Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > Asian Semi-longhair Cat Breed: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Asian Semi-longhair Cat Breed: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

asian semi longhair cat

One of the youngest cat breeds — and the result of a happy accident — the Asian Semi-longhair cat has only been around since the 1980s. Also known as “Tiffanies” or “Tiffany” cats, the breed is a result of crossing a female Lilac Burmese with a male Chinchilla Persian.

The original match was a complete accident but resulted in a litter of beautiful kittens — and led to attempts to develop a new breed. New breeders decided to focus on the Burmese color pattern while introducing new colors, patterns, and fur lengths.

Breed Overview


6–8 inches


8–16 pounds


12–15 years


Black, blue, brown, chocolate, and lilac

Suitable for

Families with older children, singles, couples, and seniors


Active, sweet, social, curious, lively, attention seekers, and intelligent

The Asian Semi-longhair is one member out of the five breeds in the Asian Group of cats. While they’re a popular breed due to their beauty, they’ve only achieved recognition as a breed in the U.K. by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy1.

They’re social, love attention, and aren’t nearly as aloof as many other cat breeds. If you’ve never heard of this breed or perhaps want one of your own, this guide will tell you everything that you need to know.

Asian Semi-longhair Characteristics

High-energy cat will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy cats require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a cat to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train cats are more willing and skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Cats that are harder to train are usually more stubborn and will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some cat breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds' potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other animals. More social cats have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches, while less social cats shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to lots of different situations.


Asian Semi-longhair Kittens

new born kittens
Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock

Although the Asian Semi-longhair cat hasn’t yet been recognized by many cat associations, particularly U.S.A.-based organizations, their appearance makes them highly sought after. With their distinctive coloring, patterns, and sleek, glossy coats, the breed is an attractive addition to anyone’s family.

In the U.S.A, these cats are fairly expensive, depending on the breeder. Check shelters and rescues too, as adoption fees are generally lower than the prices asked by breeders.

Also, remember to budget for toys, veterinary visits, and food. Caring for your cat goes beyond the initial cost. Ongoing expenses should be considered before you take on the responsibility of looking after a new cat.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Asian Semi-longhair

Many Asian cat breeds are well known for their intelligence. They’re super friendly, forgoing the usual aloofness that cats are known for in favor of seeking attention from their favorite people and even strangers.

The Asian Semi-longhair is also highly inquisitive. Despite their affectionate natures, they’re not usually lap cats and much prefer to explore over curling up for a snooze.

Are These Cats Good for Families?

With how affectionate these cats are, the Asian Semi-longhair do well in a variety of family types. While they’re often wary around younger children unless they’re properly socialized when they’re kittens, this breed does well around older children, singles, and seniors.

Families who spend a great deal of time at home are best suited for these cats. The social nature of the breed makes them prone to loneliness when left on their own for too long.

Their talkative nature might make them unsuitable for apartment life, especially if you have thin walls. While you might not mind holding a lengthy conversation with your feline, the noise might be unpleasant for your neighbors. Their love of exploring might also make them too noisy for apartment life due to their tendency to run, jump, and climb on all sorts of objects around your home.

black tiffany cat lying outdoor
Image credit: Lukas Beno, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Generally, these cats will get along with dogs and other cats, provided that they’re socialized early enough. However, the Asian Semi-longhair forms strong bonds with their family members and can be prone to jealousy if they believe that another pet is stealing your attention. They enjoy ruling the house and might pick fights with other cats that don’t accept their leadership.

divider-dog paw

Things to Know When Owning an Asian Semi-longhair

Food & Diet Requirements

High-quality commercial cat food — a mixture of both wet and dry — is ideal for the Asian Semi-longhair. Meat-based recipes that are nutritionally balanced will keep your feline healthy and active. Their activity level also means they’re not generally prone to obesity, but you should still adjust their meals depending on their snack intake.

Finding a cat food brand high in omega-3 will also help boost the health of your Asian Semi-longhair’s coat.


Many people believe that cats do nothing more than nap all day. While many cats do meet this expectation, the Asian Semi-longhair isn’t one of them. Given the choice between playtime and curling up on your lap, they’ll prefer the more active option every time and love you even more if you join in too.

But their intelligence means they easily get bored if they don’t have enough activities to do. Place cat trees by windows with good views, and purchase a variety of scratching posts and toys to entertain your active kitty.

black tiffany cat
Image Credit: Lukas Beno, Shutterstock


The Asian Semi-longhair’s level of intelligence makes them relatively easy to train, but it’s their inquisitive nature that makes this task more difficult than for other trainable cat breeds. While you can train your Asian Semi-longhair to play fetch or do tricks, you need to keep training sessions short and sweet.

Their curiosity gives them a short attention span and they can get distracted by other, more interesting things. While this trait makes them easy to distract when they’re tempted to get into mischief, it can work against you when you want to teach them new tricks.


Most cats with long fur require many grooming sessions because of their thick undercoats, but the Asian Semi-longhair requires less maintenance. Due to the lack of a woolly undercoat, their fur is much finer and less likely to form mats and tangle.

This breed does benefit from a good brushing session a few times a week, though. Grooming them regularly will remove dead and loose hair from their coat, reducing the amount that they ingest when they’re cleaning themselves, which helps prevent the formation of hairballs in your cat’s intestines.

Sitting down for a grooming session is also a great way to bond with your cat and relax after a long day.

Teaching your kitten to let you brush their teeth can also help prevent the development of dental issues that this breed is prone to. Make sure you introduce a toothbrush to your cat when they’re still young, as older cats are less likely to tolerate having their teeth brushed.

Health and Conditions🏥

Although they’re not classed as an official hybrid breed, the Asian Semi-longhair benefits from the constitution of both the Burmese and the Chinchilla Persian. While there are a few health conditions that these cats are susceptible to, they’re one of the healthiest cat breeds and relatively long-lived.

If you choose to purchase your new kitten from a breeder, make sure they give you an in-depth medical history for both the kitten and the parents. It’s also a good idea if you can meet the parent cats too, so you can make sure they’re well cared for.

Serious Conditions
  • Heart conditions
  • Dental issues
  • Kidney failure
Minor Conditions
  • Allergies

Male vs. Female

Beyond the obvious differences between males and females — the males being generally larger and heavier — there isn’t much of a change between the sexes. Some owners believe that female cats tend to have less unwanted behavior, such as marking, but they can spray and yowl when they’re in heat. Most of these unwanted behaviors can be managed by getting your cat spayed or neutered.

Personality-wise, both male and female Asian Semi-longhair cats have similar temperaments. There may, however, be a few differences depending on the individual cat that you add to your family. One might be more outgoing with their affection, and another may be more reserved around strangers.

divider-dog paw

3 Little-Known Facts About the Asian Semi-longhair

The Asian Semi-longhair cat is only about 40 years old, so they don’t have quite as much history as the Burmese and Persian breeds that they’re descended from. They do have a few quirks that you might find interesting, though.

1. The Asian Semi-longhair isn’t Asian

Despite their name, the Asian Semi-longhair — and incidentally, the other Asian breeds that originated from the same accidental breeding — didn’t originate in Asia. They’re actually from the U.K. and aren’t nearly as old as you might think. The first litter was born in 1981, and the breed hasn’t quite become a worldwide favorite yet among cat breed organizations.

Their name isn’t a complete misnomer, however. While the Asian Semi-longhair wasn’t originally introduced in Asia, they are descended from Asian cat breeds. Both the Chinchilla Persian and the Burmese originated in Southwest and Southeast Asia, respectively.

2. They love to socialize

Many people dislike cats due to their aloof natures. The Asian Semi-longhair, however, takes great pleasure in breaking the typical feline stereotype. While you might get a few members of the breed refusing to say much to anyone, the majority are delighted to spend time with people.

While they’re less vocal than the Siamese, they’re still happy to talk your ear off or respond when you talk to them. They’re even brave enough to greet your guests if you invite people over.

3. Asian Semi-longhair cats don’t have a woolly undercoat

Unlike other longhaired cat breeds and the other Asian breeds that are styled after the Burmese, Asian semi-longhair cats don’t have a thick undercoat. It’s what gives them their sleek, silky appearance.


Final Thoughts

Despite starting as a happy accident and their lack of recognition by most cat breed associations, the Asian Semi-longhair is a favorite among cat owners. Their sleek, glossy fur and beautiful coloring make them one of the prettiest and most in-demand cats around today.

Intelligent and inquisitive, the Asian Semi-longhair loves to spend their day exploring all sorts of places, and they much prefer playing games over curling up in your lap. They don’t like being left alone for too long, though, so try to make sure you give them plenty of activities and interact with them often.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets