Chinese Li Hua Cat

Did You Know?

Also known as Dragon Li, this wild cat breed was spread all over China. Thanks to their natural hunting traits, they were tasked with the job to guard crops and grains by preying on rodents. It is only recently that the Chinese Li Hua was officially recognized in the USA. The CFA placed Dragon Li in the ‘miscellaneous class.’ Chinese Li Hua owners are known to hold weddings of their furry felines belonging to the cat breed.


With a height of almost 10-14 inches, Li Hua weighs between 9 and 12 lbs.


Short, thick


Brown is the predominant color of the Li Hua, with a brownish yellow-colored belly with leopard spots and black rings on the tail and legs.

Life Span

9-16 years

One of the oldest native breeds of China, the Chinese Li Hua is known for his affectionate nature. With a short brown mackerel tabby coat, the loving, easygoing, and loyal kitty forms a strong attachment with humans and is happy go lucky with children. Also known as Dragon Li, it is a natural cat breed that can live up to 9-16 years and well known for being a smart and talented hunter.

Physical Characteristics of Chinese Li Hua Cats

Large, sturdy, and well-proportioned, the Chinese Li Hua has a short and thick coat with brown mackerel fur, big paws, and a muscular tail. The outer corners of their large, round, almond-shaped eyes are placed higher than the inner corner. Green, yellow, or brown colors of eyes are a defining characteristic of their looks, with medium-sized ears ending in a small tuft of fur.

A small black mark on the upper corner of the mouth adds a charming touch to the beautiful tabby, creating the impression of a smiling kitty.

The cat breed is slow to mature, and it may take a Li Hua three years to become a grown-up full-sized kitty. A wide, diamond-shaped head gives the ancestral Chinese tabby a rounded face and a hidden neck. Her robust, stout built is reminiscent of the Chinese wild cat.

Their tail is slightly shorter than the overall body length.

Another distinguishing characteristic of the Chinese cat breed is the striking standout pattern, with each strand of hair starting in the darker shade of black, progressing into a light yellow in the middle, and ending with a brown tip.

Black rings surround their tail and legs, with the tail ending in a black tip.

Personality and Temperament of Chinese Li Hua Cats

Intelligent, friendly, and lively, the Chinese cat breed is agile, affectionate, and playful with a gentle disposition that makes them a kid-friendly pet. A perfect addition for families with children, Li Hua acts as a family caretaker and even gets along with dogs and cat-friendly pets, when introduced politely.

Although the well-behaved feline beauty is not a lap cat, they are loyal and make a great feline friend, without being too demanding. Energetic and active, they always remain energetic. These cats do not easily get tired of playing and rarely spend time coiling and lazing up on the bed.

They find solace in an enclosed outdoor area where they can bask in the sun or climb, though they can easily adapt to any changes in the environment.

Intelligent with unmistakable intelligence, the Chinese Li Hua knows how to play tricks. A talented hunter, these cats are gentle with humans and help keep pests at bay.

Li Hua is not much vocal. This means you would not hear them meowing unless they are hungry or have something urgent to say.

Health and Care of Chinese Li Hua Cats

As descendants of wild cats, Dragon Li are naturally healthy. Owners rarely feel perturbed by too many health issues that some other cat breeds are affected with. However, the lack of an undercoat may make them vulnerable to cold conditions. This means you should look after them in chilling winter conditions.

Their short, smooth, and appealing coat requires regular grooming, combing, and brushing to remove dead hair. Brushing their teeth is a good idea to keep them from periodontal diseases.

Wipe clean the corners of their eyes regularly with a soft, damp cloth for each eye. This will help remove any discharge and reduce the risk of any infection of their beautiful cat eyes.

The Chinese Li Hua have a life span of up to 9 to 16 years.

History and Background

A direct descendant of the wild mountain cat of China, Li Hua is a natural cat breed that was not developed through crossbreeding. Ancient Chinese text also mentions about the cat breed attesting its existence for ages.

Also known as Li Hua Mao, China Li Hua, Li Mao, they are the unofficial cat of China that were only recently entered in the Cat Fanciers Association’s Miscellaneous Class. A rare breed, these felines are hardly found outside of China and are not too common in North America and Europe.