Cat BreedsPet Animals

British Longhair: Size, Weight, Care, Personality Full Info

The British Longhair is a medium-sized, short, muscular cat breed with a broad chest and a love of lounging. Beneath the impressive straight, elastic, and weather-proof coat, lies a compact and powerful cat with a broad chest, short, strong legs, and neat round paws. The coat is semi-long-haired and should be dense, with plenty of fur on the legs and ears.

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Size: Medium
  • Weight: 8–16 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15-17 years
  • Colors: Solid, tabby, parti-color and dilutes.

Breed characteristics

British Longhair cats combine the characteristics of British Shorthair and Persian cats. They are calm, even-tempered animals that are ideal for keeping at home in most cases. Like most cats, they love attention and loving contact with ‘their’ people, especially regular stroking and play sessions.

It’s especially important for house-based animals to participate in extensive play—cats with outdoor access also enjoy playing with their owners. The British Longhair is a very docile cat that loves mental stimulation. Give your cat countless toys and play opportunities – from the classic toy mouse to balls or intelligence games, now on offer for both cats and dogs. Your cat will love hunting for its food!

The myth that cats are not trainable applies only in limited cases. It is true that cats cannot be trained like dogs, but they are very fast learners. Consistency is important for cats too. For example, don’t let your cat beg at the table – this is especially relevant for cat breeds that spend most of their day indoors and are therefore less active and prone to being overweight.

Apartment Living: 5PointPotential for Weight Gain: 4Point
General Health: 3PointIntelligence: 3Point
Child Friendly: 5PointTendency to run away: 2Point
Amount of Shedding: 4PointPlayfulness: 3Point
Energy level: 3PointDog friendly: 3Point


The British Longhair is a relatively new breed, directly descended from the British Shorthair cat. By the end of the First World War, the British Shorthair population had declined dramatically. Breeders worked hard to save these amazing cats, along with many other breeds, including Persians.

Longhair kittens did not qualify as British Shorthairs, although they made excellent pets, as they shared many of the traits that made the breed so popular.

The British Shorthair cat breed was nearly wiped out again during World War II, causing breeders to go out again. In addition to Persians, British Shorthairs were crossed with Burmese, Chartreux, and Russian Blue cats. Once again, kittens with medium to long hair were not accepted for the registry.

Amazingly, and even though these wonderful cats date back to the first half of the 20th century, the British Longhair breed was only recognized by TICA in 2009. The Cat Fanciers’ Association does not recognize the British Longhair cat.


British Longhair cats are medium in size with long hair and pleasant, round faces. Their large round eyes, sweet expressions, and plush coats give this breed an adorable charm. Beneath all their fluff, these cats have muscular, strong bodies. British Longhairs typically weigh 8-16 pounds, with males typically weighing more.

British Longhair coats are thick and straight, standing away from the body to make these cats appear larger than they really are. Their coats are also soft, and thick and come in many colors including black, lilac, chocolate, or golden. They may also have a bi-color, ticked, or colorpoint pattern. British Longhair cats shed lighter than other longhair breeds, but they have a thicker undercoat.

British Longhairs are often compared in appearance to British Shorthairs and Persian cats, and for good reason – British Longhairs follow the same breed standard as British Shorthairs, except for their long, soft coats. The gorgeous mane of the British Longhair is the result of the Persian cat side of their pedigree.


These sweet cats are just as pleasant as their smiling faces would suggest. British Longhair cats are known for their relaxed, calm demeanor and tolerant attitude. These cats don’t work easily—some might even call them lazy! While they may behave in typical playful kitten fashion at certain times, they are significantly less active than most cat breeds and become less active with age. They sleep little even by feline standards.

But these lovable cats are more than just couch potato companions. They are highly intelligent, social, and affectionate. The British Longhair is a loyal breed that loves people and tolerates most environments.

Although they are very social, these cats also have an independent streak and often feel good doing their own thing. That doesn’t mean these cats will always leave you alone – in fact, they’ve been described as little “private investigators”. As is true for cats in pop culture, these cats are pretty weird. Don’t be surprised to see these cats clawing at your personal belongings or observing you closely to see what you’re up to.

British Longhair cats are affectionate and tolerant of children, but they don’t really like to be picked on. Parents should take the time to teach young children not to pick up these adorable cats, and instead meet them on the floor to pet and play.


As a kitten, the British Longhair is a playful and adorable animal, with wide eyes and fluff. As they mature, they tend to adopt a more thoughtful and lazy demeanor, more given to planning and scheming than physical involvement in cat-based chaos. They enjoy some time outdoors but are a bit more trusting and slow to react, given free access to the wider world, and will require supervision and, ideally, a cat-proof garden or enclosed ‘catio’.

The British Longhair is not a demanding cat, and as a quiet animal, they are very easy to ignore, so care should be taken to ensure they are given plenty of social contact and ‘family time.


Although Highlanders are generally uncomplicated cats, they suffer from some of the typical ailments suffered by their short-haired relatives. As with the British Shorthair, obesity, for example, is a major problem for pets kept primarily indoors. The best antidote to this is regular exercise. Get into the swing of things and enjoy playing with your cat!

The British Longhair is increasingly suffering from polycystic kidney disease. As this hereditary disease is more common in British Shorthair and Persian cats, British Longhairs are also affected as a cross between these two breeds. Kidney cysts develop very early in the young years and can be detected very easily by ultrasound.

In addition, a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs frequently in British Longhairs. Regular heart ultrasound is the best way to identify the disease in its early stages and exclude affected animals from breeding. Although there is no cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, early diagnosis offers the possibility of treatment to ensure that affected cats still live long life.


Grooming can be a task, thanks to the breed’s signature long locks. You will need to brush them twice a week with a bristle brush, working gently and in small sections. Bathing needs are infrequent, as British longhairs often take care of that task themselves. Because of all this self-grooming, your British Longhair cat swallows a lot of hair and develops hairballs. Help your cat shed by brushing more often or giving it a hairball relief treatment.

British Longhair cats are a bit lazy, and owners will need to encourage them to move. Encourage frequent play, provide cat trees to climb, and interactive cat toys to play with.

DVM, CVJ, and Royal Canin Veterinary Partner Natalie L. “Weight management is very important for these cats because they are less active as adults than other cat breeds,” says Marks. “They are overweight so daily exercise is essential.”

Best Food For

In terms of its nutritional needs, the British Longhair is not very different from other cat breeds. The best basis for nutrition is high-quality wet or dry food that is high in meat and protein with plenty of fresh water. Plant-based substances or by-products should be at the bottom of your cat’s ingredient list.

To make it easier to get rid of any fur they swallow, you can treat your Highlander to food with added benefits. Dry food for long-haired cats or treats that support molting make it easier to get rid of hairballs naturally. Cat grass is another good option for cats who hate hairballs!

If your vet has diagnosed HCM or kidney cysts, you can specifically target your cat’s diet for these. Your trusted vet can make concrete suggestions for you.

We wish you and your friendly British Longhair a wonderful life together!


Because British Longhairs are prone to overeating, it is important to take good care of their diet to avoid becoming overweight.

Every cat is unique and each has its own unique likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The amount of these nutrients vary based on age, lifestyle, and overall health, so it’s no surprise that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in its diet than a less active senior cat. Other things to keep in mind are feeding the right amount of food to maintain an ‘ideal body condition’ according to dietary guidelines and catering to individual preferences regarding wet or dry food recipes.


British Longhairs will need daily grooming, just like small kittens, so they are familiar with and happy with the process before they grow a super thick coat. They will try to groom themselves, but they are unlikely to do an effective job. Check around the face for food debris and discharge from the eyes, and check their bottoms for dirt after defecating.

Remember that a greasy coat can be evidence that your cat is no longer trying to groom itself, which can be an indicator of poor or failing health or being overweight. Like all cats, British Longhairs benefit from regular vaccinations, parasite control, and annual veterinary health checks.


British Longhairs are intelligent cats and social, which makes them easy to train. Training them to receive and obey commands when they are young will help them develop their behavior in a positive way.


Because British Longhairs like to rest and are naturally less active than many other cat breeds, they may need some encouragement to play. In addition to catnip mice and other interesting toys, consider a laser pointer and at least one teaser stick. All cats need at least one scratching post, and a perch like a cat tree or window seat would be appreciated.

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British Longhair Price

British Longhair kittens from a reputable breeder usually cost between $800-$1,200 depending on the pedigree.

Are British Longhair cats friendly?

They are highly intelligent, social, and affectionate. The British Longhair is a loyal breed that loves people and tolerates most environments. Although they are very social, these cats also have an independent streak and often feel good doing their own thing.

Is British Longhair a Persian cat?

Both varieties follow the same breed standards, the only difference between them being that the British Longhair has long, soft fur as a result of crossing with Persian cats.

How long do British Longhair cats live?

The British Longhair is best suited to living indoors due to its sedentary lifestyle. Generally speaking, a healthy longhair will weigh 12 pounds, with an average lifespan of 18-20 years.

Is a British Longhair cat an indoor cat?

British Longhair cats combine the characteristics of British Shorthair and Persian cats. They are calm, even-tempered animals that are ideal for keeping at home in most cases. Like most cats, they love attention and loving contact with ‘their’ people, especially regular stroking and play sessions.

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