Cat Breeds with Ear Tufts: Flamboyant Beauties of the Feline World

cat ear tufts
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

There are certain parts of cats which we can’t get enough of. One of those is the ear tuft. Do you find it cute, too? Perhaps that’s the reason why you are considering getting a cat with ear tuft. But how many cat breeds with ear tufts are there? And which one will suit your lifestyle best?

Ear tufts can make any cat look more attractive and lovable. That’s why many cat parents like you like the idea of taking care of felines with tufted ears.

The extra fur on the tip of a cat’s ear is cute but also very useful. It can prevent debris and dirt from entering the feline’s ear. This extra hair thus can keep a cat’s ear clean for longer periods, although it won’t hurt to check that part of the body from time to time.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the variety of cat breeds with ear tufts. You will also learn some interesting trivia about them. Moreover, you will realize that ear tufts are not only cute but also useful. By the time you’re done reading this post, we promise you that you will be able to shorten the list of cat breeds you’re likely to adopt next time!

What are Ear Tufts?

cat with ear tufts

Ear tufts are defined as fur growing from the tip of the ears. Cats aren’t the only animals that have it. In fact, it is more common in bird species, notably owls. Scientists, though, haven’t really agreed on the true function of ear tufts.

There have been numerous theories on the true function of ear tufts in animals. Some say that it is for camouflaging while there are experts who believe that it helps an animal in finding a suitable mate. There’s also the school of thought that ear tufts give animals a more threatening appearance to ward off their predators.

But for our favorite pets, ear tufts serve an important role. Aside from enhancing their looks, tufts actually prevent debris from entering the ears. It can also aid in filtering the sound directly into the feline’s ears.

You might also get confused between ear tufts and ear furnishings. The latter is fur growing from inside of the ear while ear tufts grow from the tips of the ears. Ear tufts are also called lynx tipping in reference to the long tuft of black hair that grows on the tips of the ears of the said wild cat.

As you would learn later on, most cat breeds with ear tufts don’t really need a lot of grooming help. It helps, though, to check their ears every other week for any build-up of dirt, debris, or wax.

Top 8 Cat Breeds with Ear Tufts

Now that you have an idea on what ear tufts are, it’s time to find out which cat breeds have the most beautiful ear tufts:

#1: Maine Coon

Maine Coon ears

The Maine Coon could be the most popular cat breed with tufted ears. The Maine Coon has large ears with hair at the tips, giving these cats a look that’s pretty much like the lynx. It is also not uncommon for some Maine Coons to have tufts growing from behind the ears and on the sides of their heads.

It is theorized that along with their tufted ears, their long and bushy tail and water-resistant coat were a result of the breed’s adaptation with the harsh winter. It is not only their ears which are covered in tufts as even the feet, tail, and paws also have it.

But there’s no denying that the ear tufts in Maine Coon further make them very endearing and lovable to many people. And it also helps that the Maine Coon is one of the friendliest cat breeds around.

If you’re worried about grooming, don’t fret because the Maine Coon is a low-maintenance breed. Grooming them weekly is enough to sustain their good looks.

You may also wonder if you should cut the extra fur on a Maine Coon’s ear. As much as possible, resist the urge to do so as it gives the Maine Coon a unique and distinctive look. Also, good luck trying to cut the extra fur on their ear as Maine Coons are known to hate it when their fur is being pulled.

#2: Siberian Cat

siberian cat ears

Siberian cats are large and muscular felines that originated from Russia. Apart from their well-chiseled body, one of the key physical traits of Siberian cats is their pointed ears which feature prominent ear tufts.

The extra fur that grows from the tip of their ears is also believed to have been a product of the breed’s adaptation to harsh weather in Russia and the Siberian region.

Aside from the ears, extra fur may also grow on their paws and toes. And like the Maine Coon, the Siberian cat has a bushy tail and water-repellent triple coat that protect these cats from the cold.

The ear tufts aren’t the only physical qualities you would love about these cats. Their eyes come in different colors like green, green-gold, gold, and copper. There are even some Siberians with blue eyes. Talk about being a beauty!

Aside from being very easy to groom, you would love that the Siberian cat is friendly and people-oriented. They can easily get close to children as well as other pets like dogs.

#3: American Bobtail

American Bobtail

If you are on the lookout for a cat who has an exotic look, then the American Bobtail should be on top of your list. Aside from their tufted ears, the American Bobtail has a short tail and a powerful body. They look like a small bobcat in real life, but unlike their wildcat cousin, this is a domestic cat in every sense of the word.

These cats have a body that ranges from medium to large. It would take about three years for them to fully mature. Those tufts on top of their medium and wide-set ears complete the natural, wildcat look of the Bobtail.

And while they have a wild look, the American Bobtail does not have a wild temperament. They are devoted, loving, and smart—qualities that should endear them to anyone. They are also confident and friendly cats who can easily bond with your family members and even other pets.

#4: American Curl

American curl ears

The American Curl is a breed which has gotten a lot of attention for its ears that curl backward. Yet the ear tufts should also be given credit for giving the feline that distinctive look that has endeared them to many cat parents.

The American Curl has long ear tufts that complement their wide ears that curl backward. The ears are actually straight when an American Curl is born, but that part of the body would eventually curl backward three to five days after birth.

When they reach four months of age, the American Curl will have their ears curled backward at an angle of up to 180 degrees. The curvature of the ear determines whether an American Curl can participate in contests or shows. Don’t worry as the shape of the ears does not really affect the hearing of an American Curl.

Like the lynx, the American Curl has ears made of cartilage and extra fur that give them a regal look without affecting their sense of hearing. However, it is recommended that you check their ears for wax buildup every week just in case you adopt one in the near future.

The ear tufts of the American Curl also give them a very endearing appearance. In fact, this breed has been called the Peter Pan of the feline world because they can jump really well and because the cat still looks like a kitten even when they reach adulthood.

#5: Persian Cats

Persian Cats ears

Strictly speaking, Persian cats don’t have ear tufts. But their long hair can easily turn into knots and tufts around the ear especially when they are not groomed well and regularly.

You might know by now that Persian cats are among the most popular cat breeds in the world thanks to their unique and beautiful coats. However, they do require regular grooming which is something that may concern you if you don’t have much time to spare for that.

Because Persian cats don’t really have ear tufts, most groomers recommend cutting the extra fur growing on the tips of a Persian cat’s ear to improve the overall build of the feline’s head.

#6: Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat ears

Like the Maine Coon and the Siberian Cat, the Norwegian Forest Cat originated from a region known for its extremely cold climate. It is not surprising, thus, that this cat breed also has ear tufts.

These cats have well-pricked ears with extra hair coming from the tips. Those ears complement their wedge-shaped head, long hair, and almond-shaped eyes that give them an alert and expressive appearance.

If you are to get this cat, you might need to prep yourself for a regular grooming schedule. With their long coat, the Norwegian Forest cat demands brushing or combing 1-2 times a week. You don’t have to bathe them regularly, though, because the cat doesn’t really like getting wet.

Like the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest cat should not have their ear tuft cut as it enhances their looks.

#7: Highlander Cat

Highlander Cat

One of the more prominent cat breeds with tufted ears is the Highlander cat. It has a ‘big cat’ look and image which makes it very desirable among many pet owners. Don’t be mistaken, though, as beyond that proud look is a loyal and caring pet.

The tufts of Highlander cats are cute because they peek out horizontally from the curly ears of the feline. This is a cat who can weigh up to 20 pounds and is blessed with a short bob-like tail, straight feet, and muscular body. They may be big-boned, but make no mistake about it—the Highlander can match up with any feline in terms of athleticism.

Moreover, a Highlander cat does not require regular grooming. Whether they have a short or long coat, a Highlander cat would only need brushing once in a while.

#8: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat

The Abyssinian cat is a medium-sized feline blessed with muscles, a slender body, and yes, ear tufts. This is an active feline who also loves to play.

This cat breed has a triangular head with large, tilted ears. That combination gives them the “I’m wide awake” look. It seems that the cat is always alert to everything happening around them.

They also have eyes which look too large for their face and underscore the intelligence and alertness of the breed. However, you would be surprised to learn that despite their looks that suggest alertness and attentiveness, the Abyssinian is notorious for ignoring people who interrupt their playtime.

Of course, you won’t miss the tufts of hair on the ears of an Abyssinian. It’s a great mix with their short coat. Speaking of the coat, the breed has different coat colors such as red, blue, cinnamon, fawn, and ruddy. The color of the Abyssinian’s body also lightens under the neck, insides of the legs, and along the undersides of their body.

Wrap Up

ear tufts

Cats are beautiful creatures, and those with ear tufts may look even more attractive to some people. Ear tufts are not only beautiful, but also useful to help keep the cat’s ears clean. Most cats have ear tufts, but there are certain breeds that wear them out and proud more so than others.

Are you interested in adopting a cat with ear tufts? Which of the breeds we’ve mentioned above seemed like the perfect fit for you? Do you know of other cat breeds that fit the description that we didn’t mention in this article? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Also, check out our article on how to clean cats ears next so you’ll be ready to help with grooming when you finally adopt a cat with beautiful ear tufts.

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.