British Longhair cat
- Breed name: British Longhair cat
- Country of Origin: UK
- Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
- Weight: 4.5 – 8 kg
- Lifespan: 9 – 15 years
- British longhair cats are called Britannics, Lowlanders or Highlanders, and the third name is not quite correct. The real Highlander is an American experimental breed of cats with "curled" ears.
- The breed is at the beginning of its formation and, although its representatives are not prohibited from participating in exhibitions, there is little information in open sources about Britannics.
- Despite the fact that the "fur coats" of long-haired Britons resemble the voluminous "mantos" of Persians, they do not need frequent combing.
- The breed calmly perceives temporary loneliness, so you can go to the store or visit, leaving the fluffy beauty at home, without unnecessary remorse.
- Because of the phlegmatic temperament, lowlanders are recommended for the elderly, as well as for anyone who is not ready to devote himself to the re-education of an energetic and bouncy creature who sets sports records on home furniture.
- British longhair cats are not averse to eating at any time of the day, so they often overeat and build up absolutely unnecessary fat.
- The breed is not enthusiastic about prolonged physical contact and hugs, so it is not suitable for fans of tactile-dependent cats who are ready to nap for hours on the owner's lap.
The British longhair cat is an exemplary and a little lazy "cloud" with an easy–going nature and an ineradicable love for goodies. Building a relationship with this imposing young lady is absolutely not difficult. The main thing is to provide her with a cozy corner and the opportunity to independently decide when to purr at the side of the owner, and when to relax in proud solitude. No, British longhairs are not introverts at all, it's just that sometimes they need a little more time for an emotional reboot.
History of British Longhair cats
The past of the Lowlanders is ancient and certainly not glorious. The breed originated due to a recessive longhair gene, the carriers of which, according to felinologists, should not have been allowed to reproduce. Moreover, the breeders themselves were to blame for the genetic failure, in the mid-50s who wanted to expand the palette of colors shorthair Brits by crossing them with the Persians.
At first everything went according to the planned plan: kittens born from mixed "marriages" inherited the luxurious colors of Persian cats and the short hair of English parents. However, after several generations, the "gene of increased fluffiness" made itself felt, and the animals began to bring long-haired offspring. Breeders were not ready for such a surprise, so at first they severely rejected fluffy kittens, selling them for a symbolic cost, or even for free, provided that no one would breed such pets.
Soon, the long-haired variation of the British gained a few fans who engaged in "pushing" the breed into the breeding lists of TICA and WCF. But since Britannics were distinguished from their English ancestors only by voluminous fur coats and nothing more, some feline clubs in Europe and the USA continued to register them as a variety of British cats. At the same time, TICA recognizes Lowlanders, although it is still in the status of a new breed.
Important: to date, the crossing of Persians with British shorthair and long-haired cats are prohibited. At the same time, mating between Lowlanders and traditional Britons is allowed by some clubs.
British Longhair breed Standard
At first glance, a long-haired variation from British shorthair cousins are distinguished only by a more catchy "outfit". And if you look closely, it becomes clear that this is a rare case when the first impression is not deceptive. Perhaps that is why TICA did not start drafting a separate standard for the breed, but simply slightly modified and corrected the already existing version intended for British shorthair .
The British Longhair is a cat with a round, cheeky muzzle of medium or large size. The chin of the animal is voluminous, the back of the nose is smooth, short, almost without a foot. The vibrissae of the representatives of the breed are clearly marked, convex, rounded in shape.
Large round eyes are moderately wide apart, and the color of the iris corresponds to the shade of the coat. The exception is individuals of silver color, for which the saturated green tone of the iris is preferred.
Thickened, muscular, short neck turns into round cheeks. In mature cats and cats, this part of the body spreads out, so it seems that there is no neck as such.
The ears of long-haired Britons of small or medium size, placed on the sides of a rounded cat's skull without leaving in disarray. The base of the ear blade is wide, the tip is moderately rounded.
The body of the British longhair cat is powerful, wide, smoothly rounded outlines. The chest is also massive. The back is straight, the sides look voluminous.
The legs of the breed representatives are of moderate length, strong and strong. Paws are thick and large. The animal itself looks squat, but not short.
And shorthair , and long-haired Brits can boast thickened, medium-length tails with an elegantly rounded tip.
Purebred Lowlander has the same colors as his shorthair kindred, that is, solid, tortoiseshell, smoky, tabby, bicolor.
Wool cover of the semi-long type. The hair is dense, elastic, not adjacent. It is desirable to have a profusely pubescent collar area and pants. But the pronounced cotton wool, as well as a thin long hair with a hint of the inherent lightness of the Persians, are rejected.
Disqualifying vices mean defects in behavior and appearance that call into question the pedigree of the animal. Those of British longhair cats include: jaw distortion, skin pigmented in tones that do not correspond to the general color, incorrect eye color, as well as an unreasonably aggressive reaction in response to the action of exhibition specialists. Poor physical form, as well as pronounced soreness, are also considered sufficient reasons to refuse a pet and its owner to enter the ring.
Character of the British longhair cat
The long–haired British cat is the embodiment of delicacy and self-love. Actually, for these character traits alone, representatives of the breed can be recommended to owners who want to see a problem-free pet next to them, under whose whims they will not have to adapt. In their preferences, lowlanders are extremely moderate and do not cross the line beyond which misunderstandings and friction with the owner begin. For example, fluffy intellectuals adore the company of a person, but in his absence they do not get depressed, preferring to quietly philosophize on their favorite couch or in an armchair. By the way, breeders with many years of experience in breeding the breed claim that the character of their wards is more docile and good-natured than that of shorthair British cats .
Kittens also have bouts of mild melancholy, during which they are reluctant to contact the owner and his family members. During such periods, it is better not to bother the pet, giving him the opportunity to take a little break from communication – do not worry, this withdrawal into yourself will not be delayed for a long time. Morning oratorios while waiting for breakfast are also not about Britannics. From time to time, English "gentlemen" are able to remind themselves of themselves with a soft, slightly rolling "meow", but they certainly will not yell for the sake of attracting attention or in the confusion of feelings.
But a long-haired Briton will not refuse to play, and this friend perceives with equal delight both entertainment in the company of a person and independent "torment" of a clockwork mouse or ball. Growing up, British longhair become more phlegmatic and slow down in terms of motor activity, so you can get such a pet for everyone who is scared of hurricane cats, famously diving from the closet to the sofa and overturning flower pots of any weight.
Purrs treat children patiently and condescendingly, provided that the latter do not annoy the animal too much with attention. Bringing a British long-haired cat into the house, notify the children that the breed does not like strong hugs, as well as a noisy nervous environment. Lowlanders and neighborhood dogs are ready to suffer. However, in order for the relationship between the dog and the representative of the purring brethren to become extremely peaceful, it is better that acquaintance and lapping to each other take place at a young age.
Education and training
The British are not the most energetic breed, so it is impractical to learn circus acts with them in the style of "we are from the Kuklachev Theater". But it is necessary to correct the behavior of the cat, instilling in him the norms of household etiquette. Moreover, after a year, lowlanders lose their thirst for knowledge and stubbornly do not want to be re-educated.
At first, special literature will help out – the books "Raising kittens" by E. Filippova, "Bad habits of cats. Parenting without stress" by A. Krasichkova and others. If the kitten came from a breeder who did not bother to instill toilet skills in him, get ready to take on this job. Fortunately, British longhair are naturally clean and quick to figure out that it is much more pleasant to do "wet things" in a pile of dry filler than on a slippery floor.
Be sure to take into account the subtle mental organization of the breed – Britons tend to hush up and absorb insults, which negatively affects their psyche. So if at first the cat makes mistakes and goes to the toilet in the wrong place, it is better to close your eyes to the odorous "lakes" and try alternative ways of getting used to the tray – put a rag smelling of cat urine in the drawer, or rustle the filler in the presence of a kitten. And, please, no grandmother's methods implying poking the baby's nose into a puddle – no matter what homegrown experts in cat psychology claim, such educational moments do nothing but harm. Remember, the kitten is not able to endure for a long time and often forgets which room his toilet is in, so at first it is recommended to put a couple of trays in the house in order to avoid "wet incidents".
British longhair cats are greedy for positive stimuli, so for any achievement, praise the ward from the bottom of your heart. However, it is important to distinguish between achievements and norms of behavior. If for once the cat ignored the sofa and did not sharpen his claws on its back, this is not a reason to rush for a delicious reward for him.
It is better to minimize punishments altogether, but if the purr begins to get impudent and encroach on the forbidden, it will be necessary to besiege the prankster. Intonation is considered the best method of exposure. If you categorically and firmly say "No!" to the cat sitting on the table, at the same time hitting the tabletop with your palm, he will understand this. Do not even consider spanking a pet with newspapers, a hand or a slipper that turns up – you can't beat any cat, and even more so an intelligent and impressionable British longhair.
Maintenance and care
Toys, a sisal scratching post, a couch, bowls for eating and drinking are possessions that any cat should have. It is important to change the filler in the toilet of the British longhair cat in a timely manner. Representatives of this family are demanding clean people and will never go into a tray with their own vital products. If desired, the pet can buy a game complex, and not necessarily high – the breed does not suffer from mania for conquering the peaks. At least once a day, it is advisable to take the cat outside to get some fresh air, or to arrange a corner on a balcony covered with a net, where she can replenish her impressions.
The elastic, lagging behind the body of the long-haired Briton's coat differs from the hair of Persian cats, so it does not get tangled so easily and does not get lost in tangles. Nevertheless, you will have to comb your pet at least once a week. Individuals who live permanently in the house shed not seasonally, but throughout the year, so if you notice that the cat's fur is falling more intensively than usual, it is better to increase the frequency of combing.
The eyes of British longhair are sensitive and can leak, which is especially noticeable in kittens. You should not make a tragedy out of this phenomenon, just remove the mucous lumps with a clean cotton swab soaked in phytolosion, not forgetting to monitor the intensity of secretions. If too much is flowing from the eyes, this is not a reason to grab strong anti-inflammatory drops without consulting a specialist, because there is a risk of worsening the situation.
The claws of the Lowlanders, as well as their shorthair relatives, grow unevenly. Breeders recommend shortening the claws on the front paws every 2-3 weeks, and on the hind legs no more than once a month. It is necessary to clean the ears as they become dirty, without falling into perfectionism. That is, if a cat has a large amount of secretions, it is cleaned with a cotton pad soaked in hygienic lotion or hydrogen peroxide. If there is not much sulfur, it is better to close your eyes to its presence, because the more often the ear is cleaned, the more intensively the excretory glands work.
If the pet does not eat dry food that acts as an abrasive for teeth, get ready to systematically clean its mouth with a zoopast and brush. The British longhair themselves do not respect such actions, so they often have to involve a second person for processing, and sometimes "swaddle" the animal so that it does not interfere with the process of neutralizing food plaque.
An alternative to classic brushing is a liquid toothbrush. This is the name of special solutions added to drinking water and performing the function of a disinfectant and a solvent for plaque. In particularly neglected cases, when a pet has managed to get a tartar, you will have to contact a veterinarian. But since such procedures are often carried out under anesthesia in pet clinics, it is better not to neglect regular home cleaning.
There are no strict instructions prescribing feeding the British longhair cat only with "drying" or natural food, so each breeder chooses his own ideal option. The main advantage of industrial feeds over natural products is their balance and availability. Purring, "sitting" on dry food, does not need additional vitamins, however, provided that it is at least a super-premium food.
The natural menu of long-haired British cats traditionally includes:
- turkey, lamb, beef and chicken meat, heat-treated or frozen;
- boiled offal;
- dairy products and milk (kittens only);
- quail eggs.
It is better to give fish less often and in the form of boiled fillets, since some species contain substances harmful to the cat's body. Cereals (buckwheat, rice) are mixed with meat in limited quantities. The same is done with boiled and raw vegetables – pumpkin, carrots, zucchini. Quail eggs can be replaced with chicken yolk. You can also cook an omelet with it.
Milk is present in the diet of British longhair kittens for up to six months, but then its consumption should stop – the body of an adult animal does not produce enzymes that break down milk protein. Be sure to grow on the windowsill or buy young grass for the cat – with its help, the animal gets rid of lumps of wool that got into the stomach when licking the body.
It is useful to periodically feed cats on a natural menu with vitamins and complexes with taurine, but it is better if they are prescribed by a veterinarian after examination. Some breeders introduce homemade dietary supplements like broths of rosehip and nettle into the diet, although they are not always able to cover the pet's need for trace elements and vitamins. Three-month-old Britons are fed up to four times a day, half-year-old individuals are transferred to a two- or three-day diet.
Health and diseases of British longhair cats
Long-haired British cats live up to 18-20 years. They have few health problems, but given the developing status of the breed, it is logical to assume that some of the ailments may manifest themselves over time. In the meantime, cats are uncomfortable with diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease. As for obesity, to which diligently fed individuals are prone, it is easier to deal with it in the early stages. Neglected fat cats manage to accumulate a sufficient number of serious ailments, including arthritis, diabetes and hepatic lipidosis.
How to choose a kitten
- As the breed continues to gain popularity, unscrupulous sellers selling problematic animals will meet on the buyer's way. In order to purchase a kitten, it is better to look like breed exhibitions where professionals gather.
- Fans of more frisky pets are advised to opt for a male kitten. Long-haired "British girls" are calmer and more phlegmatic than males.
- Look for a nursery registered in the WCF felinological system – such institutions value their reputation and do not knit animals without pedigrees. In addition, on the websites of most of them, photos and documents of manufacturers are presented, according to which you can get a relative idea of the appearance of future litters.
- Kittens of the British longhair are sold starting from the age of three months. If the breeder offers to give the baby earlier, there is a catch in this.
- In three-month-old kittens, the exterior potential is practically not visible, so for exhibitions it is better to take older individuals (4-6 months), whose iris color has been determined and the first molt has passed.
- Evaluate the living conditions of the cat and her offspring. The nursery should be clean and warm, and the animals should look healthy and well–groomed.
- View ads for the sale of alimony babies. They are given by cat owners who receive a kitten as payment for mating their ward with a cat from the kennel. It is quite acceptable to buy such kittens, especially since the alimony animal is given first, and usually it is the cutest kitten in the litter. The main thing is to check the purity of the parents' pedigrees.
The price of a British longhair cat
In the USA, you can buy a long-haired Briton for $800-1200. In Russia, lowlanders with the right of subsequent breeding (breed class) they cost about the same. In addition, the Internet is full of ads for the sale of British longhair kittens at tempting prices – up to $150. Usually such sales are arranged by adherents of commercial breeding, whose fluffy "product" has dubious pedigrees, or even does without them.