THE DRAGON LI CAT

The Chinese Li Hua, also known as the Dragon Li, comes from China where it was bread from domesticated cats.

Brief History

This handsome cat breed can be traced as far back as the Xiang Dynasty. The Chinese Li Hua is a very old breed, and is believed to be one of the earliest of domesticated cat breeds in China. The Dragon Li is a purebred, and does not result from the breeding of two different cat breeds. In fact, they trace their lineage from the Chinese Mountain cat. These cats were ratters, and they also were great companions to humans. The Dragon Li is a very respected cat breed in China. This cat breed was first showed in Beijing in 2003. By 2010, the Dragon Li was accepted in to the Cat Fanciers Association’s Misc. class.

Physical Features

The Dragon Li has an athletic, stocky  build with a broad chest and powerful long legs. Their heads are wide, and diamond-shaped. Their eyes can be green, yellow or brown. Dragon Lis have high-set, medium-sized ears with rounded tips. Their paws are rounded and their tail is medium in length. This cat breed is known for having similar characteristics to wildcats, with their coats typically a brown mackerel tabby. Most notably, Dragon Lis are known for having a small black spot on the corner of the mouth.

Average Height:

10-14 inches

Average Weight:

8-12 pounds

Life Expectancy:

10-15 years

Temperament

The Dragon Li cat breed has above-average intelligence and is very loyal to family. These cats need plenty of space to explore with ideal living conditions being and indoor/outdoor combination. The Dragon Li gets claustrophobic in small spaces, and needs to have large spaces to run in, preferably outdoors.

Dragon Lis are easy to housetrain, and enjoy lots of mental stimulation through interactive cat toys. This cat breed is independent, yet needs family and other cats. While they may not be lap cats, Dragon Lis love playtime with their family and interactive games. This is not a lap cat. The Dragon Li gets along with dogs, other cats, and most domesticated animals.

Special Needs

Dragon Li cats breed have famously huge appetites, and needs to be kept on a high-quality diet at all times. Dental hygiene is also important for this cat breed to prevent gum disease.

Possible Health Concerns

The Dragon Li is a healthy and moderately active cat breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Gingivitis: Regular dental care will reduce plaque development in your cat, which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. With gingivitis, the gums will become inflamed because of plaque. Ligaments and bone are not yet affected. By including daily tooth brushing, dietary changes, using a plaque prevention gel, and oral rinses, you’ll be helping your cat. Consulting with your veterinarian for preventative cleanings every 3 months to save your cat’s teeth.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is rare in domestic cats, and is common in purebred cats. This occurs when the hip joint is loose, and leads to degenerative joint disease. (osteoarthritis) Symptoms include lameness that can be mild to severe. Cats generally need no surgery for hip dysplasia. Weight reduction can help reduce discomfort.
  • Ringworm: This is an infection of the skin, hair, or claws, and is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte. This occurs in 98% of cats. It spreads easily from cats to people. Symptoms include circular, bald patches that scale and have broken hairs in a ring-like fashion. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.

Exercise

The Dragon Li cat needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. This cat breed is a moderately active cat breed that thrives on being with family members. Cat gyms, cat scratchers, and interactive cat toys within a cat friendly home environment work best to keep them happy and healthy.

Nutrition

The Dragon Li cat breed will need a high-quality diet.

All cats do well by being fed twice daily. During kittenhood, kittens will need to be fed every few hours. Growing kittens need more calories, nutrients, vitamins, protein, and calories. Your cat should be able to enjoy a peaceful meal in a quiet corner of the house. Some cat parents prefer to leave cat kibble out 24/7. When looking for a high-quality cat food, here’s what to look out for:

  • No low-quality fillers
  • No artificial additives
  • Low grade ingredients or toxic ingredients
  • All cat food has to be meat-based because all cats are carnivores.
  • No garlic
  • Plant-based ingredients should be listed after the protein-based ingredients

Consult with your veterinarian for the best dietary advice for your Dragon Li.

Grooming

The Dragon Li needs daily grooming to remove shedding or dead hair. Because this breed has a short and fine, soft coat, grooming is easy. Stainless steel combs help to remove dead hair. Care must be taken when grooming leg hair and body hair to avoid sensitive areas. Some cats have very sensitive areas along their backs, legs, and belly area. Curry brushes help with grooming, and will remove dead hair and debris from your cat’s coat.

Look for high-quality pet products to decrease shedding, and help prevent hairballs. Daily cleaning with pet wipes beneath the tail is necessary. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a buildup of wax and dirt, organisms can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about safe and gentle ear cleaning techniques. Nail trimming is necessary every few weeks. Eyes should also be cleaned gently every morning with cotton wool or a soft wipe. Each eye should be cleaned with different wipes or cotton balls to avoid eye infection contamination in both eyes.

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