British Longhair - Breed Description
Place of Origin: UK, 1800s
Breed Registries: EFF, TICA
Weight Range: 4-8kg
Grooming: 2-3 times a week
Colours and Patterns: Same colours as recognized in
the British Shorthair
This chunky, handsome cat has a long, flowing coat and a happy-go-lucky nature.
This cat, known as the Lowlander in the USA and the Britanica in Europe, is the longer-haired cousin of the British Shorthair. The two are identical in body shape, sharing the same sturdy build, massive head, and round face, and both come in the same range of colours. Not all pedigree cat registries regard the British Longhair as a separate breed. Regardless of its official status, this cat makes an excellent pet, as it has a calm, easy-going, people-loving temperament. The long coat needs moderate grooming to keep it tangle-free.
The British Longhair originated during the years between 1914 and 1918 when during World War I many cats in Britain became scarce. By the end of the war quality breeding lines were very rare including those of the British Shorthair. Breeders had to find a way to build back up their quality lines and began to pair the British Shorthair with the Persian to regain the look and quality that had been lost. The breeders slowly built their way back up to wonderful lines and were doing quite well when World War II struck. This war did far more damage to the British Shorthair lines due to all the bombing that occurred in Britain then the previous war had. By the time World War II ended the registered BRI lines were all but extinct. There were a few breeders left with some registered cats, and again they used the Persian lines to help rebuild their beloved breed. Other breeds were also used to help rebuild the BRI lines including Chartreux from France, the Russian Blue, and the Burmese. The numbers of registered cats in these breeds had also been hurt badly during the war and their breeders were happy to use the remaining British Shorthair cats to help reestablish their lines.
Today there are some lines of British Shorthair cats that can produce the beautiful British Longhair coat type. In order to produce this hair type you must have a parent that is carrier of the long hair gene. This is a recessive gene that will pop up within a litter from time to time. It is more popular in Europe where the British Shorthair breed originated. The long hair is seen more in those countries then in the United States and Great Britain. I do occasionally have a British Longhair gene pop up in a litter and may have one or two longhaired kittens available. These kittens are the exact same as the British Shorthair only they have a longer length to their coats. Their coats are similar to the Persian and are in the same colorations as the regular British Shorthairs. Their face shapes are the wonderful roundness that I love in my shorthairs, and their eyes are very round. They have the same stocky body as the shorthaired kittens, and will grow to the same sizes as my shorthaired kittens. The only difference is that they are more fluffy and will appear larger. They have the look of a Persian with the sound health of the British Shorthair. They have the more outgoing personality of the British Shorthair and are sweet as can be.
The British Shorthair and British Longhair are powerful cats. The British Shorthair is compact, well-balanced and powerful, showing good depth of body, a full broad chest, short to medium strong legs, rounded paws, tail thick at base with a rounded tip. The head is round with good width between the ears, round cheeks, firm chin, medium ears, large round and wellopened eyes, and a medium broad nose. The coat is short and extremely plush dense with a crisp feel to it making you want to bury your hands in its luxurious pile. The British Longhair adds length to the dense coat so it stands out from the body emphasizing the cat's imposing lines. In most colors, large, round eyes ranging from deep gold through copper are set into the smiling face. In pointed cats the eyes are blue while deep green eyes shine in the silvers. The classic Blue remains the most popular color however the breed comes in a rainbow of colors.