Photo by © Fotografie.Sandra

British Longhair - Breed Profile:

Origin: Great Britain
Colors: Variety
Size: Medium to large
Coat Type(s): Longhair
Grooming: Daily
Talkativeness: Quiet
Activity Level: Low
Attention Requirement: Low
Overall: Easy to handle

British Longhair cats have the same physical characteristics as British Shorthairs. The only difference is in the the length of their fur.

The origin of the British Longhair goes back to around 1870s. The British Longhair cat is also known as the Lowlander in Netherlands and the USA, and as Britanica in Europe. However, this breed is not recognized in the UK as a separate breed.

Physical characteristics

Generally, British Longhair cats have the same physical characteristics as British Shorthair cats, with the only difference in fur length. Thus, British Longhairs have long fur. The further description of Lowlanders resembles the British Shorthair pretty much. They also have a broad chest and a short, muscled back. Their building looks stocky and sturdy. The paws are short with round feet. The tail is thick and either short or average in length. Chubby cheeks make their head look more round; the short, thick and muscled neck complements this overall round look. The chin is well developed and solid. British Longhairs have short, widely set ears. The eyes are large and round, as well as the head. Their colour depends on the colouration. The nose looks short and wide. Males weigh 5 to 10 kg; females weigh up to 5-7 kg.


As well as British Shorthairs, Lowlanders are affectionate and adaptable cats. They have a soft temperament and are usually friendly. Lowlander kittens are as playful as kittens of other breeds until they are around one or two years old. This means that adult Lowlanders do not strive for being in the centre of attention; they are less active than, for example, the Bengal or Abyssinian. However, British Longhairs do have a character of their own: if they don't like something, they will unambiguously let you know about it.

Coat and grooming

Lowlanders' coat is long and dense. It comes in the same colours and colour patterns as that of British Shorthairs: self, tabby, tortoiseshell, bi-colour, smoke, tipped and colourpointed. Lowlanders can be black, white, red, cream, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon or fawn.
Due to the length of fur, Lowlanders require more brushing than British Shorhairs. This procedure should take place daily. Autumn and winter are the seasons when Lowlanders have a high "risk" of tangles. Sometimes, it may be necessary to wash a Lowlander.


Lowlanders are generally healthy. But, as well as British Longhairs, can be prone to obesity if neutered or kept as indoor cats only.

Other interesting facts

During the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, the Persian was thought to be the longhaired analogue of the British Shorthair. In the second part of the 20th Century, a shorthaired version of the modern Persian was bred; it was called the Exotic Shorthair and was very different from the British Shorthair. Hence, it was proposed that a longhaired cat of the British type should be reconsidered.