Chinese Li Hua – Dragon Li

Dragon Li
10-14 inches
8 to 12 pounds
life span
9 to 15 years
Affectionate with Family
Amount of Shedding
General Health
Potential for Playfulness
Tendency to Vocalize
Kid Friendly
Easy to Groom
Pet Friendly

The Chinese Li Hua, also known as the Dragon Li, comes from China. It was bred from domesticated cats in China.

Brief History

This handsome cat breed can be traced as far back as the Xiang Dynasty. The Chinese Li Hua is a very old cat breed, and is believed to be one of the earliest of domesticated cat breeds that began in China. The Dragon Li is a purebred, and does not result from the breeding of two different cat breeds. This cat breed originates 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 Description

The Dragon Li has a muscular build. The chest is broad, the legs, long ad powerful. The head is wide, and diamond-shaped. This is a medium-sized cat that is athletic and stocky. The almond-shaped eyes can be green, yellow or brown. Ears are set high, and are medium in size. The ears have rounded tips. The paws are rounded, and the tail is of medium-length. This cat breed looks similar to wildlife cats. The coat color is brown mackerel tabby. The temperament is independent, loyal, and intelligent. This cat breed has a small black spot on the corner of the mouth.

Two dragon li


The Dragon Li cat breed has above intelligence, and is very loyal to family. This cat breed needs plenty of space. That said, a combination of both indoors and outdoors is best for this breed. The Dragon Li gets claustrophobic in small spaces, and needs to have large spaces to run in, preferably outdoors. Safe outdoor environments need to be created for this magnificent cat breed that enjoys hanging out and playing with family members.

They 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. This is not a lap cat. The Dragon Li gets along with dogs, other cats, and most domesticated animals. They enjoy playing feather- chase with children that are quiet. Males are quirkier, with females being more dignified, and perhaps needing more alone time. This breed is very active, and needs plenty of feline sporting activities and TLC to keep busy!

Special Needs

Dragon Li kittens should be vaccinated according to a vaccination schedule. This will begin at two months of age. Intestinal parasites are also common in kittens, since the Dragon Li mother cat may pass down larvae through the placenta or milk. Your veterinarian will treat your kitten with a broad-spectrum wormer. You will also need to consult with your veterinarian as to the safest antiparasitic products for your cat.

You may also be faced with several health problems after adoption. These could be linked to behavioral problems. Consult with your veterinarian for a behavioral history of your senior cat if working through issues. Understanding why your cat is having problems is important, so that your veterinarian can treat them.

Your Dragon Li cat will need to socialize. If getting a kitten, socialization should commence during kittenhood. Your kitten should be handled before reaching ten weeks of age. Cats that have not had the proper amount of socialization may avoid human contact.

When introducing your new Dragon Li cat to other pets in the home, it should be done gradually and over the course of a few days. They should be able to smell each other through safety gates, and then held while getting introduced. Allow pets together for short periods of time if they are calm, and gradually increase the amount of time that the pets spend together. Within multi-pet households, patience and calmness is important.

Your cat will also need to be spayed or neutered. Your cat needs to be protected from household dangers like cleaning supplies, toxic plants, electrical cords, and aggressive animals. Cats are carnivores, and will need a high-quality diet with plenty of fresh water every day. Exercise can be achieved through a variety of play toys that encourage running and a game of chase. Sedentary cats may be prone to obesity, and health problems later on in life.

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.


Chinese Li Hua

Playtime for indoor cats is extremely important. Because cats are natural predators, and are kept in a domestic environment, daily playtime schedules should mimic “hunt, eat, and chill.” This would be the same schedule that they would have out in the wild. By providing a healthy and stimulating playtime schedule, many feline behavioral problems are eliminated or reduced in frequency. Cat parents need to mimic a cat’s “natural environment combined with activity” within their household, to ensure that their cats are well-balanced and happy.

The Dragon Li cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. Cat parents can use cat toys like the Mousr or Cat Dancer to get their cats to play. This will encourage your cat to play. Finding a variety of mentally stimulating cat toys will allow for your cat to lead a well-balanced life, with the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation.

Cat harnesses also allow for daily walks. Cats can benefit from being outdoors and going for a safe walk on a harness. Indoor cats will get to experience new sights and sounds. There are many new cat harnesses on the market that allow for your cat to have more freedom. These include 10-foot cat leashes that are retractable and come in corded and taped styles.

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 for this fabulous cat breed.

Look out for the latest cat toys like Ripple rug play mats, the Feather Whirls, pet cube toys, food trees, turbo scratcher toys, cat companion interactive toys, and electronic motion toys. Interactive cat toys help to keep cats entertained when you’re out and about.

Cat trackers like the Pod are waterproof and allow for cat parents to track their cat’s daily activities. Cat parents can track their cats by mobile phone and computer applications.


3 cats are waiting to be fed

The Dragon Li cat breed will need a high-quality diet. That said, a high-quality diet that is appropriate for the specific life stage of the cat is necessary. Protein as an ingredient, needs to come first. Dry cat food is a popular choice because it promotes healthier gums and teeth. Yet wet food is more often recommended by veterinarians because it provides more moisture to cats. Cats don’t drink a lot of water and tend to sometimes get dehydrated. Wet cat food also has its benefits. By choosing a well-known name- brand cat food that has scientific backing, as well as quality control, cat parents can be assured that they are providing a well-balanced diet.

All cat breeds need high-quality fat and protein in their diets. They also need amino acids, including taurine that cannot be found in either human food or dog food. There are also numerous specialty diets for your cat that are formulated specifically for certain medical problems like urinary tract disorder, obesity, or kidney disease.

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.


Dragon Li

Cat pampering is a norm today with feline pet parents wanting the very best for the cats. Your Dragon Li may be susceptible to skin diseases originating from flea bites, mites, yeast infections, and infections. Opt for natural cat grooming products to help resolve these skin irritants.

All cat breeds have highly sensitive skin. By using grooming wipes and waterless shampoos in between bathing schedules, you’ll have a healthier cat.

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. Products like the Furminator will easily groom through your cat’s coat, and safely remove dead hair without hurting your cat. Soft tip massagers, deluxe nail trimmers, and de-shedding tools all help make cat grooming so much easier.

All cat breeds will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Daily grooming is necessary because it limits the amount of hair that your cat will consume. This helps limit the development of hairballs. Your Dragon Li cat will enjoy being groomed. Coat hair always looks best during the cold winter months. Cats that have been spayed or neutered will have great coats year-round. This is because hormonal changes in cats affects coat length and thickness.

Daily cleaning with pet wipes beneath the tail is necessary. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a build-up 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.

Adopting a Dragon Li

Dragon Li

Socialization is very important for all cat breeds, no matter how docile a breed is. With socialization, cats learn how to get along with other cats, animals, and people. That said, your cat should never be placed in a dangerous environment or be near aggressive dogs or people. Your Dragon Li should also never be left alone all day.

All cat breeds that have not been socialized during kittenhood, and during the latter stages of life will fear humans and avoid human contact. By playing with and providing the best care for your rescue, you’ll be developing a close bond, and working toward reducing, and eventually eliminating any negative feline behaviors with positive clicker training.

Natural feline behaviors like urine marking, soiling outside the litter box, fighting with a new cat may be behaviors that you’ll have to deal with when bringing your new cat home. If you have other cats at home, they may be territorial, and see the newcomer as a threat. All these problems can be worked through with the help of a good veterinarian and cat behavioral therapist.

That said, the Dragon Li is a unique cat breed! With intelligent personalities, and fun attitudes, adopting a Dragon Li will be extremely rewarding. With so many cats up for adoption, it is the only way to go! There are so many cats in shelters today that desperately need a good home. When choosing your cat, ask questions, and look for a great temperament! That said, numerous cats can be quirky at shelters, but soon settle down in their new homes, and become very friendly and sociable.

In addition, kittens should be playful and curious. Sickly kittens that have bad odors or plenty of diarrhea stains, and a dull coat need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Kittens when ill, can go downhill very quickly. However, the rewards of adopting a sick animal and caring for it are tremendous, provided that good veterinary care is provided right away.

Healthy kittens will also need plenty of care, numerous daily feedings, socialization, and positive litter box training. Keep in mind that vaccinations and parasite control are an important part of feline health care.

Consider pet health insurance for your Dragon Li. With so many great and affordable pet health plans available today, there’s no reason to avoid keeping your pet covered in case of an emergency.

Your cat will also need to be protected from household hazards, most especially electrical cables, poisonous plants, medication, and open windows. The Dragon Li makes for a wonderful adoption! As usual, make sure that children are always gentle and quiet around your cat.

Give your cat time to adjust to his new surroundings. As with any cat adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your very sweet and agile Dragon Li.

Frequently Asked Questions

cat sitting and looking

What other name is the Dragon-Li called?

This Chinese cat breed is also known as the Fox Flower cat or Chinese Li Hua.

Is the Dragon-Li a new cat breed?

No, this cat breed has been around for centuries in the wild and eventually domesticated itself. The Dragon-Li is the national cat breed of China, and is a rare cat breed that is not found often in other countries.

Is the Dragon-Li related to any other cat breed?

It’s possible that this cat breed originated from the Chinese Mountain Cat, as opposed to being a selectively bred cat breed.

How much does a Dragon-Li cat?

This breed can cost as much as a thousand dollars or more. That said, you should try to adopt a Dragon-Li cat from your local shelter if possible.

Is the Dragon-Li a friendly cat breed?

Yes, this cat breed is friendly and sensitive making him a great companion cat to have at home. This cat breed does suffer from separation anxiety and should not be left alone at home all day or he may become bored and destructive.

Is this a good cat breed to have with other pets?

This is one of the best cat breeds to have along with dogs and other household pets. As usual, always introduce to cat gradually to other pets in the home.


  • Terry Reply

    Is there any breeders of the Sragon Li Hau Mao ( Fox Flower Cat) in the US, England, Canada, or China that you have information on.. I had a male Drago Li Gau I found in Shanghai as a kitten. It was accidentally killed in a house fire. He was an amazing cat and U want to find another male kitten in China, or anywhere there are reputable breeders. Is there a Dragon Li Cat Association that might have a list of breeders. Terry at

    • PetOnBed Reply

      Hi there! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any reputable breeders in the USA or Canada. We don’t have information about breeders in China.

      • Mei-Lin Po Reply

        This is frustrating. I cannot find any information on reputable breeders anywhere, either!

        I mean, I understand the breed is still extremely rare in the US, but I keep hoping to find something in China…

        • PetOnBed Reply

          Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and share your concern. We understand how finding a reputable breeder for a rare breed like the Chinese Li Hua can be quite challenging, especially outside its country of origin. While it’s true that this breed is still relatively rare in the US, we appreciate your interest in ensuring you find a responsible and reputable source.

          Here are a few suggestions that might help you in your search:

          Contact Cat Fanciers’ Associations: Organizations like The International Cat Association (TICA) or the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) might have resources or contacts for breeders of rare breeds like the Chinese Li Hua. Even if they don’t have immediate contacts, they might guide you on how to proceed with your search responsibly.

          Explore Breed-Specific Clubs: Look for breed-specific clubs for the Chinese Li Hua, particularly those based in China. These clubs often have connections to reputable breeders and can provide guidance on acquiring a cat internationally.

          Social Media Groups and Forums: Joining breed-specific groups or forums on social media platforms can connect you with a community of enthusiasts and potential breeders. Sometimes, breeders or owners might know someone who is planning a litter or can help you import a cat safely.

          Visit Cat Shows: Attending cat shows could also be an opportunity to meet breeders and learn more about the breed firsthand. Even if Chinese Li Hua cats are rare, you might encounter someone with connections to breeders in China.

          Exercise Caution with International Transactions: When considering an international breeder, please ensure to do thorough research and understand any import regulations, including quarantine and health requirements. It’s crucial to ensure that any breeder you consider is ethical and prioritizes the health and well-being of their cats.

          We understand that the process can be daunting, but your patience and diligence in finding a reputable source will be worth it for the well-being of your future pet. Please keep us updated on your journey, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions or need further assistance. Your dedication to responsible pet ownership is admirable, and we wish you the best of luck in your search for a Chinese Li Hua.

          Warm regards

  • Nan Mader Reply

    I am looking for Dragon Li kitten orPacific northwest breeders in U S

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