- Origin: China
- Energy: Medium to high
- Temperament: Intelligent, lively, easygoing
- Weight: Males 5 kg (11 lbs), females 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lbs)
- Colours: Brown
- Eyes: Yellow to green
- Coat: Short
- Grooming: Weekly
- Other names: Chinese Li Hua Mao or China Li Hua
The Dragon Li is a new breed to the cat fancy which has been developed from natural landrace of cats. Although the breed is relatively new in the cat fancy, the Dragon Li is, in fact, an ancient breed, with references dating back centuries. It has been suggested that the Dragon Li is a descendant of the Chinese Mountain cat (Felis silvestris bieti). Their primary job was to protect crops and grain by controlling rodent populations.
In January 2004, the Dragon Li made its debut at a cat show in Beijing, China held by the Cat Aficionado Association (Chinese’s largest cat registry). The Cat Fanciers Association accepted the breed for showing in the miscellaneous class in 2010.
The Dragon Li is the unofficial cat of China, and the name Li Hua Mao translates to fox flower cat due to its flower-like coat pattern.
The Dragon Li is medium-sized cat with a powerful body supported on strong legs and oval paws. It can take up to three years for cats to reach their full adult size.
Almond-shaped eyes can range in colour from gold to green, with green the preferred colour.
The shorthaired coat comes in one colour, brown mackerel tabby. Each ticked hair has a black root, lighter middle section and brown tip.
The Dragon Li is regarded as an exceptional mouser, but these skills don’t impact the cat’s friendly and personable nature.
Words used to describe the Dragon Li include intelligent, loyal and playful. This is a breed that gets along well with people and other pets.
Buying a Dragon Li
The Dragon Li is an exceptionally rare cat outside China. As of 2017, there were only four cats in the United States. This means the chances of finding a registered Dragon Li breeder are close to nil. The brown mackerel tabby (pictured above) is a common coat colour and pattern among mixed breed and some purebred cats.
Always do your homework when choosing a cat. All cat breeders must be registered with a relevant cat association and have a breeder prefix, which is the name of the cattery. They should provide a pedigree with the cats and kittens they sell.