Pet Advisor Blog

British Longhair – Cat Breed Guide

Adopt a British Longhair, Cat Breed Guide


The British Longhair is a domesticated cat breed that is very similar to the British Shorthair breed where it was bred from. Both British breeds share the same set of standards except for the length and texture of the coat.

The British Longhair is often considered as the long coated variety of the British Short hair. The breed owes its existence to the Persian cat breed and the popularity of the exotic longhair cats during the early part of the 20th century. During this time, Persians were crossed with British Shorthairs to produce a longhair gene of the British breed. This eventually led to the birth of the modern day British Longhair.

The British Longhair is recognized as a variety of the British cat breed by the The Livre Officiel des Origines Félines. The International Cat Association and the World Cat Federation recognizes the British Longhair as a pedigree. The Southern African Cat Council recognizes the breed’s existence and classifies as a breed under Preliminary Status group.

Official Name

British Longhair
It is also called as British LH or Brit Longhair


The British Longhair comes from the British Shorthair breed. The origin of this Brit breed may be traced back to the time that the Persian cat was introduced to the British Shorthair’s breeding development program between the years 1914 and 1918. The Persian-British SH cross resulted to a longhair gene in the British Shorthair’s lineage. Since then all longhaired cats were added to the foundation stock of the modern Persian breed. Later on, the Persian lineage started producing longhaired cats and shorthaired specimens that are very different than the British Shorthair. This gave way to the birth of the Exotic Shorthair and all longhaired cats from the British lineage were no longer added to the Persian bloodlines. From then on, these cats where recognized as British Longhairs.

Quick FAQs
Size: British Longhair cats come in sized ranging from Medium to Large.
Coat Type: British Longhairs have silky coats that are semi-long in length.
Body Type: British Longhair cats have bodies that are semi-cobby in type.
Grooming Requirement: British Longhair cats require a lot of grooming attention as their long coats is prone to matting. These cats should be groomed regularly. Special attention is also required during autumn and winter seasons as their long coats thicken in preparation for colder weather conditions. This is the time that their coats are prone to tangling.
Vocal Tendency: British Longhair cats are known to be very quiet and not as talkative compared to other shorthaired and longhaired cat breeds.
Energy Levels: British Longhair cats have fairly low activity levels.
Time Alone: British Longhair cats require about 8 hours of alone time every day.
Care: British Longhairs will need moderate amount of attention and will be very easy to handle.

Recognized by:
Southern African Cat Council
The International Cat Association
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines
World Cat Federation

The British Longhair was bred from the British Shorthair. In 1914, the British Shorthair breed underwent a four year development program that introduced the Persian cat to its bloodline. The crossed between the British Shorthairs and the Persian cats produced a longhair gene on the British Shorthair lineage. After 1918, short coated cats were classified as British Shorthairs and longhair cats were added to the Persian cat’s breeding development program. During this time, Persian cats were considered the longhaired versions of the British Shorthair breed. By the later part of the 20th century, the breeding development of Persian cats produced shorthaired specimens that are very different from the British Shorthair. A serious breeding program was done and the shorthaired variety of Persians eventually became the Exotic Shorthair breed. Since then, longhaired specimens from the British breeds where no longer added to the Persian breeding stock, and was proposed to be officially “re-introduced” as the British Longhair cat breed.


British Longhairs are genial cats that will display its friendliness and very affectionate disposition. They love attention but will not be demanding. Like British people, these cats are known to behave according to gender. Male British Longhairs are happy-go-lucky and often commands respect but will not be snobbish and will welcome everyone who gives them attention. Female British Longhairs stay true to what is expected with the traditional British lady, prim and proper to people and animals they interact with. Overall, these are intelligent cats that will be quiet and calm, tolerant with children and other dogs, dignified and patient.

British Longhair cats are medium to large sized domesticated felines that have powerful and very sturdy semi-cobby bodies. This cat breed gives an impression of a well-balanced cat that will display power as well as a sweet demeanor.

British Longhair cats are well-balanced and powerful felines with compact bodies. They share very similar physical traits except for the coat length and texture.
British Longhair cats have semi-cobby type bodies that are powerful, well knit and ranges from medium to large in size. These cats have a prominent chest that is deep and broad in appearance.
Head, Ears and Eyes
British Longhair cats have massive round heads that are set on their thick and short neck. These cats have medium sized set of ears that are broad at the base and with rounded tips. Their ears are set far from each other but fitting perfectly into the rounded contours of their big round heads. The eyes of these cats are large and round in shape. Eye colors will depend on the color of the cat’s coat.
Coat and Tail
British Longhair cats have tails that are medium in length with a thick base tapering to a tip that is rounded. These Brit-type cats have coats that is semi-long, straight and silky coats that have a fluff-plush texture with a thick or well-bodied undercoat. These cats have a well furnished ruff and britches.
Longhair cats come in any color or pattern except for lavender, the Himalayan pattern, or these combinations with white.
British Longhairs are very prone to obesity if they are kept as indoor cats and not given ample time to stretch outdoors. Brit Longhairs that are neutered will be more prone to have weight problems.