Chinese Li Hua Cat

The Chinese Li Hua Cat is a recently recognized breed from China. These are very intelligent cats that don’t demand constant attention. The Chinese Li Hua is a playful breed with excellent hunting skills. Quiet and gentle in nature, this cat makes an excellent pet for people of all ages.
Chinese Li Hua Cat

Chinese Li Hua Cat Characteristics (Quick Facts)

Size: Medium. Chubby body.

Intelligence: Very high.

Exercise Needs: Needs decent exercise.

Ability to Adapt: Medium. Takes time to adjust.

Shedding: Low shedding.

Average Lifespan: From 9-16 years.

Price: From $400 and $900.

Weight: From 9-12 lbs.

Playfulness: Through the roof!

Social Skills: Good with children & other pets.

Need for Grooming: Once a week.

Health: Excellent. No health issues.

Hypoallergenic?: Yes.

The Chinese Li Hua Cat, also known as Dragon Li is a newly recognized breed from China. However, they have been around for a long time and are one of the oldest breeds of domestic cats.

This is a medium-sized cat with a sturdy and powerful body. The breed is best known for its almond-shaped green eyes and sticking brown mackerel coat.

These smart, loyal, and playful cats are easily trained and are willing to perform tricks. Furthermore, they have a good memory and analytic skills.

So don’t be surprised if your cat figures a lot of things on her own.

The friendly and affectionate Dragon Li Cats get along with everyone and make devoted companions to adults and children.

Where Did Chinese Li Hua Cat Breed Originate?

While people often think that cats have been domesticated in Egypt, recent archeological discovery says otherwise. Scientists have found evidence of cats living in China as far as 5300 years ago.

Reports state that the Chinese village of Quanhucun is the earliest known place where the relationship between cats and humans has been noted. It is believed that these early cats were the ancestors of the Dragon Li Cat.

These cats were found all over China and they have been mentioned in old books and other written documents. They were excellent hunters and people used them to keep their stores and grains safe from rats.

It is believed that the Chinese Li Hua is a natural self-domesticating cat breed.

Some believe that they are descended from a Chinese mountain cat (Felis silvestris bieti). This is a widely spread theory which remains to either be proven or dis-proven. However, DNA testing hasn’t been done so no one can say for sure how this breed come to be.

Although the Dragon Li is known for a long time, it was officially recognized only recently. It was shown for the first time in 2003 as an experimental breed at a Cat Aficionado Association show in Beijing. The Cat Fanciers Association added the Chinese Li Hua into the miscellaneous class in 2010.

Nowadays, this breed is most easily found in its homeland and is the unofficial cat of China. The Chinese Li Hua has many names and is also known as Li Hua Mau, China Li Hua, Dragon Li, Li Hua Mao and Li Mao.

What Does the Chinese Li Hua Cat Look Like?

This is a medium-sized cat with a large and powerful body. Their sturdy body is supported by strong legs that end with large paws. The wide diamond shaped head sports medium-sized ears and almond-shaped green or yellow eyes.

The brown mackerel tabby coat gives them a wild appearance and sets this breed apart from other tabby felines.

As far as the size standards are concerned, adult Chinese Li Hua Cats should be medium-large in size. The body must be large and agile, ideal for hunting and give this breed a powerful appearance.

Chinese Li Hua Cat Colors

The signature mark of the Chinese Li Hua is its striking brown tabby mackerel coat.

The ticketed hairs are black at the roots, yellow in the middle and brown at the tips. The coat on the lower belly is brownish yellow with two vertical and four horizontal leopard spots.

The coat on the legs and tail is encircled with black rings and the tip of the tail is also black.

The Chinese Li Hua Cats have a black mark at the upper corner of the mouth which gives them a smiling expression.

Chinese Li Hua Cat Personality Traits

The Chinese Li Hua has a friendly, easy-going, and playful nature. These cats are very intelligent, and they can learn to perform tricks.

According to some stories, an owner named Zhao Shangzai trained his Chinese Li Hua to fetch his morning paper. These smart cats also have a good memory and analytic skills that help them figure things out.

Thus, you should consider investing in cat toys that will keep your cat mentally occupied and help you be one step ahead of her. To keep your Dragon Li content, getting her puzzle toys is a good idea.

This breed is also an excellent hunter. So, hunting toys will keep her entertained for hours.

Provide enough space for your cat to run around and toy sets that will provide a variety of toys.

Because of its hunting skills the Chinese Li Hua might want to spend time exploring outdoors. To keep your cat protected invest in a playpen. Or you can even train your cat and take her for a walk on a leash.

The Chinese Li Hua is gentle towards its human companions. Furthermore, their easy-going nature makes them perfect for homes with children.

If allowed to go outside, the Li Hua Mao will be compelled to bring you gifts in forms of dead birds and rodents.


The lively and loyal Chinese Li Hua isn’t an attention seeking and demanding cat. Although friendly, they will seek just a bit of affection and daily attention. This trait makes them perfect for people with long working hours.

The mild-tempered Chinese Li Hua is a type of cat that prefers playing and will rarely jump in your lap to be cuddled or petted. However, they are gentle and loyal to their family and will take on the role of a caretaker.

An unobtrusive and devoted Li Hua Mao is a quiet cat that won’t trouble you with constant meows. The only time this cat may vocalize is to indicate that it is time for a meal.

Chinese Li Hua Cat Behavior

The Chinese Li Hua rarely develops any behavioral issues. These cats don’t ask much.

Just regular meals, lots of toys, and occasional petting session is all that your cat needs to thrive. This breed has a strong hunting instinct too.

It will catch mice, birds, or other smaller rodents if allowed to roam outdoors.

And while hunting is a natural behavior for all cats, you may find that cleaning dead animals from your front porch isn’t something you want to do on a regular basis.

If you don’t want to deal with dead ‘gifts’, keep your cat indoor only and give her a lot of toys that will keep her occupied.

Are Chinese Li Hua Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?

The Chinese Li Hua is a highly adaptable breed. These cats were kept for their mouser skills. So, they adapted to life in different conditions. Thanks to its easy-going nature this breed adjusts well to new environments.

The Chinese Li Hua is a moderately active breed that loves playing. Reinforce your cat’s jumping skills by providing her a cat tree. This breed needs daily activities to stay in best shape.

Hence, play with your cat every day and get her moving with a wand.

Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?

The good-tempered and quiet Li Hua makes a perfect addition to families with children. These are gentle and friendly cats that get along well with older kids. Due to its playful spirit, this breed enjoys playing games with children.

They also get along with dogs and other cats as long as they are introduced properly. Even though moderately active, this breed retains its playful nature during its whole life.

Make sure that you provide enough exercise and activities. Engage your cat in play sessions every day to keep her happy.

General Health and Potential Risks

This breed is very healthy. The Chinese Li Hua currently doesn’t have any known breed-related health issues. This may be attributed to the fact that this is a natural breed.

Or since this is a new breed and there wasn’t a lot of time to observe any health issues.

Either way, this is good news for all future owners who want a low maintenance cat and to save on vet bills.

However, you need to take your cat to regular vet check-ups, keep her vaccinated and dewormed. Moreover, if you plan to let your cat out, keep her protected from fleas and ticks.

Additionally, consider fixing your cat to avoid any injuries from fights over females and territory.

Chinese Li Hua Cat Lifespan

On average a Dragon Li Cat can live from 9-16 years. On the plus side, this number can only go up if you invest in proper preventative care.

Even though this breed doesn’t have any health problems don’t skip regular care. Use low-calorie cat food to keep your cat at a healthy weight.

Grooming Needs

The Chinese Li Hua has a thick short smooth coat that is easy to maintain.

To keep the coat clean groom your cat once a week. You can use a pet comb to remove any loose hair and keep the coat even. Additionally, regular grooming will distribute skin oils, remove dander, and keep the coat shiny.

Generally, there is no need to bathe a Li Hua cat that stays indoors only. If your kitty gets dirty exploring the outdoors use a natural cat shampoo to get her clean again.

Chinese Li Hua Cat Shedding

You will be glad to know that this breed doesn’t have an undercoat. Therefore, shedding is minimal if at all present.

Still, you should expect a small amount of cat hair around your home, especially if you don’t groom your cat regularly.

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Chinese Li Hua Cat. Read on to learn a bit more about this wild looking but friendly breed.

How Much is Chinese Li Hua Cat Price?

The exact price of a Chinese Li Hua kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. Typically, you can expect to pay in between $400 and $900 for a healthy and vaccinated kitten.

Since this breed is still rare, don’t be surprised if there is a waiting list of some sort.

How Big Do Chinese Li Hua Cats Get?

This is a slow maturing breed, and it can take as long as 3 years for your cat to reach her full size. Male cats are generally slightly larger and weigh from 10-12 pounds.

Female cats are slightly smaller and weigh from 9-11 pounds. The Chinese Li Hua is a powerfully built cat that can gain weight easily. So, include regular playing activities to keep your cat’s muscles toned and strong.

Are Chinese Li Hua Cats Hypoallergenic?

While some owners report that Chinese Li Hua is hypoallergenic and safe for people with allergies, there is no evidence that supports these claims. The fact that this is a low shedding cat might be the reason why some consider it less allergenic.

Still, if you suffer from allergies don’t take these claims at face value. If you are set on getting a Chinese Li Hua, talk with the breeder and arrange to meet the kitten prior to bringing it home.

This way, you will get a chance to see if the cat will cause allergy symptoms or not.

Is My Cat a Chinese Li Hua?

Chinese Li Hua Cats have certain physical traits that clearly distinguish them from other tabby cats. If you aren’t certain that your cat is Li Hua, you can confirm your suspicions by carefully observing your cat.

Check if the head is wide and diamond shaped and see if your cat has a distinctive black mark on the upper corners of the mouth that gives it a smiling expression. Furthermore, Li Hua cats have almond shaped green, yellow or brown eyes.

You should also check if your cat has black rings on her legs and tail.

If your kitty possesses all these traits and has a flecked brown mackerel tabby coat, congratulations! You have a Chinese Li Hua for sure.

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