britain in 43AD.
To get their famous cuddly-long hair, British Shorthairs were bred with Persian Cats between 1914-1918, introducing the long-haired genetics and thus gifting the world with the British Longhair Cat.
How much do British Longhairs cost?
British Longhair cats can cost anywhere between £100 to £2500 for a healthy kitty from a safe home.
Don't forget to check out rehoming charities for floof's in need of a loving home!
What do British Longhair Cats Look Like?
With its smiley chubby cheeked face, round eyes, and wide-set ears similar to that of its British Shorthaired cousin, you can see why the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland was based on the faces of these cuties.
British Longhairs have a sturdy, muscular build, and, similar to Persians, have a plush double coat with a thick-insulating undercoat and a soft top coat. Although these kitties shed less than other long-haired breeds, their fur is prone to matting so regular grooming is still a must for these cats.
Their Persian-like main and coat come in a range of colours and patterns, from solid black, to bi-colour cream and red, to tabby, giving pet owners a range to choose from.
Here’s a sketch we made earlier of the anatomy of a British Longhair Cat:
British Longhair Temperament and Personality
Once a proficient hunter and protector of barns and Roman soldier’s goods, nowadays British Longhairs prefer to snuggle up with their hooman companion or snooze on the edge of the sofa. With this, they are often described as lazy cats, but this laid-back temperament can make them the perfect family cat due to their tolerant and affectionate personalities.
Like all cats, British Longhairs still enjoy their playtime, now swapping hunting mice and rats for feather wands, so make sure to set aside some time each day to enrich their lives with play and toys. Once British Longhairs get familiar with their hooman families, they are known for being fiercely loyal and patient, ideal for those with young children and cat-friendly dogs.
Do British Longhairs Shed?
Although British Longhair Cats don’t shed as much as other long-haired breeds, they still require regular grooming to prevent knots and matting of their fur. Like all double-coated felines, they will shed more heavily twice per year in Spring to get rid of their heavy winter coat, and in Autumn to prepare for the next winter coat to grow in.
Make sure you set aside some time once or twice per week to give your British Longhair a good brush to keep them looking purr-fect. Start doing this from a young age so they get used to their grooming time, this will make it much more enjoyable for you and your fur baby.
British Longhair Health Conditions
With great diet and exercise habits, British Longhairs are generally very healthy cats. Their lifespan is anywhere from 12 – 17 years of age but some domestic British Longhairs have been known to live as long as 20 years.
However, British Longhairs do have a genetic predisposition to some health conditions that have been passed down to them from their Shorthaired and Persian relatives.
These include Polycystic Kidney Disease where cysts in the kidneys impair their function and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy where the walls of the heart thicken making it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently.
These cats also love their food and are known for being lazy, often opting for lunch and a nap rather than going for a kitty-cat jog. This makes obesity and diabetes a risk for these cats, so it’s essential to feed them a high-quality nutritious cat food and set aside at least 15 minutes of daily playtime to give them the exercise they need.
Feeding a British Longhair
British Longhairs don’t have any specific nutritional requirements per se, however, their love for everything food and penchant for slothing around makes them prone to stacking on a few extra pounds. That’s why it's so important to feed them a nutritionally complete natural cat food and stick to recommended feeding levels.
Like all cats, British Longhairs are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat a diet high in animal protein to thrive. Moderate levels of healthy fats, small amounts of carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals are also impawtent to keep these kitties in tip-top shape.
At Scrumbles, we want all cats to be glowing from the inside out, so we load all of our complete dry cat food and complete wet cat food with high levels of animal protein, and prebiotics or probiotics for happy tums and pretty poops. We also make sure all of our ingredients are natural, grain-free, responsibly sourced and of course delicious, to keep even the fussiest of felines purring.
So, whether you want a living teddy-bear to cuddle up with on the sofa, or want an easy-going pet that’s perfect for families of all ages, the British Longhair might be just what you need!
If you have a British Longhair Cat at home be sure to tag us @scrumbles with all of your cuddly kitty pics!
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