The British Longhair is a cat breed that is still in the process of securing official recognition. Generally speaking, it is believed that they are a product of the British Shorthair being crossed with the Persian. However, there are some sources that claim that they are descended from other long-haired cat breeds as well. Whatever the case, the British Longhair is said to make for a loyal, loving companion, which should be considered a major upside.
1. Still in the Process of Being Turned into a Full-Fledged Cat Breed
British Shorthairs being crossed with long-haired cat breeds isn’t a new thing. For instance, British Shorthairs were crossed with imported, long-haired cat breeds in the mid-20th century for the purpose of creating stouter, more round-faced, but still short-haired cats. Something that produced a lot of semi-long-haired cats in the process. In more recent times, a wide range of people have taken an interest in turning these semi-long-haired cats into a full-fledged cat breed in their own right by breeding them with each other as well as more standard-looking British Shorthairs.
2. Doesn’t Have a Great Deal of Official Recognition
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this means that the British Longhair doesn’t have a great deal of official recognition. The cat breed is in the process of being recognized by both the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and Felis Britannica in the United Kingdom. However, it will take time before they are recognized as a full-fledged cat breed in their own right. As for other countries, well, suffice to say that chances are good that the British Longhair will have to wait even longer for official recognition in countries other than its homeland.
3. Has a Wide Range of Names
Unfortunately, the lack of official recognition means that the British Longhair isn’t as consistently named as its more official counterparts. Instead, these cats have been called a very wide range of names in a very wide range of contexts. For example, they have been called the British Longhair, the British Longhair Variant, the British Semi-Longhair, and the Longhair British. Meanwhile, they have been called the Britannica in some European countries and the Lowlander in the United States. However, the worst cases would be when British Longhairs are called by the same name as other kinds of cats.
4. Not the Same As the Highlander
To name an example, Feline Federation Europe sometimes calls the British Longhair the Highlander. The problem is that the Highlander is a name that already sees use for a different kind of cat. For those who are curious, Highlanders were developed from the American Curl, meaning that they are a different kind of cat that traces its roots to a different country altogether.
5. Not the Same As the Highland Straight
Similarly, Feline Federation Europe sometimes calls the British Longhair the Highland Straight, which has much the same issue. In this case, the Highland Straight is a kind of British cat. However, it tends to refer to a variant of the Highland Fold that has straight ears rather than the cat breed’s famous folded ears.
6. Descended from the British Shorthair
In any case, British Longhairs are descended from British Shorthairs, which would be the pedigreed version of the traditional British cat. It is believed that these cats can trace their roots to Roman imports that were used by Roman soldiers to keep their surroundings clear of rodents as well as other unwanted vermin. Later, these Roman imports interbred with local wildcats, thus resulting in a bigger, more robust animal with a short but thick coat that served them well in British climates. Something that has more-or-less remained the case ever since. Nowadays, there are numerous offshoots of British Shorthairs, which makes sense because the cat breed is so popular.
7. Descended from the Persian
As mentioned earlier, British Longhairs can be descended from more than one long-haired cat breed. However, the one that gets mentioned the most would be the Persian, which can trace its roots to that part of the world but has undergone considerable change ever since it was introduced to western Europe a few centuries ago. Regardless, Persians are also an extremely popular breed, which explains why people thought about crossing British Shorthairs with Persians.
8. Can Be Prone to Obesity
Some British Longhairs can be prone to obesity. For example, this is true for those that have been neutered. Similarly, this is true for those that remain indoors 100 percent of the time. As such, people should make sure to provide their British Longhairs with plenty of playtime as well as other forms of exercise, which should help keep their cats in tip-top condition. This is important because feline obesity is just as bad as human obesity for the same reasons. By preventing it, people can reduce the chances of a whole host of serious medical problems coming up.
9. Needs a Fair Amount of Grooming
One can make the argument that British Longhairs aren’t long-haired cats so much as semi-long-haired cats. However, the simple fact of the matter is that they need a fair amount of grooming to prevent mats and tangles. This is particularly true in fall and winter because those are the seasons when their fur starts thickening in anticipation of colder temperatures.
10. Be Sure to Check for Polycystic Kidney Disease
People should keep a watchful eye out for polycystic kidney disease, which involves cysts developing on the kidneys. Initially, this will result in the impairment of the kidneys’ functions. Over time, this can result in the failure of the kidneys, which can have catastrophic consequences. Responsible, reputable cat breeders will test for this as well as other genetic health issues. However, people also need to exercise proper caution and consideration, particularly since there are other health issues to watch out for as well. As for why polycystic kidney disease is so important, the gist of it is that it is very common in both Persians and cat breeds descended from Persians.