The Chinese Li Hua is the oldest native breed in China with striking brown mackerel tabby markings. Affectionate, with a quiet disposition they are a great breed for families as they get on well with children and other pets.
The Chinese Li Hua (pronounced “Lee Wah”) is only available in a single colour, brown mackerel tabby. The colour is beautiful though, with a striking standout pattern. The hair of the Chinese Lu Hua is ticked with each strand of hair starting as a black root, progressing as a light yellow through the middle, and ending with brown at the tip.
Almond shaped eyes peer out of a wide diamond shaped face that is crowned with medium sized ears which end in a small tuft of fur at the very tip. Green is the preferred eye colour but they may also be yellow or brown.
A sturdy breed, their bodies are well proportioned but are slow to reach full maturity, which can take up to three years.
The Chinese Li Hua is a natural breed, which has existed in China for centuries (records date back as far as the Shang Dynasty in 1300 BC) and is thought to have come about through a natural pairing.
It is said that the Li Hua is a direct descendant of the Chinese mountain cat. Although there is no evidence for this it has not been scientifically disproven either.
Chinese Li Huas are quiet, yet affectionate cats with gentle dispositions. They are easy to handle and will get on well with other cats in the family.
They have a reputation for being quite smart and there is even a story of one owner, a famous Chinese historical character by the name of Zhao Shangzai (1908 – 1942), who taught his Chinese Li Hua to fetch the paper.
They love kids, enjoy human company in general, and will get along fine with dogs.
Did You Know?
The Chinese Li Hua is the oldest native breed in China and as such, these cats are greatly respected. They even hold weddings for these cats, with their wedding vows recited in catlike “mews”.
They were not shown as a breed in China until 2003, and only made it across to the United States as recently as 2010 where they are considered a rare breed.
Caring for Your Chinese Li Hua Cat
Their thick double coat requires at least a weekly grooming to prevent the risk of hairballs and keep shedding under control. Otherwise the Chinese Li Hua is a robust healthy cat with no known health issues.
If you have a Chinese Li Hua cat in your life, please share your experiences below.