Federation Internationale Feline World Cat Federation
The British Longhair is a longer-haired development from the longstanding British Shorthair breed. In the mid-20th century, British Shorthairs were interbred with imported long-haired varieties, like the Turkish Angora and what today is called the Traditional Persian, with an aim to producing more stout and round-faced stock, while retaining the short coat. As a result of this hybridization, British catteries have frequently produced (generally unwanted) semi-long-haired specimens among their litters. In more recent years, these have been intentionally bred (often outside the UK) to each other and sometimes to standard British Shorthairs, to establish a consistent, formalized British Longhair breed.
The British is an imposing breed. Their large, round face should have a sweet open expression, with a smug rounded muzzle. Chubby cheeks and no-neck, blend into a stocky, semi-cobby, muscular, wide and firm body. Their coat is dense and rich, plush and thick in both shorthair and longhair varieties. Slightly reserved in temperament, they are a four feet on the floor breed, and like to be handled with gentle firmness and supported when carried.
Shape: Round, a series of 3 circles defines the head 1st broad round muzzle, 2nd broad round head and 3rd full round chubby cheeks. Broad, wide cheek bones with smooth transition to muzzle, great width at eye level. Rounded front and top head, well rounded from any angle. Large in males, medium in females.
Ears: Small to medium, broad at the base and rounded. Set wide apart on the rounded top head, but not extreme or flared.
Eyes: Large, round, level in head, set wide apart to show width of nose. Intense, eye color preferred. Color conforms to coat color with exception of silver division where copper is accepted as well as green.
Muzzle and Chin: Heavy muzzle with great width and smooth transition towards the cheekbones. Firm chin in line with nose, completing the circle of the face.
Profile and Nose: Short straight snub nose, stop, well pronounced change of direction towards the rounded front head. No flat planes above the nose.
Neck: Short, thick, heavily muscled, creating the appearance of no neck, blending with the cheeks.
Torso: Semi-cobby. Wide, sturdy, muscular, firm,powerful, well rounded, chest and considerable depth of flank. The shoulders are broad and flat at the wither; the hips are the same width. Back is level. Females proportionately smaller
Boning: Substantial. Large to medium.
Musculature: Sturdy, firm, not soft.
Legs and Feet: Legs medium to short length from floor to belly should be slightly less than from belly to back. Round feet, medium to large in size.
Tail: Thick at base, straight, tapering slightly to a rounded tip. Two-thirds the length of the body.
Length: Semi-long, with ruff and britches desirable.
Pattern: In torties brindling is allowed.
Weight — 4-8 kg.
These genial British cats are friendly and affectionate, enjoying attention in an undemanding manner. The happy-go-lucky males command respect but welcome attention from everyone while the more serious females are true British ladies expecting proper form and etiquette from those whose attentions they accept. These loyal and devoted companions are not lap cats but want to be where you are, snuggling up beside you on the sofa. While not very active cats, they do have their mad moments to chase around acting the clown like kittens. These intelligent cats are quiet and unobtrusive ruling their indoor kingdoms with a calm demeanor. They definitely look before they leap and do not engage in high-flying acrobatics. They are tolerant with children and dogs but do not like to be carried around, preferring to maintain their dignity with their feet firmly on the floor. They are quite content with their own company, quietly amusing themselves in your absence and waiting patiently for your return.
As with other breeds of longhaired and semi-longhaired cats, the British Longhair will need regular grooming to ensure that the dense coat does not become tangled or matted, particularly in autumn and winter when it tends to be fuller. It is recommended that their cats are combed through every day, which will alert owners to any possible problems, with a thorough brushing a couple of times a week, which will also help to reduce the amount of moulting onto furnishings and carpets. This breed will eat most good quality proprietary brands of cat food, but will also enjoy treats of cooked chicken, ham and grated cheese, but not too many extra treats! As they often lead a rather sedentary life style, care must be taken that they do not become overweight, which is especially true of the neutered pets that may not exercise off their calorific intake. It is generally reckoned that they need about 70 calories of food to every Kg of weight per day. Cows’ milk may give them a stomach upset, though less likely than for many other breeds, and a bowl of water should always be available.
Lifespan — 14-20 years.
Good with children, good with household cats and dogs.
British Longhairs are more likely to suffer from kidney complaints than various other cats.
British Longhairs can be prone to obesity if neutered or kept as indoor-only cats.
Like most longer-haired cats, they require brushing or are prone to matting. Autumn and winter are the seasons when they have the highest risk of tangles because their coat thickens in preparation for winter.