British Longhair Cat
British Longhair Cat - Robyn - photo copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright.
The British Longhair cat is a rare cat. Helmi Flick has just sent me some pictures of a simply beautiful cat of this breed, Robyn, and as usual Helmi has produced a fantastic photograph. I did a bit of research and there is actually very little on the internet or even in the books I have about this cat breed, which is largely ignored by the cat associations.
Photo copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright
TICA and the WCF (World Cat Federation) register the British Longhair cat. I have built a page on the breed: British Longhair cat. This breed is a bit like a traditional Persian cat. They look very similar although there is a noticeable ruff with this breed that I do not see with the Persian to the same extent.
There is a lot to commend this cat breed. The British Shorthair is a more healthy breed than the Persian for a start (see Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats). And as breeders have more or less ruined the natural appearance of the traditional Persian in developing the modern flat faced Persian, it would seem to me a good idea to phase out the ultra type Persian and substitute the British Longhair cat.
The long hair gene is recessive so what happens is that it occasionally makes itself known by producing a long haired kitten in a litter that was meant to be all shorthairs. I am sure that British Shorthair (BSH) cat breeders get a long haired cat on a reasonable number of occasions and sell the kitten as a pet. To the breeder of short haired cats they would seem to be a disappointment but to people who would like a fantastic looking cat with the usual sweet BSH character, they are far from disappointing.
As I explained on the main page about this breed, the recessive long haired gene was introduced into BSH breeding lines at the turn of the 20th century to make the cat more cobby and after the first and second world wars to help the depleted breeding programs. The gene is still there.