GENERAL BREED INFO

Long Haired Cat Breeds: Dedicating Yourself to a Long-Haired Feline Pet

Long Haired Cat
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

If you dream of living with a cuddly feline pet, there’s an amazing variety of long haired cat breeds you can choose from. Wouldn’t it be so nice to come home to a sweet and affectionate pet who’s just waiting for you to stroke her long luxurious coat?

Long-haired cats may indeed require more grooming than short-haired cats, but they can more than make up for it with their glamorous looks. And brushing time can be a sweet way to spend quality time with your pet, too. If you choose a long-haired cat, you’ll certainly have a lot of fun, albeit challenging, moments with your pet.

In this article, we’ll first talk about some of the things that you should consider before you bring a new long-haired cat home. Then we’ll give you a list of some of the most popular feline breeds with long hair. Lastly, we’ll give you some tips on how you can take care of your long-haired pet’s grooming needs.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Long-Haired Cat

allergy to cats

Choosing a long-haired pet is a commitment. Your pet will need a lot of help keeping her coat shiny and tangle-free, which means you’ll need to commit your time to taking care of your pet’s grooming needs. Here are some things you should consider before you adopt a long-haired cat.

  • Grooming time. Depending on the coat type and texture, your long-haired cat’s grooming needs will vary. In general, long-haired cats with soft and cottony hair may require more frequent brushing in order to prevent matting. You may need to brush your pet’s hair at least once daily.

  • Allergies. If anyone in your household has allergies, you should note that long-haired cats typically accumulate more dander than short-haired ones do. Cat dander is actually just tiny pieces of dry cat skin. However, they do contain proteins that may cause allergies.

  • Shedding. Because long-haired cats have longer strands of hair, anytime they shed, it becomes more noticeable. With a long-haired cat, you may need to use the vacuum and lint roller every day.

  • Room temperature. Long-haired cats are happy even when the weather’s really cold, simply because they’ve got the luxurious coat to keep them warm. If you’re in the habit of keeping your thermostat set to warmer temperatures, your long-haired pet may become a little bit uncomfortable if it’s too warm.

See Also: How Hot is Too Hot for Cats

If you are certain that you can give a long-haired cat the care that she needs, check out our list of most popular long-haired breeds below.

13 Most Popular Long-Haired Feline Breeds

Choosing among the various long-haired feline breeds can be quite overwhelming, especially because there are just so many long-haired cats that are simply adorable. Here are some of the most popular cat breeds with long hair to help you choose.

#1: American Bobtail

American bobtail

American Bobtail cats are considered medium to large, with adult females typically weighing around 7-11 pounds, while adult males can weigh up to 16 pounds. American Bobtail cats may either have short or long hair. Coat colors include white, blue, red, black, and other colors, with a variety of shadings and patterns.

If you’re looking for an intelligent long-haired cat, the American Bobtail is both. They are also known to be friendly, confident, and they get along well with children and other pets. American Bobtail cats tend to be lively, quite vocal, playful, and interactive.

American Bobtail cats tend to shed regularly, so you may need to do some vacuuming every day. You’ll also need to groom your American Bobtail pet at least once a week. These cats are known to have some health issues, so regular visits to the vet may also be necessary.

#2: American Curl

 American Curl

American Curl cats are usually small to medium-sized, with adult males weighing up to 10 pounds. Their coat can either be long or short, and coat colors include chocolate, golden, silver, black, white, red, blue, cream, and lilac, with various markings and patterns.

These cats have distinctively curved ears that make them look always perky and alert. If you’re looking for an active companion, American Curl cats are known for retaining their kitten-like personalities all throughout their lives. Hence they’re also called the Peter Pan of cats.

American Curl cats are people-oriented, affectionate, social, intelligent, curious, and quite mischievous. These cats usually have long, smooth, and dense hair, with a flat and silky undercoat. Shedding is moderate, plus, they like maintaining their own fur, so you’ll need to brush them only once or twice a week.

#3: Balinese

Balinese

If you’re looking for a Siamese with long hair, then the Balinese is the best choice for you. Medium-sized and weighing up to 10 pounds, these cats have long, soft, and silky hair that may either be blue, chocolate, lilac, red, or cream. And yes, they have beautiful blue eyes.

Balinese cats are known for being playful, affectionate, and intelligent. They’re also very devout and faithful, but they tend to focus their affection on their person of choice while generally ignoring the rest of the household. Nevertheless, they’re patient, calm, gentle, and polite, and they’re especially nice to children.

Balinese cats require moderate maintenance with regular grooming since they shed moderately. These cats are known to have certain health issues, so regular vet visits are recommended.

#4: Birman

Birman

If you’re looking for a long-haired, blue-eyed cat with a point-patterned coat, you may want to adopt a Birman. These medium to large-sized cats can grow up to 15 pounds. A Birman’s coat can either be medium or long, and available coat patterns include lilac point, chocolate point, seal point, and blue point.

Birman cats are known for their social personality. They love being with the family and other pets. Intelligent and active, Birman cats can also be quite naughty. The semi-long silky coat of a Birman does not easily mat. Moderate maintenance with regular grooming and occasional vacuuming may be needed.

#5: Himalayan

Himalayan cat

Himalayan cats are considered medium to large, with adult females weighing up to 11 pounds and adult males weighing up to 14 pounds. Himalayan cats always have long hair, although the coat color and point coloring vary. They’re sometimes referred to as Persians with Siamese points.

If you’re looking for a lap cat that will shower you with affection in return, Himalayan cats are known for their craving for affection. They’re very devoted, loyal, self-assured, calm, playful, and active. They are serene and affectionate, and they love intelligence games.

Himalayan cats are known for their constant shedding. They require high maintenance with daily brushing to keep their coat clean. Regular visits to the vet are also recommended since this breed is known to have various health issues.

#6: LaPerm

LaPerm

Medium-sized with males growing up to 10 pounds, LaPerm cats are famous for their long and soft wavy hair. The coat colors for this breed may be white, black, blue, chocolate, red, cream, fawn, or cinnamon, with various shadings and patterns.

LaPerm cats are people-oriented, friendly, intelligent, and calm. At times, though, they can be quite energetic and curious. They like staying close to their human companions and would be happy to snooze on your lap.

LaPerm cats shed minimally, so only moderate maintenance is required, although you would be wise to brush your pet’s coat once or twice a week. The breed is generally healthy with not a lot of known health issues.

#7: Maine Coon

Maine Coon

One of the most popular cat breeds, adult female Maine Coon cats can grow up to 12 pounds while males can grow as heavy as 15 pounds. Their coat is generally shorter on the shoulders, and they sport a light undercoat. Coat colors include golden, black, silver, gray, and white.

Maine Coon cats are popular for their tufted ears and bushy tails. These are hardy cats that can endure harsh climates. Known as gentle giants, Maine Coon cats are very good with children and other pets. They’re also very intelligent, independent, loving, and adaptable.

Maine Coon cats constantly shed. They need regular grooming and frequent brushing to keep their coat shiny and clean. This breed is known to be healthy. They are also known for their love of water and the outdoors.

#8: Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

These cats are quite large, with females growing up to 12 pounds and males up to 16 pounds. Norwegian Forest Cats have long, glossy, smooth, and dense hair. Their double coat is waterproof and insulated, with coarse guard hairs and a dense undercoat.

These are gorgeous cats with magnificent tails and emerald green eyes. They’re people-oriented, loving, gentle, sweet, intelligent, active, playful, social, curious, and lively. All in all, a very athletic, patient, and charming companion.

Norwegian Forest Cats shed moderately. They require moderate maintenance and regular visits to the vet since this breed is known to have several health issues.

#9: Persian

Persian cat

Persian cats are undoubtedly one of the most popular long-haired feline breeds. Loved everywhere for their gentle and sweet personalities, Persian cats have long, glossy, silky hair that makes them look like adorable fluff balls. Coat colors range from black, white, blue, red, cream, lilac, to chocolate, with various patterns.

In general, Persian cats are sedate, quiet, loyal, and affectionate. There are, however, certain traits that are associated with specific coat colors and patterns. A Persian tabby, for instance, is known for being extroverted and fun-loving.

The Persian’s flowing mane requires maintenance in a protected environment. Hence it’s recommended that they are kept indoors as much as possible. They constantly shed and require high maintenance. Their coats should be brushed once or twice daily. This breed has many known health issues, so frequent vet visits are necessary.

#10: Ragamuffin

Ragamuffin

Ragamuffin cats are quite large. Adult females may grow up to 15 pounds, while males may grow as heavy as 20 pounds. Ragamuffin cats have medium-long dense and plush hair that’s glossy and thick.

Coat colors for this breed include blue, red, cream, black, white, lilac, chocolate, fawn, and cinnamon, and they may have various coat patterns and markings. These massive lapcats have expressive eyes that make them look like teddy bears.

Sweet and loving, Ragamuffin cats are popular for being easygoing, calm, friendly, gentle, and affectionate. Ragamuffin cats are very intelligent, and they thrive on being the center of attention. Plus, they’re not very vocal.

These cats constantly shed, so regular brushing and combing are recommended. A healthy breed, there are not many health issues associated with Ragamuffin cats.

#11: Ragdoll

Ragdoll

Just like the Ragamuffin, Ragdoll cats are also large, with adults weighing up to 20 pounds. Ragdolls have semi-long silky plush hair that can be blue, cream, chocolate, lilac, or red. Their markings may be van, bi-color, colorpoint, or mitted.

Similar to the Persian, Ragdolls are also one of the most popular long-haired feline breeds. They’re known to be very social, getting along well with children and other pets. Ragdoll cats are very friendly, gentle, easygoing, affectionate, and quiet. They are also very playful, and they can be trained to play fetch.

They’re famous for going limp when you pick them up, which is probably why they’re called Ragdolls. Although Ragdoll cats shed constantly, this breed often requires low maintenance because they do not have a double coat. Nevertheless, regular brushing and combing are recommended to help maintain their coat’s shine and cleanliness.

#12: Siberian

Siberian cat

Medium to large-sized, Siberian cats can weigh up to 16 pounds. Their semi-long coat is dense, and they have an undercoat. Typical colors for this breed include white, black, blue, cream, red, and silver.

Muscular and powerful, Siberian cats are known for being extremely agile, and leaping great heights and distances are nothing to them. These cats are very intelligent, and they love to solve problems to get what they want. They’re quite friendly with other pets, and they love being held or just curling up on your lap.

Known for their fascination with water, Siberian cats are very playful. They’re also curious, loyal, sweet, and affectionate. This breed sheds moderately, and they require moderate maintenance. As with any other long-haired cat, regular brushing and combing is recommended. Siberian cats are quite healthy.

#13: Somali

Somali cat

Somali cats are medium to large-sized, growing up to 12 pounds. They’re related to the Abyssinian, except that the Somali’s hair is long, dense, and silky soft. There are many accepted coat colors for the Somali including ruddy, fawn, silver, black, chocolate, red, and blue.

With their full bushy tails and vibrantly colorful coats, Somali cats often sport a little fox look. These cats are very mischievous, intelligent, and tenacious. Yet, they’re also gentle, loyal, affectionate, and interactive. They’re very agile and have a puppy-like temperament, so you’ll probably find them causing a lot of trouble all the time.

Somali cats shed moderately, so expect to do some vacuuming regularly. They require moderate maintenance and frequent visits to the vet. This breed is known to have some health issues that can be avoided through proper nutrition and regular grooming.

Caring for Your Long-Haired Cat

grooming of long haired cat

Most long-haired cats require regular grooming and frequent brushing to keep their luxurious coats clean, shiny, and free of matting. However, grooming a long-haired cat is not always a walk in the park. Here are some tips to help you out.

  • Hairballs. Long-haired cats are more prone to hairballs than short-haired ones. Regularly brushing and combing your pet’s fur will help get rid of the dead hair and dirt that’s hiding in your pet’s fur. If you don’t get rid of these, your pet may end up swallowing them instead when she’s licking her fur.

  • Ticks, fleas, and lice. Your long-haired cat’s coat is very attractive to all sorts of vermin that can easily hide in your pet’s long fur. Regular at-home fur checks will be necessary to spot these pests and treat them early.

  • Trimming your pet’s fur. For your pet’s health and to keep the vermin away, you may want to have your pet’s fur trimmed regularly. You may also want to consider a vanity cut around your pet’s tail to minimize litter issues. This is to prevent cat stool from getting stuck on your pet’s fur.

  • Brushes with protective tips. Not all long-haired cats love being groomed. If your pet is sensitive to being brushed, you may want to use a slicker brush with protective tips. This type of brush can minimize the irritation to your pet’s skin whenever you brush her coat.

  • Dematting combs. Long-haired cats are prone to matting. Dematting combs can help minimize and prevent matting, so you can help keep your pet’s hair smooth, silky, and tangle-free.

  • Undercoat combs. Undercoat combs usually have both short and long teeth. For long-haired cats with a dense undercoat, they may need help in keeping their undercoat free of matting. You can use an undercoat comb to loosen the hair in your pet’s undercoat.

  • Flea combs. Since long-haired pets are prone to fleas, you may want to use a flea comb after brushing your pet’s coat. Make sure you brush first with a wide-toothed or dematting comb to loosen the hair. Flea combs have very fine teeth that can easily get snagged if your pet’s fur has matting, causing discomfort to your pet.

  • Start with the head and work your way down. When brushing your feline pet’s coat, it is always a good idea to start with the head while working your way downwards to the back and then the belly. If your pet isn’t used to being brushed or is sensitive to being brushed, you may need help holding your cat down while you’re brushing.

  • Brush gently when you find mats. When you tug on matted hair, it can hurt your pet’s skin. It’s best to use a splitter comb on matted hair. This will help you split the matted hair to pieces, and then you can easily remove them using a comb.

  • Starting young. Long-haired feline pets will always require help with their grooming, so if you’ve got a new one, it’s better to get your pet used to brushing and bathing while they’re still young. Treats, as well as warm and encouraging words, will help brushing and bathing become a more positive experience for your pet.

Wrap Up

Long Haired Cat on snow

Do you have a favorite long-haired feline breed? Long-haired cats are generally adorable, but they can be quite challenging, too. If you have an unforgettable story about your long-haired pet, do tell us about it. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions, and in case you need more convincing to make one of the best decisions in your life—adopting a feline companion—check out our article on what to know before getting a cat.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.

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