At first glance the Deutsch Langhaar looks similar to the Siberian Cat and the British Longhair. But there are differences:
The Deutsch Langhaar is a muscular cat, but semi-cobby, the legs are of medium length, the chin is moderately strong developed, it has no large whisker pads, the eyes are open and slightly slanted, the coat is easy to groom, shiny and silky and cats with backparting are preferred.
The Deutsch Langhaar has high set cheek bones, open eyes (not deep set) and a more silky, flat coat preferably with back-parting.
Even in the first standard of the Deutsch Langhaar written by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Schwangart in 1929 it was the aim to preserve the features of a more natural counterpart to the early Persian that had been bred in Great Britain for decades. This hasn't changed since then.
In 2000 there was only one breeder (Renate Aschemeier) of Deutsch Langhaar left. The last reproductive male from her breeding program is one of the foundations upon which the breeding program is based. His genetic heritage shall be preserved in the modern Deutsch Langhaar.
Since the recognition by World Cat Federation (WCF, member of WCC) in 2012 the numbers of modern Deutsch Langhaar cats and breeders are growing constantly.
Because a healthy breed is essential to the breeders of Deutsch Langhaar cats they started a Health and Screening Program in 2010. Deutsch Langhaar cats are free from PKD and show no signs of HCM. 95% of the current breeding cats are examined at least once by heart ultrasound. It was a great success so nowadays breeding cats are genetically free from conditions that can be tested by recent gene tests. To track health and other traits in Deutsch Langhaar cats there is an online database with data of 1300 individual cats hosted by working group.
Working Group Deutsch Langhaar
In der Siedlung 38, 99444 Blankenhain, Germany
The history of the Deutsch Langhaar cat or German Longhair begins in the early 20th century, when cat breeding started as we know it today, and the cat fancy was enthusiastic especially about long-haired cats.
In the middle of Europe there were longhaired cats descending from the early Persian and Angora cats of the 17th century with a friendly glance and wonderful temper - an affectionate cat with a wonderful soft and silky coat and a fluid movement often being sold for very high prices as status objects of the rich and famous. These elegant cats, the oldest native longhaired breed in Germany – Deutsch Langhaar – has been almost extinct, but is now saved.
The first show standard of Deutsch Langhaar written by Dr Friedrich Schwangart (1874-1958) is dated in 1929. In the following years German Longhairs were shown in many shows, won titles and in 1932 a Deutsch Langhaar called "Fuchs von der Rheinburg", owned by Dr Heine, Leipzig, became "Bundesieger" (photo). World War II interrupted breeding programs and it seemed the Deutsch Langhaar cats were lost forever.
In recent years, the cat fancy has shown a growing interest in cat breeds that are easily kept indoor. The Deutsch Langhaar with its friendly and moderate nature and being sociable and people-oriented possesses all the qualities required. Furthermore, they show no traits that could have health-impairing consequences. People just love the moderate and natural look combined with a lush, silky coat, not to forget an overall excellent health due to a highly responsible health programme.
"Fuchs von der Rheinburg", owned by Dr Heine, Leipzig, 1932