Chinese Li Hua

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Chinese Li Hua

9-12 lb
Wide, strong, sturdy
9-16 years
Best Suited For
Any cat loving family, families with children and other pets, singles
Loyal, easygoing, loving, intelligent
Comparable Breeds
American Shorthair, Toyger
10-14 inches
Chinese Li Hua Breed History

The Chinese Li Hua is a rare cat that’s also quite new because it has only recently been developed as an official feline breed. The first showing of this breed in Beijing was in 2003. However, it does have an ancient history, dating back to 1300 BC. As a result, it’s one of the oldest feline breeds that are native to China.

The Li Hua is also considered one of the earliest domestic cat breeds, especially since these kitties were mentioned in ancient texts and have likely existed in China for hundreds of years.

The Chinese people highly respect the Li Hua, and are proud of this breed, which is descended directly from the wild Chinese Mountain Cat, making it a natural breed that evolved over the years on its own. In other words, the Li Hua wasn’t created by crossing other cat breeds on purpose.

The Chinese Li Hua is considered one of the earliest domestic cat breeds.

Breed Traits

Chinese Li Hua cats are easygoing, affectionate, agile, playful, and intelligent, making them a great choice for families with other felines and kids, as well as other pets, including dogs. They’re even known for learning how to perform tricks!

These kitties are gentle with humans, but they do have a reputation for being talented hunters, so they’ll gladly keep pests like mice at bay.

Overall Description

The Chinese Li Hua has retained much of its ancestors’ wild appearance, thanks to its brown mackerel tabby fur.

The coat is thick and short, and it features ticked hairs that are black at the base and then a light yellow shade in the middle with brown on the tips. Even the cat’s lower belly is a brownish yellow color with pretty leopard spots.

Black rings are found encircling the tail and legs, and the tip of the tail is also black. The face features a small black mark on the upper corner of the mouth, making it look as if the cat is smiling.

This breed is also known for its sturdy, large body and its wide, diamond shaped head, which gives these cats a rounded face and a hardly noticeable neck.

The eyes come in green, yellow, or brown, and they’re large and round, making this cat particularly beautiful.

What’s also interesting is that this breed is slow to mature, so it could take up to three years for a cat to reach its full size. But this breed is also quite healthy, as there are no known breed-specific diseases that affect it.


All of the cats of this breed come in the same brown tabby color.

Grooming Requirements

The double layer, short coat on the Chinese Li Hua makes grooming really simple.

Owners don’t really need to worry about grooming this cat, except for maybe a weekly brushing to keep the thick fur looking great, as well as to keep shedding to a minimum and to prevent hairballs.

Photo credit: Gennosuke!/Flickr; lithian/Bigstock; Natalyka/Bigstock

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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