Top 10 Long Haired Cat Breeds And Their Characteristics

Give us a cat with hair! Long beautiful hair! Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen! For long haired cats, the hair goes well past the shoulders. Everyone loves a soft, fluffy kitty cat. They’re like plush toys come to life.

There are different types of long haired cat breeds. Keep reading for more info on your hairy little friend.

Top 10 Long-haired Cat Breeds

Maine coon

long haired cat breeds

They are pure feline and are not at all related to raccoons despite the resemblance- both in looks and personality! These cats tend to be big boned and well muscled with long, fluffy, brindled fur. Like the raccoon they were named after, they can be clever and a touch mischievous.

This is a hefty cat weighing in at twenty pounds when full grown.

You may also take note of the tufted ears and a tail that looks like one big, fluffy feather.

Though the Main coon is a lot of big fun, you may find that his meow sounds more like a chirp.

Norwegian Forest Cat

Who can resist that sweet little face? The Wegie is just the most adored of long haired cats. She comes from the frigid lands of Scandanavia but this friendly feline is sure to warm your heart! To keep her warm, Wegie has a thick double coat that may change colors with the seasons.

Her plumed tail and tufted paws and ears just add to her charm.

Though she is ordinarily not a high-maintenance lady, during those times when she sheds she may need combing every day to manage her fancy fur.

Birman

The Sacred Cat of Burma will never get a Burma Shave! Think of an extra bushy version of a Siamese with a little white on the front paws. Still has those loves seal points and mesmerizing blue eyes. The Birman is playful, spry and intelligent though his somewhat impassive stance may convince you otherwise.

He is not as loud as most other cats. You will find the Birman is gentle and gregarious, making him a terrific pet for the whole family.

One of the Birman’s best features is his long, silky coat that doesn’t mat easily.

Angora

The Turkish Angora is the oldest known breed of long haired cat in Europe. She has long, pointed ears and a long fluffy tail. These cats are prone to the “groovy mutation” (as a young Professor X once put it) known as heterochromia, meaning one eye may be colored differently from the other.

She is an elegant cat with delicate features and a very sociable personality.

Like the Birman, her silky coat rarely mat and like the Wegie she tends to be low-maintenance. While the white Angora continues to be popular, other colors and patterns are starting to come in vogue.

Balinese

Here we have a mutation of the Siamese breed. It looks like a hybrid of a Siamese cat and a mink. Don’t mistake his natural grace for aloofness. He is a playful and affectionate soul who is great with children. Unlike his Siamese cousin, the Balinese is quiet and does not vocalize often.

His swishy tail is plumed but tapered. His almond shaped eyes will always be a starling sapphire blue while his point colors may come in seal, chocolate, blue or lilac. He will need a combing twice a week with a steel comb.

American Curl

Raised on promises, she couldn’t help thinking that there was a little more to life… no, Siri, I said American curl! This breed gets her name from having an unusual set of ears that curl back from the face.

The Eve of this breed is a stray queen named Shulamith of Lakewood, California. Nothing is known of Shulamith’s pedigree or that of the tom(s) she bred with, but she and her kittens all had a distinctive curl to their ears.

While the title character of the aforementioned Tom Petty song is discontented, the American curl is a homebody who is clever enough to make herself comfortable wherever she is.

Persian

Here’s a glamorous cat with a reputation for being lap candy to those who like to indulge in a big of luxury. This easy going and calm breed just mostly prefers lying around to playing and pouncing.

They are quite loyal, which ironically became a drawback when James Bond had to distinguish Blofeld from an imposter.

The lush coat can grow up to eight inches long and can have either a silky or cottony texture.

The Persian has a cobby body and a large skull with a flat face, which can lead to sinus problems.

Himalayan

For the best of the Persian and the Siamese we have the Himalayan. They revel in attention and affection, and are more playful than the typical Persian and is more adaptable than most cats. However, they don’t usually come across as needy. The Himmy is calm and yet hardy, making him a great pet for the family.

Unfortunately, he tends to have the Persian’s flat face shape rather than the Siamese’s wedge face shape, resulting in sinus problems.

The long and fluffy coat requires daily grooming.

Somalí

And here we have a longhair variant of the Abyssinian, which is a shorthair breed of cat. They have supple and well muscled bodies with a full brush of a tail and gold or green eyes.

She may look like a fluffy fox and like a fox, she doesn’t need much grooming. Once a week is brushing enough for her. She’s clever as a fox too!

The fur between her toes make it easier for her to manipulate objects. This is quite a boon for this playful breed who loves climbing and puzzle games.

Somali doesn’t like to be alone, so make sure she always has a friend of some sort.

Ragdoll

This breed is so named because of a tendency to go limp when picked up as well as a high tolerance for hugs. While the Ragdoll is big like the Maine Coon, the Maine Coon is a buddy where Ragdoll is a baby.

Though he has a powerful and heavy build, he’s a sweetie who wouldn’t harm a fly.

Every trait of the Ragdoll from his big, blue, innocent eyes to his soft, flowing fur to gentle demeanor were all chosen to breed the perfect pet.

The only drawback of a ragdoll is that he is gentle to the point of helplessness with no danger sense.

Domestic Long Hair

Right after the domestic short hair, the domestic long hair is the second most popular breed of cat in America. “Breed” may be the incorrect term as they are not recognized by any major breed registry as a standardized breed.

Due to having a wide gene pool, the domestic long hair is not predisposed to any ailments brought on by heredity.

History

The origins of the domestic long hair are apparently in Western Asia. They were first imported into Europe in the 16th Century. Their first known documentation was in the year 1521 in Italy. The long coat is speculated to be the result of a recessive mutant gene.

If a long haired cat and a short haired cat mate the result is always short haired kittens, However, these kittens carry a long haired gene and may produce long haired kittens when they grow up.

Cats of all types came to America on the Mayflower, protecting the early colonist’s food from rodents and other vermin. As more ships from other countries came to America so did more cats, creating the new American breeds such as the domestic long hair.

Things You Should Know

Your domestic long hair will require being brushed at least once a week to get rid of loose hair and keep mats and hairballs from forming. The weight can be anywhere from eleven to twenty-two pounds with males being a bit on the heavier side. If a domestic long hair has a neck ruff, this can make the head look larger than it really is.

Behavior

Due to being a mix of many different breeds, domestic long hairs can differ to great extent in temperament. However, they are not difficult creatures. A first time owner willing to take twenty minutes out of their week for grooming should be able to cope. They do have a tendency to be affectionate towards their favorite people.

How much do long-haired cats shed?

Surprise! Most long haired cats do not shed any more than a short haired cat! This varies by breed, though. Cats with double or triple coats might shed a little more. Long haired cats, of course, will shed longer hairs.  A healthy cat will generally shed twice a year in response to changes in light and temperature. Indoor cats may have this process disrupted.

Balinese and Siberian cats do not shed very much. Somali, Maine coon and Persian cats are heavy shedders. A diet rich in the vitamins A and E, fish oils, linoleic acid, omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants can combat excessive shedding.

How do you groom a fluffy cat?

Get your cat used to being groomed at an early age. A kitten can be groomed as young as eight weeks. Start on the back with a wire slicker brush. Work your way down. Be gentle and remind her what a good kitty she is.

Be particularly gentle if you find a mat. You will usually find mats on her armpits and abdomen, the most sensitive parts of her body. (Wouldn’t you know it?) There are special tools you can use to split it into smaller pieces though a plastic letter opener will suffice. You can then comb a little bit at a time. Give your cat a treat to reward her for her patience.

Conclusion

Long haired cats are beautiful animals that can make a happy addition to any home. There are many different breeds with their own unique appearance and temperament to consider. Grooming a long haired cat yourself is not very difficult and is less stressful both on your cat and your wallet than having a professional groomer do it.

While a little biannual shedding is normal, hairballs are not. Long haired cats are more likely to develop hairballs than short haired cats, however, regular grooming and a moisture rich diet can reduce the risk. Take good care of your fluffy friend and she’ll stay fluffy and friendly!

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  • December 14, 2018
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.