Cat Breeds

Dragon li cat

A naturally shaped Chinese breed. The dragon li cat is the hero of many legends and folk tales.


These cats are known for their intelligence, loyalty and willingness to play. They work very well as family companions. Their gentleness makes them suitable for homes with children. They also get along with the dog living in the house.

In China, they are valued for their hunting abilities. Slow-moving cats often bring gifts in the form of hunted animals. At home, the dragon li are eager to play with catching and retrieving toys, because in this way they can realize their innate instinct.

Dragon li are curious. They like to welcome people who come to the home and are happy to accompany caregivers in various activities. They are sociable, but not particularly effusive – they do not impose themselves, they rather observe from the side. Of course, there is some individual differentiation here: some dragon li like to sit on the guardian’s lap, others rather watch from a distance. Many of them value active interaction in the form of fun more than caresses. They learn tricks easily.

Dragon li cat

Dragon li cats require a lot of activity to feel completely happy and fulfilled. They are not, however, intrusive, constantly demanding attention or noise. They usually speak only when they want to let them know that their mealtime has come. They are quite independent and keep the typical cat’s distance, but they also need a company. They don’t feel comfortable sitting all day alone. They require space for running – good if they can explore the surroundings, for example, a properly secured garden. You can also walk them on a leash.

They ripen slowly, grow up to 3 years. With proper care, they rarely show behavioral problems. They easily adapt to life in various conditions. Regular meals, lots of toys, a little caregiver attention from time to time will make dragon li happy. They are moderately active cats, but remember to provide them with mental and physical stimulation so that they can enjoy their full health.

Dragon li cat. Advantages and disadvantages

Dragon li cat – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!


  • very rare breed
  • badly tolerates loneliness


  • nice friendly companion
  • easily acclimatized
  • unobtrusive, likes to be close to a man
  • gets along with another cat and also with a dog
  • easy to care for
  • generally healthy and resilient
  • very huntable
Dragon li cat

Dragon li cat. Health

They are generally healthy cats – there are no reports of predispositions to specific diseases. They are long-lived, live for over a dozen years.


They should receive good quality food adapted to age and activity as well as other needs (e.g. for castrates).


Easy to care (just comb the fur once a week, periodically clean your ears and corners of the eyes). Little molt. For non-emerging cats, it is recommended to trim the nails every 2-3 weeks – similar to other cat breeds.

Dragon li cat

Dragon li cat. History

The dragon li cat is from China. Other names for this breed are li hua, li hua mao or li hua mau. Under these last names, the breed is known in China. Li means “fox” (however strange it may sound, these animals were sometimes confused with foxes), hua – a flower (by associating with a fur pattern) and mao / mau is just a cat. The names li hua or dragon li are used internationally – dragon is the dragon, the favorite legendary animal of the Chinese people, a symbol of power and happiness.

Dragon li cats are tabby cats with a tiger pattern with broken stripes on a golden-brown background. There may be small brushes on the ears. The eyes are large, round, yellow or green. Body structure quite solid.

Dragon li cat

This is one of the youngest officially recognized breeds, but probably one of the oldest existing. It is a natural breed, i.e. one that occurred spontaneously, rather than shaped by artificial crosses. Chinese sources say that the ancestors of these cats would be Tibetan cats, considered a subspecies of a wildcat or even a separate species of wild little cat ( Felis bieti or Felis silvestris bieti ). However, this is a controversial theory, although it has not been scientifically refuted to this day. However, it is known that other non-hybrid domestic cats are descendants of the Nubian cat ( Felis silvestris lybica), it seems that the separate origin of this breed of cat is a legend rather than a fact. The debut of the breed at the show took place in Beijing in 2003. In 2010, dragon li was recognized by the CFA.

These cats are common in China, they are mentioned in old books and other written sources. They were kept to protect shops, food warehouses, granaries etc. from rodents. Currently, the breed is most popular in the homeland, where dragon li is unofficially a “national cat”, while in all other countries it is very rare.

Dragon li cat


Dragon li cat – li hua – li hua mao – li hua mau – Breeds not recognized by FIFe

EMS code: none

  • Origin: China
  • Character: friendly, sociable, playful, intelligent
  • Size: medium to large
  • Weight: female 4-5 kg, male 4.5-5.5 kg
  • General appearance: proportional, strong and muscular
  • Head: slightly elongated, cheeks clear
  • Ears: large, close together
  • Eyes: round, slightly oblique, green, yellow or brown (green are preferred)
  • Nose: Straight
  • Torso: elongated, well-developed chest
  • Limbs: Legs proportional to the torso, slightly tapering downwards, round feet
  • Tail: medium length, wider at the base, rounded at the end
  • Coat: short, dense, close-fitting, undercoat not very abundant
  • Color:  brindle, tiger pattern, some stripes may be continuous, others interrupted, yellow-brown background
  • Activity: moderately active

Interesting facts

Apparently one of these cats in China has learned to bring a newspaper to his guardian.

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