British Longhair


The British longhair, also known as highlander or British longhair in Spanish, is the long-haired variety of the British shorthair, with which it shares the friendly and balanced character, as well as the not very active lifestyle.


Breed Origin:
Great Britain
Life Span:
15 - 20+ years
Average Weight:
8 - 15 lbs
Hair Quantity:
General Health:

Origin and History

The British Longhair is essentially the longhaired counterpart of the British Shorthair. This breed shares much of its history with the British Shorthair, originating from the same stock of domestic cats in Britain that were later refined into the distinct breeds we recognize today. The longhaired gene in British cats is a natural variation, and over time, selective breeding has enhanced and stabilized the longhaired trait, leading to the development of the British Longhair as a distinct breed. However, it wasn’t until relatively recently that breeders began to specifically focus on developing the British Longhair as a breed separate from the British Shorthair, promoting its recognition in cat fancier communities. Despite their growing popularity, British Longhairs are not as widely recognized as their shorthaired relatives in some cat registries.


British Longhairs share the sturdy, compact body structure and broad face of the British Shorthair but are distinguished by their longer, flowing coat. Their coat is thick and dense, providing a luxurious feel that requires regular grooming to maintain its condition and prevent matting. Like the British Shorthair, British Longhairs have a wide range of coat colors and patterns, including but not limited to solid, tabby, and colorpoint.

These cats have round, expressive eyes that can vary in color, often reflecting the coat color or pattern. Their physical build is robust and muscular, giving them a powerful and substantial presence, while their full cheeks and rounded ears contribute to their charming and gentle appearance.

Personality and Temperament

The British Longhair shares the British Shorthair’s calm and easygoing temperament. They are affectionate, friendly, and enjoy the company of their human families but are not overly demanding of attention. British Longhairs are known for their intelligence and playful nature, often showing a kitten-like enthusiasm for games throughout their lives.

They adapt well to indoor living and are suited to a variety of home environments, making excellent companions for individuals, couples, and families alike. Their gentle disposition makes them good companions for children and other pets. Despite their sociable nature, they are quite content to spend time alone, making them a good choice for people with busy lifestyles.


The British Longhair is generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. These may include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD), similar to the British Shorthair. The longer coat of the British Longhair requires regular grooming to avoid tangles and matting, and attention should be given to their diet to prevent obesity, a common issue in less active breeds.

With proper care, including regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and sufficient grooming, British Longhairs can enjoy a long and healthy life. Their lifespan is similar to that of the British Shorthair, typically ranging from 12 to 20 years.

In summary, the British Longhair combines the robust build and affable nature of the British Shorthair with the added elegance of a long, luxurious coat. This breed is cherished for its balanced temperament, making it a delightful companion for a wide range of cat enthusiasts.

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