British Semi-Longhair Cat: The Ultimate Guide to Their History, Types, Characteristics, Temperament, and Care

british semi-longhair

If you are looking for a new cat, one that does well with people, but is also independent and not too energetic, the British Semi-Longhair cat is a good low-maintenance cat to keep in mind.

Let’s find out everything there is to know about the British Semi-Longhair cat.

What’s the nature of the breed?

The British Semi-Longhair cat is a very easy-going cat that really does not require very much at all. These cats are known for being fairly independent.

This is one of the rare types of cats that does not mind being alone for a few hours. They do fine on their own, and as long as they have a toy to play with, or a window sill to sit on and watch birds, they are fine.

It’s not the kind of cat to follow their owners around the house, thus making it a decent pet for people who are not home all day long and don’t want to give it too much attention. 

Here’s a short video of some amazing facts about British Semi-Longhair Cat:

This is not to say that the British Semi-Longhair does not enjoy playing with its owners and being scratched behind the ears. They may lay on your bed on occasion for a snuggle, but they do not enjoy being picked up and are not lap cats either.

The British Semi-Longhair cat is not a very energetic cat.

Origin and history of the breed

The British Semi-Longhair is very similar to the British Shorthair cat in pretty much every way, besides the semi-long coat of course. During the twentieth century, the British Shorthair cat was bred with various Persian cat breeds, such as the Turkish Angora.

This then resulted in a cat which more or less looked exactly like a British Shorthair cat, just with slightly longer hair. Keep in mind that the longer hair was actually produced unintentionally, but was then bred into a real and accepted breed, the British Semi-Longhair cat.

Physical standards of the breed

british semi-longhair cat

Health and possible diseases

This is a relatively healthy cat, also not the healthiest around. The British Semi-Longhair is known for suffering from more renal and kidney diseases than other cat breeds, which in some cases can reduce the lifespan of the cat.

The British Semi-Longhair cat may also suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease which is fairly common in felines.

They may also be hemophiliacs, which means that some British Semi-Longhair cats have blood that does not clot properly.

Finally, British Semi-Longhair cat are also known for getting obese when they do not get enough exercise.


The British Semi-Longhair requires some effort in terms of grooming the coat. Their fairly long hair means that their hair can tangle and matt fairly easily.

This means that the British Semi-Longhair requires twice-weekly grooming with a semi-stiff brush to get rid of tangles, prevent matting, and remove dead hair and skin. Bathing 3 or 4 times a year is recommended, but no more because you don’t want to dry out their skin.

Other basic feline grooming requirements should be kept in mind, mainly taking care of their claws and brushing their teeth on a near daily basis to prevent periodontal disease.

Other than that, you may want to wipe out their ears with a cotton ball soaked in a 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and water, and wipe out their eyes with a damp cloth, both once per week.

Height and size

The British Semi-Longhair cat is a medium-large cat. A full grown British Semi-Longhair can grow to around 14 inches at the shoulders, with females being smaller, often topping out at around 12 inches at the shoulders.

They have a deep, wide, and compact chest, with short and muscular legs, and a fairly wide body. It’s quite a compact, stalky, and muscular looking cat.


The British Semi-Longhair cat can be quite a heavy cat, at least as far as house cat breeds are concerned. The males, can grow to weigh around 18 pounds, with around 16 pounds being the average.

Females can grow as heavy as 16 pounds, but usually top out at around 12 pounds on average.


The British Semi-Longhair cat is not a very active cat at all. They will play with their owners on occasion, and they may chase a mouse if they see it, but other than that, don’t expect too many quick movements from the British Semi-Longhair, or very much movement at all.

They are perfectly fine lounging on a window sill and watching the world around them. It’s a good cat to have if you don’t want to play too often. With that said, they like some attention at times, but they are not ones to run fast or far.


No, the British Semi-Longhair cat is not at all hypoallergenic. Due to the ample hair and dander it produces, it is actually one of the worst cats you can get if you happen to suffer from cat allergies.


Although the British Semi-Longhair cat has been known to live for up to 18 years on occasion, due to some of the health issues discussed above, the average lifespan of this cat is a bit shorter than most others, usually around 13 or 14 years at the most.

However, healthy British Semi-Longhairs can live a few years longer.

Caring Difficulty

The British Semi-Longhair cat is not difficult to care for in the sense that it does not require much attention from its owners.

On the other hand, the British Semi-Longhair cat does require a lot of grooming, and various health issues may add to caring difficulty as well.

Where to get a British Semi-Longhair Cat

There are various breeders in the UK, Eastern Europe, and a select few in North America too. It is definitely recommended that you go to a legit breeder so you can get papers and inquire about the health issues which the parent cats may have suffered from.

How much does a British Semi-Longhair Cat cost?

Your average British Semi-Longhair is going to cost between $800 and $1,200. It really depends on the breeder, but a kitten that comes from a distinguished line of show cats may run you a few hundred dollars more.

Choosing the right type of British Semi-Longhair Cat

You will want to inquire about health issues in relation to the parent cats when choosing a British Semi-Longhair. You will then also get the chance to choose from different patterns and color schemes. It’s really more a matter of personal preference than anything else.

Responsibilities to consider in the care of a British Semi-Longhair Cat

What do they require?

The British Semi-Longhair cat requires a good deal of grooming for their coat. You also need to take good care of their claws, teeth, ears, and eyes. Other than that, make sure to give them high-quality cat food, so they don’t get obese, as they are prone to this.

Do they need a certain level of care and attention?

No, the British Semi-Longhair cat does not require much attention at all. These are highly independent cats that do perfectly fine on their own.

Characteristics of British Semi-Longhair Cat

british semi-longhair characteristics


The British Semi-Longhair cat is a fairly quiet, easy-going, and relaxed cat. They like to play on occasion, but are not overly fond of it. They are known for being couch potatoes and don’t mind being alone.


The British Semi-Longhair cat can come in a variety of patterns, mainly bi-color, ticked, and color point. In terms of colors, they can be white, red, cream, chocolate, blue, sometimes brown, and sometimes a mixture of all of the above.


The British Semi-Longhair cat is not overly affectionate. They do not mind snuggling with owners on occasion and being scratched behind the ears. However, for the most part, they don’t make huge efforts to socialize with people.


The British Semi-Longhair cat is tolerant of kids and dogs. Just like with people in general, this cat is not overly social, but they tolerate rowdy kids and dogs just fine.


The British Semi-Longhair is known for being moderately intelligent. It is a bit hard to gauge, as they are not overly active, so it seems as though they never display their intelligence because they are a bit lazy.


The British Semi-Longhair cat is a very relaxed and fairly low-energy cat. It’s not often you will see them running around the house.


The British Semi-Longhair cat requires a fair amount of maintenance in terms of general grooming, and due to various health concerns, regular vet visits are definitely recommended.

Types of British Semi-Longhair Cats

The British Semi-Longhair cat can come in a variety of patterns, mainly bi-color, ticked, and color point. In terms of colors, they can be white, red, cream, chocolate, blue, sometimes brown, and sometimes a mixture of all of the above.


As you can see, although not overly affectionate or playful, the British Semi-Longhair cat gets along fine with most people. They don’t require too much attention and they are quite independent too. They make for pretty decent family cats.