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Home > Cats > Cat Breeds > British Longhair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

British Longhair Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

British longhair cat standing in a garden

If you are crazy about cats with soft and sumptuous coats, then the British Longhair should please you! This is the long-haired variant of the British Shorthair. This royal feline also inherited the rounded silhouette and the gentle and easy-going temperament of the Shorthair. This cat adapts to life in an apartment and in a house and will delight a family with children as well as a single or elderly person.

Breed Overview


12 – 15 inches


8 – 15 pounds


10 – 15 years


Wide variety of colors

Suitable for:

Singles, families, people living in an apartment


Affectionate, friendly, independent, gentle, gets along with dogs and other cats

Do you want to know more about this superb breed and discover all its secrets? All the answers to your questions and even more are down below!

British Longhair Cat 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.


British Longhair Kittens

Purebred cats, and especially those as magnificent and sought after as the British Longhair, are not within the reach of all budgets. Prices vary depending on the breeder, parent pedigree, and your location. Be careful if you come across a breeder or an online seller who offers you a purebred kitten at a fraction of this price: they are often unscrupulous breeders who do not provide the best breeding conditions for their animals or offer purebred cats without any papers.

Be sure to check animal shelters too, as there are often little furry wonders eagerly awaiting a forever home.

Temperament & Intelligence of the British Longhair Cat

Purebred cats can inherit breed-specific physical and behavioral traits from their parents, but it’s impossible to accurately predict your kitten’s temperament. Much depends on its socialization, environment, and breeding conditions. However, be aware that the British Longhair is generally a calm, reserved, easy-going cat, very affectionate towards its favorite human, and tolerant of the presence of other pets in the house.

British Longhair
Image By: sab_k, Pixabay

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Absolutely! The British Longhair is friendly, even patient with young children. It is a cat that loves to curl up in a ball on its owner’s lap, which is particularly comforting for people living alone.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The British Longhair generally has no problem cohabiting with dogs and other feline friends. Like all cats, he can be more independent at times but does not really enjoy solitude for too long. If his owner is often away, he will greatly appreciate having another four-legged friend to play with all day long!


Things to Know When Owning a British Longhair Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements

The British Longhair needs to eat dry kibble, wet food, or a combination of the two to thrive and maintain the beauty of its coat. His diet should consist of high-quality proteins, fats, some carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. You will also need to adjust its portions based on its age and level of daily exercise.

If your cat does not go outside, consider offering him some cat grass to improve his intestinal transit and facilitate the elimination of hairballs.

Exercise 🐈

The British Longhair is not a very energetic cat: he would rather nap on your lap or on his favorite pillow than chase the laser pointer! However, as he is a breed that is quick to gain weight, you will need to stimulate him physically and mentally. Provide him with a whole range of accessories and interactive games, make him a jungle gym, and buy a multi-level cat tree. And above all, spend time every day playing with your kitten: this will strengthen your bond while keeping him slender and in top shape!

Training 🧶

The British Longhair is intelligent and curious: with a little patience, you can teach him many tricks, such as fetching the ball or his favorite stuffed animal, sitting down, and even giving a high-five! Of course, cats can’t be trained exactly like dogs, but they can be taught tricks by rewarding them with treats or using a clicker.

Grooming ✂️

You won’t be surprised to learn that the beautiful fur of the British Longhair needs a little more care than that of a shorthaired cat.

Brush your cat once or twice a week to avoid knots and tangles in the undercoat. During shedding, you will need to brush him more frequently to remove layers of dead hair.

Additionally, long-haired cats tend to have more hairballs, given the amount of hair they ingest daily. So, to help your kitty eliminate his hairballs more easily, provide him with a small pot full of cat grass. However, if your cat is regurgitating hairballs very frequently, you should visit the vet for a checkup.

Health and Conditions 🏥

British Longhair cats can develop similar inherited conditions as Shorthairs, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Obesity is also a disease to be feared for these lazy cats.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): This inherited disease is also common in British Shorthairs and Persians. Kidney cysts develop very early, even at an early age, and can be detected very easily by ultrasound.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is the most common form of heart disease in felines and British Shorthair and Longhair cats are predisposed to developing the disease. A regular cardiac ultrasound is the best way to detect the disease early enough. On the other hand, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cannot be treated, but early diagnosis opens up treatment options that could prolong the life of your beloved cat.

Male vs Female

There is little difference between the male and female British Longhair apart from the fact that the male tends to be a bit heavier and bulkier than the female.

As for the behavior of your future kitten, male kittens have the reputation for being more playful and dynamic, whie small females are known for being shy and reserved. But in truth, this can be the case for all kittens, regardless of breed and gender. Because within a litter, there are very different temperaments that can be observed between the little ones. Therefore, close observation of their attitudes is preferable to making a choice rather than focusing on gender.


3 Little-Known Facts About the British Longhair Cat

1. The British Longhair Breed Was Created By Accident

World War II almost sounded the death knell for the British Shorthair, which until then had been very popular in the United Kingdom. To save the breed, breeders have made crosses between several breeds, including Russian Blue, Persian, and Burmese. However, these crosses led to cats with longer hair, which were initially rejected from breeding. Fortunately, other breeders decided to select them to create the new breed of British Longhair that we know today.

2. They Have Hundreds of Possible Color Combinations

British Longhair cats have an (almost) endless combination of coat colors. Their color shades range from classic black and brown to blue, lilac, fawn, and cream, to cinnamon and red. Besides, black, white, and tricolor cats look similar to long-haired domestic cats.

3. The British Longhair Tends to Be Chubby

Due to his aversion to exercise and greediness, the British Longhair cat is prone to being overweight. Avoid giving him too many treats, watch his portions carefully, and provide him with interactive toys and a cat tree to play with.

person scratching the neck of a British long-haired cat
Image By: AlexDonin, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The British Longhair cat’s gentle and lovable personality, chubby face, and independent nature make them a top choice for families or single people. But before acquiring one of these wonderful felines, be sure to find a breeder you can trust. Once you can all one your own, rest assured you’ll have a friend for life!

Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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