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British Semi-Longhair Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

British Semi-longhair cat_Wirestock Images_shutterstock

British Semi-Longhair Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

The British Semi-Longhair truly is an ideal companion for cat lovers of all kinds. These brilliantly charming cats have character, intelligence, friendliness, and beauty all rolled into one package. Rather than having long sprawls of hair like some other cats, these felines look plush and fluffy with their thick plumes of fur—and they adore affection, so you can pet them anytime.

Breed Overview


12–14 inches


15–17 pounds


15–20 years


Blue, white, cream, tabby, calico, black, bi-color, tortoiseshell

Suitable for:

Indoor environments, families of all types


Calm, gentle, friendly, mild

The stunning, sizable British Semi-Longhair is identical to the British Shorthair—except for coat length. So, what can you expect from these sturdy, lovely, large felines? Let’s explore the breed to find out if one of these kittens will soon be coming home with you.

British Semi-Longhair Cat Characteristics

A high-energy cat needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy, while a low-energy cat needs minimal physical activity, but still needs mental stimulation. When choosing a cat, It’s important to ensure their energy levels match your lifestyle.
Cats that are easy-to-train are more willing and skilled at quickly learning prompts and actions with minimal training. Harder-to-train cats are usually more stubborn or aloof and require a bit more patience and practice.
Certain cat breeds are more prone to various genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every cat in those breeds will have these issues, but they do have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Due to their size or potential genetic health issues of a specific breed, some cats have shorter lifespans than others. Proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and hygiene also play an important role in your cat’s lifespan and quality of life.
Some cat breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other cats and animals. Cats that are more social have a tendency to rub up on strangers for scratches or jump on laps for cuddles, while cats that are less social shy away, hide, are more cautious, and even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed or gender, it’s important to socialize your cat and expose them to many different situations.

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British Semi-Longhair Kittens

British semi longhair kitten is so cute
Image Credit: Brilliantgreencat, Shutterstock

In the world of feline enthusiasts, the British Longhair, known as the Lowlander in the United States and the Britannica in Europe, lacks distinct recognition as a breed in the United Kingdom. This breed’s origin story traces back to the fusion of the original British long-haired cat with imported long-haired counterparts, ultimately giving rise to the distinctive Persian breed. This evolution resulted in a feline with a grandiose and robust physique, boasting fur that was both lengthier and denser than their early Persian ancestors. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Persian held the reputation of being the long-haired counterpart to the British Shorthair.

This led to a suggestion to reintroduce a long-haired feline bearing quintessential British traits to the domain of cat breeding. These cats often display reserved temperaments and typically possess slightly shorter legs, along with curly fur on their abdominal region. Furthermore, they exhibit a heightened susceptibility to kidney-related health concerns when compared to a diverse array of other cat breeds.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the British Semi-Longhair Cat

Many times, the most intelligent cats are equally active. However, the British Semi-Longhair is surprisingly docile and affectionate while also being smart as a whip. They have excellent memories, retaining obscure information and impressing owners with their slyness and capability.

You won’t have to coax the British Semi-Longhair into cuddling with you.  They much prefer time spent with their people and love relaxing by your side. They aren’t very choosy or particular about whom they love. They will willingly rub up against a stranger’s leg the same as they would someone they live with.

semi-long-haired breed of domestic cat
Image Credit: Jilin Su, Shutterstock

As far as feelings go, they have a prize-winning temperament. They’re very gentle, which makes them compatible with most household members, even little ones. Their energy levels are low enough to where they can work well in many different types of living situations. They also don’t have a lot of tendencies to be destructive.

Early socialization is key to your British Semi-Longhair adapting to new things. These cats can be strict creatures of habit, so routine, consistency, and stability are important to them. When their environment changes, it can throw them off.

Make sure to expose your British Semi-Longhair to as many new faces, different pets, and age ranges as you can while they develop.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

The British Semi-Longhair works excellently in family settings of all kinds. The more love there is to go around, the merrier. These cats may be relaxed but they aren’t usually shy. They enjoy spending time with their family and being part of the crowd.

British Semi-Longhair cats do best with children 6 years old and over. By this age, children have generally learned how to mutually respect animals. However, each child matures at their own pace, so use discretion if you’re thinking about getting one of these cats.

These cats are compatible with seniors, retired couples, single people, or big families. But regardless of family size, you will need to make sure you have plenty of time to spend with this feline. They don’t take kindly to being ignored or left alone for long periods.

If you have a home life where most people are gone for hours on end, consider a more independent breed. British Semi-Longhairs can become depressed or withdrawn if they don’t get the right amount of attention.

If those in your home will be gone for big chunks of the day, they will absolutely need a companion animal and do best with another cat friend.

An adorable fluffy cat with blue yeues lies and looks
Image Credit: Yurchenko S, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

British Semi-Longhairs make terrific playmates with other pets. They will grow to love your dogs and cats in no time. But they can be set in their ways too. For this reason, it’s important to socialize them with a broad spectrum of stimuli so they can get used to other pets.

British Semi-Longhairs that have never had the experience of being around other cats or dogs may shy away or reject new friends. That’s not to say they won’t eventually warm up, but it can be more challenging in the beginning.

These cats are routine animals, so changing the dynamic of the house by adding a new pet can be a lot for them to take in. Some will be more open than others. It truly just depends on the individual cat, but slow introductions are a must.

Also, while their prey drives aren’t at the top of the scale, they still require supervision around smaller pets. Even the most docile cats can get instinctually triggered if an opportunity strikes. So, keep your rodents in cages and your fish covered when these kitties are on the prowl.yarn ball divider

Things to Know When Owning a British Semi-Longhair Cat:

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

British Semi-Longhairs don’t require any specific diet, but they do need high-quality food that’s rich in protein. Cats are strict carnivores that gain all of their nutrients from animal protein in the wild. Domesticated cats are a little different these days, but protein is still the main staple.

Grey haired british shorthair image
Image Credit: HelloRF Zcool, Shutterstock

You can offer your cat dry kibble, wet food, or a combination of both. You can also try out homemade cat foods, but be thorough in your research. Homemade cat food needs every major component included, or your cat’s health could suffer.

British Semi-Longhairs are prone to weight gain. If you notice that your kitty is starting to gain with no change in diet, you may have to adjust their portions accordingly.

Exercise 🐈

Kittens will expel energy without much motivation needed. You can chase them around, play with their toys, and pull around strings for fun times. But since these cats are so relaxed, you might find it more challenging to entice play after a few years.

British Semi-Longhairs have heavy, stocky bodies that easily gain weight as they age. As they rack up a few years or once they get fixed, their lifestyle becomes a bit more sedentary. You have to adjust their exercise regimen and your diet so they don’t pack on the pounds.

To have ultimate physical health, your cat should get between 15 and 20 minutes of exercise a day.

Training 🧶

Teaching your kitten to use the litter box should be relatively easy. Usually, once you introduce them to it, they catch on with minimal guidance.

For the first few days or weeks, you might have to keep them in one room so they don’t forget where it is. Kittens may have accidents elsewhere if they can’t hold it, so go by what works for each kitten as it comes to you.

If you want to teach your cat tricks, you’ll have to have some patience. Even though these cats are loving, they have a mind of their own and might not always want to learn. If you work with your British Semi-Longhair, they are definitely intelligent enough to catch on.

Grooming ✂️

British Semi-Longhairs are easy to groom, but you have to brush them at least once a week. Since they have such a lush, full coat, you have to brush out any tangles that can lead to matting. You might have to do it more often in the fall and winter months when the coat thickens.

Also, no special care is needed, but your cat—like others—will benefit from nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing.

A beautiful white British long-haired cat with blue eyes with a cute face on a white background
Image Credit: Light and Vision, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

This cat is sturdy, healthy, and capable, having a generous lifespan and robust muscle tone. However, certain conditions pop up in this breed more frequently than in other breeds.

To stay on top of these health issues, always take your kitty to regular vet checkups. Your vet can work with you to get ahead of any developing, onset, or upcoming issues.

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Male vs. Female

Males and females share many of the same basic traits with minor differences. On a physical scale, males tend to be larger than females. This is common among all cats, but it isn’t the case in every scenario.

Females might be a bit more reluctant to change. They tend to be quiet and more reserved, so you can find them off to themselves more often. Males tend to be a bit more outgoing, seeking attention more by a slight margin.

Both males and females can spray to mark their territory or attract mates once they reach sexual maturity. However, it’s more common with male cats. To prevent this behavior, early spaying or neutering can stop it before it starts.

Personalities will vary from cat to cat—and not necessarily by sex. So, any assumptions made about the character of a cat are generalizations, not definites.

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3 Little-Known Facts About British Semi-Longhair Cat

1. The British Semi-Longhair Looks Fluffier and Poofier Than the Long-Haired Variant

Rather than having long, flowy hair, British Semi-Longhairs have fluffy, thick coats that are soft to the touch. It truly adds to their visual appeal, setting them apart from other long-haired cats. They have a plush teddy bear-like feel.

2. British Longhairs Tend to Weigh More Than Other House Cats

British Longhairs have heavy, sturdy bodies that are muscular and dense. They are also prone to weight gain and obesity. So, if you think they look like dainty, light kitties, think again!

3. Give Thanks to the Persian for the Fur Length of the British Semi-Longhair Cat

Breeders were trying to create a long-haired version of the British Shorthair. So, they paired the elegant Persian with a British Shorthair, producing this stunning specimen.

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Final Thoughts

If you love the penetrating, round eyes and plushy fur of the British Semi-Longhair, does their potential personality and demeanor fit the bill too? If you think this cat sounds like an all-around perfect fit for you or your family, let the search for your British Semi-Longhair begin!

If you buy from a breeder, make sure that they are reputable, with a successful track record of healthy litters. If you find one at a local shelter, you can save a life and give a kitty a second chance.

Featured Image Credit: Wirestock Images, Shutterstock

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