British longhair cats remained in the shadows for a long time – this was due to many shortcomings of this breed. After the breeders improved the British, the demand for these animals increased. Many pet lovers dream of having such a cat. Often you can find another name for the breed – Highlander. These pets have a docile nature, they are affectionate and friendly with their owners.
In the last century, breeders have been actively involved in improving the British breed of cats and breeding new animal colors. For this, a lot of breeding work was carried out, short-haired representatives of the British were crossed with Persian cats. Thus, the specialists brought out the Highlanders. Two world wars significantly slowed down the process of breeding long-haired cats.
In England, the pedigree of animals is very strictly monitored, so it is important that the ancestors of cats do not have long hair, in which case they will be considered noble and purebred. For this reason, Highlanders have long succumbed to culling.
Today, these cats have become very popular among feline lovers. Therefore, now breeding work is carried out purposefully. The International Cat Association listed this breed of animal in 2001. Long-haired British received recognition as an independent and experimental breed. Three years later, experts introduced the Highlander breed standard to the world. Only 10 years ago, the system of the World Cat Federation announced the official recognition of the breed.
Since then, animals have gained the right to participate in exhibitions and even compete for prizes.
The appearance of the Highleders is practically no different from their ancestors – the short-haired British. The main point in the differences between the varieties is the length of the animal’s coat.
The long-haired breed of British cats is distinguished by its strong physique. Their hips are very powerful, the same goes for their shoulders. The back of the animals is straight, the chest is quite wide. The neck of animals, although short, is very massive. The British have a pronounced anatomical difference, the size of cats is noticeably larger than the size of cats.
As with many varieties of animals, standards for the appearance of the breed have been developed for Highlanders.
- A large head of a rounded shape, large cheeks, which are also very developed, a mustache located on convex pads.
- The muzzle of animals is emphasized by wide cheekbones. The massive chin of cats has a round shape.
- The straight nose of the Highlanders is very short, the depression is almost imperceptible, and there is no stop.
- The ears of cats are low, have a small size, rounded to the tips.
- The large eyes of the animal are deeply planted and have a round shape. The color scheme is varied, in any case, the eyes are always favorably combined with the coat.
- Muscular short limbs have large and massive pads.
- The thick, short tail is rounded towards the tip.
- The standard weight for cats is 4-5 kilograms.
- The standard weight of cats is 5-7 kilograms.
The British coat is of medium length, has a high level of density and has a thick undercoat. The coat due to its volume practically does not adhere to the body of the animal. The coat of the fluffy British is characterized by a rather rough structure, while it is softer to the touch than that of their short-haired relatives. The fluffy cover around the neck resembles a chic collar.
Usually the British have a very fluffy tail.
Long-haired British have a calm character. They are also considered to be very balanced. Animals are quite difficult to scare or anger. If you harm a pet, he will remember the offense for a long time and hide away from the eyes of the household. These Britons tolerate loneliness well and rarely need the company of their owner. They calmly wait for their household and have a great time alone.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that the pet will be left alone at home. Furniture and various interior elements will definitely not be spoiled. In addition, the British are non-conflict animals, so they can be safely left alone with other pets.
Despite their love of loneliness, Highlanders are very sociable cats. They can easily get along with other pets, be it a small rodent or a large dog. Cats of this breed are considered quite sedate and restrained. For this reason, you are unlikely to see your pets angry and aggressive.
Often children love to play with them, while cats are able to withstand any prank. Although cats do not like increased attention to themselves, they are calm about this. If they get bored with this, they simply retire to another room. They owe these qualities to their high intellect and intelligence.
British kittens love to play with their owners. They are extremely active and inquisitive. They have a high level of adaptation to new conditions. Such a pet will quickly become a friend to their owners.
Highlanders are very well-mannered animals, so they can be quickly accustomed to the house order. They will unquestioningly follow all the rules. Cats are potty trained quite quickly, so there shouldn’t be any problems. It is advisable to do this from an early age of the pet. In the process of growing up, they become slower and calmer. Between sleeping and playing with their master, they will choose the former. It’s amazing how reserved these cats are, even when they are very hungry, they will never be the first to ask for food, they will not beg for it and create a lot of noise in the house.
The hunting instinct in the British longhair breed is completely absent. With harmful rodents, they will not help in any way.
Highlanders owe their cool-headed calm to a stable psyche. Such cats are practically not subject to stress, and they treat such situations normally. They will not be afraid of going to the doctor or frequent transportation. Participating in exhibitions, the British are quite calm about a large crowd of people.
The life expectancy of British longhair cats directly depends on the conditions in which the animals are kept. There are many undesirable factors for pets that can provoke their premature death. Basically, it can be illiterate cat care or malnutrition. You can not expose the animal to stress and disease.
Genetics has a very big influence on the life expectancy of the British. Although these animals have an excellent immune system, they may have an inherent predisposition to certain diseases.
On average, Highlanders live up to 15 years. If you create comfortable conditions for the animal, then they can live for more than 20 years. This largely depends on the care and diet of the animal. There are basic recommendations from experts that will help owners extend the life of their furry friends.
- Fresh air strengthens the immune system of cats, so regular walking is vital for them.
- If the owners do not want to let their pet out of the apartment, then sometimes it is advisable to take it out to the balcony.
- It is recommended to regularly carry out wet cleaning and ventilate the rooms in the house.
- Cats do not respond well to drafts, so it is best to eliminate them immediately. Animals should also not be exposed to hypothermia.
- The secret to a pet’s longevity is an active lifestyle. Play with animals in various outdoor games.
- Take your Brit to the vet from time to time. Often, doctors advise providing animals with supplementary foods with minerals and vitamins.
- Purebred Highlanders need a special medicinal herb. You can buy it in a specialized store or pharmacy.
Guided by these simple rules, you can make your pet’s life bright and long.
Most representatives of cats of this breed have a solid coat color. It is rare to find animals with various marks on the body. Certain standards for the color of the breed have not been established, it can be anything. You can find several varieties of British coat colors.
- Tortoiseshell. This type of color is characterized by the presence of spots on the body of the animal. They can be black and red. There are times when the spots have a cream and blue tint.
- Smoky. The outer coat has a solid gray color, but the undercoat of cats is colored white. Incredibly contrasting shade of wool makes the British very attractive. The ears of the animal are painted in silver. The same applies to the collar zone. But the back and limbs are black.
- Tabby. In such cats, the coat can be marbled, golden, ticked and spotted. There are animals with a striped color. Most marbled cats have a spot on their forehead that resembles the letter “M”. It clearly stands out from the main coat color of the animal. The entire body of the cat is covered with spots and patterns in the form of rings. On the back you can see a beautiful pattern resembling a butterfly.
- Bicolor. The name already speaks for itself – the main white color of these British is combined with another color variety. The white shade of the coat occupies most of the body and only 1/3 of the additional color. However, this part has a rather saturated shade, and the white hairs are completely absent.
One ear differs from the other in color, and the back and limbs are covered with a small number of spots. Usually a small spot can be seen on the head.
- Colorpoint. This color is also called Siamese. Cats in this case have a snow-white coat color. The muzzle is often covered with a pattern in the form of a mask and can be of any color. The same goes for the limbs, tail and ears.
Conditions of detention
Caring for long-haired British will not take you much time and effort. It is only necessary to study this issue in more detail and get acquainted with all the nuances of keeping cats.
This process is quite simple, you need to pay attention to the main points in caring for the appearance.
- Combing. The wool of thoroughbred British does not roll, which cannot be said about their ancestors – Persian cats. The coat should be brushed at least twice a week. For this, it is best to purchase a rubber brush. Many owners resort to using a special mitten that removes dead hairs on the pet’s body. When the animal sheds, the combing procedure is done every day. In the summer season, cats are sheared, so they feel much more comfortable.
- Bathing. This process is considered very painful for the British, as they do not like water. For this reason, kittens are taught to this procedure from a very early age. Bath day is usually arranged no more than three times a year. During bathing, shampoos are applied to the cover, designed specifically for animals with long hair. Such a tool can be bought at any pet store. Never use human shampoo.
- Ear care. British ears should be examined no more than three times a month. To clean them, you need to take a cotton swab, previously moistened with a special solution for cleaning the ears of pets, and use it to remove dirt, if necessary.
- Eye care. Inspection should be done every day. If necessary, the eyes are cleaned with boiled cooled water. And you can also use napkins for special purposes.
- Nail care. To ensure proper care for your pet’s claws, you should purchase a scratching post. The size must be chosen according to the cat. The item is best fixed and secured.
- Dental care. You can buy animal paste at the pet store. With it, you need to brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week. This is necessary for the prevention of diseases of the oral cavity.
Any tray will suit the British, there are no significant criteria when choosing it. The size of the tray depends on the size of the cat. It is necessary to select a toilet so that the pet can freely turn around in the tray. The filler for the cat’s pot can be anything.
With age, the British are not as mobile as in childhood, they lead a measured lifestyle. An apartment is enough for them, and they do not burn with a special desire to go beyond its territory.
But still, it is necessary to carry out walking from time to time.
The composition of the diet of Highlanders must be treated carefully. Natural products are only welcome in pet food. Dry food can also be used when feeding cats. They are selected according to the preferences of the animals, their sex and age. It is not recommended to give food to pets from the human table.
The British are known to have a good appetite and can often overeat. Subsequently, this can lead to obesity of the animal. Therefore, owners should carefully monitor the volume of a cat’s portion. For one kilogram of Highlander weight, 70 kilocalories will be enough. Foods to include in the diet of British longhair cats:
- boiled fish meat (it is advisable to remove the bones);
- lean meat;
- germinated grain;
- dairy products with a minimum percentage of fat content;
- quail eggs;
- boiled meat by-products.
The British prefer to eat raw meat. Before serving, the product is frozen, after which it is poured with boiled water. When the meat is completely thawed, it is cut into small pieces and served to the pet.
Products that are not recommended to be included in the diet of long-haired British cats:
- smoked meats;
- fried foods;
- spicy food;
- tubular bones.
To make life easier for themselves, many owners prefer to feed their furry pets with ready-made food. When choosing them, it is desirable to dwell on premium quality products. For long-haired breeds, there are special feeds. The advantage of such food is that it is saturated with useful substances in the form of vitamins and minerals.
The British need to give water in its pure form and change it daily.
Kittens should be fed at least 5 times a day in small portions.. Already by the age of one year, the number of meals is significantly reduced. In the future, pets receive food 2 times a day.
The breed of long-haired British cats is considered new and not yet sufficiently improved. For this reason, the process of breeding animals contains some difficulties. You need to cross only purebred British of the same breed. There are cases when breeders use short-haired cats for crossing, whose ancestors had long hair.
When choosing a partner for a Brit, you must adhere to certain conditions:
- compliance of the animal with all breed standards;
- availability of documents for a pet and a pedigree;
- good health;
- absence of external defects;
- the presence of vaccination of a special vaccine, which must be done a couple of weeks before mating animals.
Before breeding partners, you need to check for compatibility of blood types. To do this, you need to pass a DNA test.
Long-haired British reach puberty at an early age – from 6 to 9 months. You can mate a female only after reaching one year of age. Otherwise, you can get unhealthy offspring. Males can lose their strength as early as two years of age.
Unlike other representatives of thoroughbred animals of the cat family, female Highlanders are in heat less often. Therefore, it is advisable to breed them no more than twice a year.
Interesting facts about British cats, see below.