Coat Length: Short
Body Type: Cobby
Appearance: The Dragon Li cat is single-coloured – a golden brown mackerel tabby pattern. The coat is thick with black hair roots, lighter colour in the middle and brown tips to the hairs. The eyes are large, almond-shaped and luminescent green or yellow. The outer corner is slightly higher than the inner one. The females are smaller than the males (which weigh over 5 kg).
Grooming Requirement: Once a week
Activity Level: High
Affection: Moderately affectionate
Time Alone: More than 8 hours per day
Attention: Needs average attention
Temperament: The Dragon Li is an extremely intelligent cat, playful, lively, loyal and gentle with people. It’s mildmannered but active, loves to play with toys and can easily learn tricks. Dragon Li cats are well-known as talented hunters, this is maybe to be expected of a breed that’s only recently come in from the wild.
Interesting Facts: The Dragon Li is considered to be a self domesticated breed it hasn’t originated as a result of hybridization. The Dragon Li is also a very rare breed and it’s difficult to find one outside of China, mostly because it is a wild cat that’s only recently decided to live with humans! It was accepted by the US CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) in 2010.
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: Despite their recent wild heritage, Dragon Li cats are very friendly and well-suitable to families, indoor life and even children. They live calmly with other animals, cats of other breeds and cat-friendly dogs. Dragon Li felines truly enjoy human company and children’s attention.
Common Health Problems: Dragon Li cats are known as naturally healthy animals. As the breed is new outside China, there are no recorded breed-specific diseases.
Lifespan: 9 to 16 years.
The Dragon Li, also known as Chinese Li Hua, Li Hua Mau, or simply Li Mao, is a Chinese breed of domestic cat that reflects the symbolic nature of its country. The name was later changed to Dragon Li after a mythical Chinese dragon.
It is believed that the Dragon Li is a domesticated sub-species of the Chinese mountain cat. These animals are incredibly rare and finding any outside of China has proven to be a difficult task. Based on references found in old books, it is concluded that they probably lived in China for centuries. Their development as a breed, however, began much more recently. This is a natural breed, one that was not developed through cross-breeding. These cats possess a unique golden brown tabby pattern and, due to their wild nature, have a solid body structure. Their large green/yellow eyes are almond-shaped, their ears are distinctively tipped and their intelligence is appreciated by many.
While the exact progenitors of these animals are unknown, it is believed that they are sub-species of the Chinese Mountain Cat that self-domesticated. In the early 2000s they were bred by cat fanciers in Beijing, China, while in 2010 the breed was officially recognized by the Cat Fancier Association and added to their miscellaneous class. Since their 2010 recognition, the breed’s popularity is steadily increasing as more and more Dragon Li cats are domesticated across the world. These animals are, for the most part, an uncommon sight in Europe and North America. However, the rise in Dragon Li popularity in these areas is only a matter of time.
Diet / Feeding
Dragon Li cats require a well balanced diet, enriched with omega fatty acids that will ensure the healthy state of their coats and skin. Fibres constitute an essential part of their diet and stimulate intestinal transit. Supermarket cat formulas should be avoided. Instead, high quality dry and canned grain-free food should be provided from pet stores.
Dragon Li are coloured in distinctive golden-brown with a broken mackerel pattern. They have no undercoat, resulting in high sensitivity to cold weather. Grooming on a weekly basis should be sufficient to maintain their coats in a good condition. These cats shed moderately, however proper nutrition and regular grooming will minimize shedding and make it more manageable for the owner. Regular grooming is advised to remove hair, prevent matting and stimulate circulation.
This breed is in a generally healthy state and is not as vulnerable to illnesses and hereditary genetic diseases as other cat breeds. As a direct result, a healthy Dragon Li can live up to between 9 and 16 years. When purchasing a Dragon Li cat, it is important for the owner to obtain a written health guarantee from qualified breeders to ensure that the cat is not affected by any of the common feline diseases.
This breed is self-sufficient and does not require much attention. The Dragon Li would be a good choice for owners who are not looking for demanding and attention-seeking cats. This feline likes to engage in various activities, thus the owner should spend 10-15 minutes several times a day to interact with the pet. Daily exercise will ensure that the animal will maintain a consistent body weight and that its muscle tissue will remain undamaged. This active, but mild-mannered cat is well accustomed to families with children and cat-friendly dogs. The Dragon Li is able to learn tricks, enjoys interactive toys and likes the attention received from children who treat the cat politely and with respect. Young children should be shown how to appropriately pet the cat. For example, the cat should neither be held nor carried, but instead petted while on the ground. Any new pets, even other felines, should be introduced gradually and in a controlled environment.