Unsurprisingly, the American Longhair is a cat breed that originated in the United States. It isn’t as recognized as the better-known cat breeds that can be found out there. However, the American Longhair isn’t exactly a new thing either, seeing as how it has been around since the 1960s.
1. Not the Maine Coon
The standardization of terminology is important because its lack can produce a great deal of confusion. To name an example, the American Longhair doesn’t always refer to the American Longhair. Sometimes, it is used as another name for the Maine Coon, which is a U.S. cat breed that is famous for being on the bigger side of things while being gentle and good-natured. Here, American Longhair refers to a very different cat breed.
2. Not Related to the Maine Coon
Speaking of which, it should be mentioned that the American Longhair isn’t related to the Maine Coon. This is worth mentioning because the American Longhair being the American Longhair, it should come as no surprise to learn that the cat breed came into existence because of an interest in creating another long-haired cat breed. Naturally, the process involved crossbreeding with long-haired cat breeds. However, the Maine Coon wasn’t one of those chosen candidates.
3. Created Using the American Shorthair
By this point, interested individuals might be able to guess that the American Longhair was created using the American Shorthair. After all, if it is called the American Longhair, it stands to reason that it was created using a cat breed with a similar name. Regardless, the American Shorthair was once called the Domestic Shorthair before being renamed in 1966 for a couple of reasons. One, the new name was meant to be a better representation of its all-American nature. Two, the new name was meant to distinguish it from the domestic short-haired cats that can be found in North America, which are similar-looking but not the same as the American Shorthair.
4. The American Shorthair Is Believed to Have Come From Europe
It is believed that the ancestors of the American Shorthair came from Europe. To be exact, they would have been the cats brought by European settlers for the purpose of protecting their supplies on the ships and then in their settlements. Both of which would have been critical because the loss of their stored food to vermin was a existential crisis in both cases. Later, these cats adapted to their new home, thus putting them on the path to becoming the American Shorthair that exists in the present time.
5. The American Shorthair Remains Capable of Being a Working Cat
There are those who claim that the American Shorthair remains capable of being a working cat. Certainly, that would explain some of their common characteristics. For example, American Shorthairs are good-natured creatures that can get along with their owners as well as other humans. However, they aren’t clingy in the way that some cat breeds can be. Similarly, these cats are famous for their big, powerful build, which includes a well-developed chest plus well-developed shoulders and hindquarters.
6. Created Using the Persian
A number of long-haired cat breeds were used to create the American Longhair from the American Shorthair. However, the one that saw the most use was the Persian. There are a number of characteristics that stand out about this cat breed. For example, Persians are placid by nature, which is one of the reasons that they have become so popular with apartment dwellers. Similarly, while the classic image of the Persian might have white fur, the cat breed encompasses a wide range of cats with a very wide range of coats. Having said that, there are very good reasons for why the Persian is sometimes called the Persian Longhair, which presumably played a part in the cat breed being chosen for the creation of the American Longhair.
7. Other Long-Haired Cat Breeds Were Used
Speaking of which, other long-haired cat breeds were used in the creation of the American Longhair. One excellent example would be the Burmese. However, there was a consistent pattern of crossbreeding the cats with Persians to ensure the desired coat length.
8. There Is No Short-Haired Variant of the American Longhair
Some people might be curious if there is a short-haired variant of the American Longhair. If so, they should know that there is apparently no such thing because the trait responsible for the cat breed’s long hair is a recessive one. For that matter, it is difficult to imagine people wanting a short-haired variant of the American Longhair when there is already the American Shorthair even if the two cat breeds have diverged from one another.
9. Can Have Some of the Persian’s Common Medical Issues
Unfortunately, the American Longhair’s descent from the Persian means that it can have some of the other cat breed’s common medical issues. To name an example, these cats sometimes have the flattened face, which is problematic because it can contribute to everything from breathing problems to birthing difficulties. Moreover, it is possible for the American Longhair to have polycystic kidney disease, which is when cysts on their kidneys cause kidney impairment and then kidney failure. Reputable cat breeders will check for said issue. However, this is still something that people should keep a watchful eye out for.
10. Good for Families
American Longhairs are said to be good for families. On the whole, they are more active than Persians. However, they are still good-natured cats that get along with other household members. Be warned that American Longhairs aren’t perfect in this regard. For instance, they can get along with cats and dogs, but they retain their hunting instincts, meaning that they can be an issue with birds, fish, and other smaller pet animals. Meanwhile, American Longhairs are said to do just fine with both adults and older children. Unfortunately, younger children can cause issues for them, more because of ignorance than anything else. In any case, early training and socialization are always important.