The origin of the breed is not exactly clarified, so the version of the self-domestication of a wild mountain cat is widely used. Li Hua is considered one of the oldest Chinese breeds of domestic cats. In Chinese, the name of the breed Li Hua Mao looks like 狸 花猫 and literally translates into English like Fox Flower Cat, I find it difficult to adequately translate into Russian. At the international level, the name of the breed Dragon Li is used to emphasize the origin of this cat and to evoke associations with ancient Chinese culture.
Cats of the breed Li Hua Mao are mentioned in ancient Chinese texts, they lived in most of China for centuries. At the moment, in the historical homeland in China, this breed is very popular, albeit small in number. A cat of this breed has become the central theme of the literary legend "Li Mao Huang Tai-Tzu", as well as the hero of the television series.
December 30, 2003 - January 6, 2004 The breed was demonstrated at an international exhibition in Beijing, as an experimental one. In 2005, a standard was developed under the CAA (Cat Aficionado Association). In 2005, a cat named Needy (owner Da Khan) took 1st place in its class and became a CAA champion. Since then, the breed has gained international recognition and aroused wide interest of felinologists. In February 2010, the breed was officially recognized by the CFA for demonstration in the class of others.
In October, two Chinese Li Hua Zhong Guo and Nao Nao were brought to the United States (Palm Springs, California); in March 2011, two more arrived - Sen Hua (Sam), who lives in Georgia, and Dee Dee (South Dakota) .
Today the breed is very rare and it is almost impossible to purchase Li Hua Mao outside of China.
Dragon Li is a Chinese cat breed that is very popular in its homeland and also in the USA. For the first time these cats were presented at one of the Beijing shows in 2003, but the breed received official recognition only in 2010. Despite these figures, Li Hua cats are not new. They have been living in China for quite some time. It is believed that these are the descendants of ancient cats that inhabited the mountains many centuries ago.
Dragon Lee is one of the ten most popular striped cats in the United States, occupying an honorable third place. But in Russia this breed did not take root. Lee Mao is already very similar to our simple yard striped cats.
History and breed standard
First of all, it is worth saying that the name "Dragon Lee" is used only in Western countries and is used more likely for commercial purposes. Apparently, to emphasize the ancient Chinese origin. At home, they are better known as Li Hua or Li Mao.
There is no exact information about the origin of these cats. It is only known that the Chinese consider Li Mao to be the descendants of mountain Chinese cats, which were subsequently domesticated.
Li Hua was first introduced to the public in 2003. The preliminary standard for the breed was written in 2005, but Dragon Li received recognition only in 2010. At the same time, the first representatives of the breed were exported from China. Their popularity is quite high in China, as well as in the USA. In Europe, these cats are extremely rare, and in the CIS countries they are not at all known. Today, the dragon Lee is considered one of the rarest cat breeds in the world.
At first glance, Dragon Lee is no different from a purebred domestic cat, and a person who knows nothing can not distinguish between them. But of course, there are differences. Li Mao is a large, muscular cat with strong and strong legs and even posture. Unlike most of the breed, Li Hua has hind legs the same length as the front. The tail is proportional to the length of the body and quite thick.
The shape of the head is slightly elongated and has a graceful round forehead. The muzzle of a cat is round with an even profile and a massive chin. Eyes are the highlight of this breed. They are almond-shaped and have a slightly slanting fit. Eye color can be yellow or green.
Li Hua’s wool is two-layer, thick and densely packed, but it has practically no undercoat. In males, a fur coat is usually tougher to the touch than in cats. The only color recognized by the standard is brown tabby. Black stripes should be on the head and throughout the body, the tail is covered with black rings, the tip is completely colored. Each individual hair is colored in three shades: black, brown and light brown.
Dragon is a gentle and calm breed. Although these cats cannot be called independent, they are still less attached to people than most breeds. Nevertheless, they are easy to make contact, sociable and playful. Li Mao gets along well with other animals in the house and does not show aggression. But with children cats of this breed do not find a common language. They do not show aggression towards them, but they are not in a hurry to make friends, preferring to be at a distance from them.
This breed is well suited for keeping in an apartment. Li Hua is moderately active, but quite calm. They do not give up games, but with an independent stay at home they prefer to sleep peacefully in a secluded place.
Parenting and training
The Chinese argue that smarter and more supple breeds can not be found. Li Hua smart and grasp everything literally on the fly. A cat can easily be trained in various teams. The main thing here is to find the right approach. These cats are very loyal to the owners and try to please them in everything. Perhaps this is precisely the secret of such flexibility in training.
Raising a cat of this breed is not at all necessary. Cat mom herself teaches her children to the tray and to the designated place for a meal.
Maintenance, care, health
Li Mao has puberty later than other cats. An adult is considered an individual who has reached the age of three. This is also due to the fact that the kitten is not excommunicated from the mother earlier than at twelve weeks.
Dragon Lee does not require careful maintenance. He has a short coat that has virtually no undercoat. You need to comb out the coat no more than once a week. For these purposes, a rubber massage mitten is quite suitable, which not only removes dead hair and improves blood circulation, but also gives unearthly pleasure to a cat.
Bathing is recommended as necessary, but not more than once a month. From means for bathing, you can use both cat and ordinary baby shampoos.
Li Mao's cats are of indigenous origin. They were not crossed with other breeds, which means that they have no genetic diseases associated with this. They have good health and, with proper care, live freely until they are 18–20 years old.
There are no specific recommendations for feeding this particular breed. Of course, the cat's diet should be as balanced as possible and include all groups of products. From meat, you should choose low-fat varieties. The fish must first be boiled. Do not forget about vegetables, cereals and dairy products.
It is also necessary to ensure that the cat is constantly poured fresh drinking water. This is especially true for the summer period.
Appearance of Chinese Li Hua cats
The physique of these cats is muscular, the body is strong and slender, rectangular in shape with a wide chest. Medium to large size. The weight of males is not less than 5 kilograms, cats - not less than 3.5 kg. The body is longer than height, when viewed from the side, the back should be almost straight. The limbs are proportional to the body, medium in size, straight, strong and muscular.
The front legs are the same length as the hind legs, or slightly less. Paws are large, oval, wide, with five fingers on the front and four on the hind limbs. Head elongated, forehead rounded. The ears are medium sized, wide at the base, rounded at the end. The tail is long, but slightly shorter than the length of the body, thick at the base and tapering smoothly to the tip. The eyes are large, almond-shaped, green or yellow, slightly set obliquely (the outer corner of the eye should be higher than the inner). Near the corners of the mouth are black dots that create the effect of a smile.
The coat is short, silky, smooth, soft, with a weak undercoat, dense and bilayer. Males are tougher than females.
Only one color is recognized: brown broken tabby mackerel (black tiger tabby). Black stripes on the head, dark spots on the abdomen, the tail is colored with dark rings, the tip of the tail is black. The chest must have at least one continuous strip in the shape of a necklace. Stripes extend from the outer corner of the eye and the lower part of the cheeks, which extend to the neck.
The legs are covered with black rings above the wrist, below the wrist are painted brown. The tabby pattern should be clear and bright, the hair is ticked, that is, each individual hair is painted with shining stripes, at the root black, in the middle part light and brown at the end.
Representatives of the breed Li Hua develop slowly and fully mature only by the age of three. You can buy kittens after they reach the age of twelve to sixteen, when they are already strong enough for moving and exhibiting.
The disadvantages are: excess fat, disproportionately large ears, too wide or too narrow forehead, the outer corner of the eye is not higher than the inner corner, a fuzzy fur pattern.
Disqualification: malocclusion, eye color other than yellow, green, or brown, extra paw fingers, tail defects, long or curly hair, white paws, white muzzle, lack of a black tail tip, light nose, no stripes on the chest in the form of a necklace.
Since the Chinese Li hua mao (this is another name for the breed), descended from wild mountain cats, carries the genetic memory and the primitive instincts of these animals. And therefore, if you live in a private house, you can not even doubt that your pet will be incredibly happy about this. He will climb trees, bask in the grass in the sun, hunt mice and birds - he is a wonderful hunter, by the way.
In relation to the owner and members of his family, the Chinese hua shows affection and friendliness, is always ready to warm loved ones with his warmth. However, it has an independent character and quick wits, if it was a question of a person, they would say that this is a strong personality. Thanks to internal confidence and strength, the cat has patience and calmness, and therefore normally perceives other domestic animals. But - only if it is not a parrot, fish or guinea pig, as in them whether hua will definitely see the prey.
Children and strangers are treated calmly, without negativity. They love and value the attention of the owners, and worry if they do not receive it. Also, a hua cat is strongly attached not only to people, but also to the place, and therefore adaptation to a new home is difficult.
Like other indigenous cats, Chinese dragons have no health problems. These are hardy animals with strong immunity.
This breed belongs to the shorthair, and therefore it is enough to comb the pet once a week. You can bathe every 2 months or as needed. You also need to brush your teeth at least 3 times a week, claws are cut about once every 10 days, and your ears are cleaned as they become dirty.