The British Semi-Longhair, as the name suggests, is a version of the British Shorthair with a medium hair-length. Other than the difference in coat length, the British Semi-Longhair can be considered identical to the British Shorthair.
It is not a result of natural mutation. In fact, the development of the British Semi-Longhair was driven by the intention to further refine the standards of the British Longhair. Due to interbreeding with imported longhairs, the British Longhair took on new standards in its appearance and was developed into a type of Persian cat. It became increasingly huge and extreme in type; its coat length has also grown to become thicker and longer than the early Persian. Up until the late 19th and early 20th century, instead of having a distinct British Longhair breed that came from the British Shorthair, the Persian breed was often considered as the long-haired resemblance of the British Shorthair.
A short-haired version of the modern Persian was later developed in the latter part of the 20th century. It has a very different appearance from the British Shorthair and was officially celebrated as the Exotic Shorthair. It was then that a proposal was made to recreate and reintroduce a long-haired cat of the British type. Thus, the appearance of the British Semi-Longhair came into existence.
Physical appearance and attributes
This is considered a large sized cat that weighs an average of between 18 – 22 pounds. It has a body that is stocky and short with good musculature. Complementing this body type is a substantial tail that tapers into a gorgeous plum. The legs are relatively short, making it appear longer than it is tall. However, they are well proportionate and strong, extending into firm, rounded paws. The forelegs are straight with the hind leg being slightly shorter, bending at an angle like all other cat breeds. Thus, the ramp is set below the shoulder level when the cat is standing on its paws.
British Semi-Longhair has a head of modified wedge with rounded contours. It is slightly longer than it is wide and defined with high cheekbones. Atop the head is a pair of medium-sized ears that is widely set apart. They are broad at the base and taper into the vaguely rounded tip. Ear tufts lined the inner side of the ears and they extend beautifully across the ears. The eyes are of an almond shape, slanting at an angle towards the ears. They gleam in a color that matches the coat color. Viewed in profile, the muzzle is of a substantial length with a straight nose and firm chin. The brow line and an indentation between the eyes are also evident.
The cat wears a coat of medium length that runs long towards the hind legs and along its tail. The neck is generously furnished with a ruff that extends to its chest and across its shoulders. It also boasts of a coat that carries a broad color scheme. The colors include black, blue, chocolate, cinnamon, cream, fawn, lilac, red, tabby, tabby white and tortoiseshell. Patterns are also varied and include color-point, ticked and bi-color.
Personality and temperament
The personality of the British Semi-Longhair is very similar to that of the British Longhair variety. It is known for its blessedness and easy-going nature. It shows its affection in a quiet way and is not overly demanding in attention. The British Semi-Longhair has its own character and will not cling or follow the owner everywhere. However, it does appreciate the daily cuddles and will gladly lie near you to snuggle.
It is an intelligent breed that learns tricks and games with much ease. This is an adaptable breed that does not shy away from strangers and will not be negatively affected when exploring new places. Such a trait has allowed it to be an ideal companion to children and other friendly family pets. British Semi-Longhair has a comparatively low level of energy. Even though it does not initiate interactions, it does know how to join in a good time of play. Thus, it makes an ideal pet for owners who are looking for an independent cat.
Care and health issues
A healthy British Semi-Longhair can expect to have an average lifespan of 18 years. Health issues that might be of a concern include Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a disease where the heart muscles become abnormally thick; Hemophilia B, which is a genetic disorder in which the blood does not clot properly; as well as obesity.
This breed would require slightly more effort in grooming due to its long hair coat. A twice weekly brushing would help to remove tangles and prevent matt. A bath might also be necessary to maintain a healthy coat. Other basic grooming practices include frequent teeth brushing with vet-approved toothpaste and nail trimming whenever necessary. Also, check the ears for infections and clean it with a damp cloth when needed.
The ideal home
The highly adaptable British Semi-Longhair is suitable for both indoor and outdoor living. However, outdoor spaces must be safe and escape proof. An adventure zone will need to be available to promote an active and hearty growth. Prepare the necessary toys, cat trees and cat gym sets to encourage interactive play with this cat. Its sociable and easy-going nature makes it a suitable cat for most types of household. It is an ideal breed for owners who are looking for a cat with well-balanced temperaments coupled with lots of lovingness.