There aren’t many things that look nicer than a well-groomed, sumptuous coat on an adorable cat. They look quite regal and majestic in all their stunning magnificence.
Certainly, their coats may take more combing and brushing than some other breeds. However with their long locks, snuggly, soft fur and endearing personalities, they make amazing pets.
Why do some cats have long hair?
Many cat owners are curious why some cat breeds are long haired. Scientists have carried out research that shows some cats with long hair have a genetic mutation. This significant gene factor is known as FGF5 (Fibroblast Growth Factor 5). As a result, if the feline carries this gene, she is sure to have long hair.
Report by Veterinary Genetics Laboratory – Long Hair Test for Felines
Cat hair coat colors, patterns and texture are determined by the combined action of several genes. One gene – fibroblast growth factor5 (FGF5) – determines hair length. Short hair is a dominant trait determined by the wild-type form of FGF5. Long hair is a recessive trait.
Whether your chose a Persian, a Birman or an Angora kitten, you cannot help but love the long, silky fur. It’s certainly not the easiest variety of cat to look after with constant grooming and preening needed.
Grooming your long haired cat.
First of all, don’t be worried about grooming long haired cats. Although long hair might seem rather intimidating at first, in reality, it’s not much different to looking after a short haired cat. The big difference is how often you will need or prefer to groom your cat. Long haired cat breeds are more susceptible to tangles and knots, so frequent brushing is really a necessity. Choose a time when your cat is most relaxed for the grooming process. It’s probably easier to use a wide toothed comb or a brush.
Long haired cat breeds shed their hair
It’s also good to remember that most cats with long fur also moult. This shedding of the hair takes place twice, annually, in the spring and then again in the autumn. It’s not unusual to discover large clumps of discarded hair as the cat sheds their old fur coat. The winter coat is quite thick to insulate against the cold and wet weather. Similarly, the summer coat is much lighter offering protection against any UV rays from the sun. Whatever the season, owners of long haired cat breeds have plenty of cat grooming to keep them busy.
If you are certain that a longhaired cat is the right choice for your home the next step is to make a decision about which breed you might like. Read on for our selection of 4 of the most popular types that we are sure you will fall in love with.
No 1. Persian long haired cat
These aristocratic felines are from Iran (formerly known as ancient Persia). Weighing up to 6 kilos each and of being of average size.
Characteristics: With a flat face and a chunky appearance. Their long hair comes in a variety of both mottled and bright, solid shades. Likewise, the hair may be very soft and cotton-like or shiny and silky. Persian cats will live among other pets but are also quite lazy, shy and intelligent. This long haired breed prefer to be handled gently and they don’t suffer any stress in their lives. Their tails can grow to around 8 inches in length.
No 2. Siberian semi-longhaired cat
These felines have appeared many times in Russian literature and fairy-tales as the country’s national cat.
Characteristics: They sport a super-thick, water-resistant coat that enables them to keep off the chill of freezing Russian winters. The coat is made up of 3 layers: the down, awn hairs and the guard hairs. This luxurious coat moults during the springtime and autumn when the cat sheds large clumps of hair. Persian cats are known for their physical agility and their problem-solving genius.
No 3. Angora long haired breed
An ancient breed of felines originating from Turkey. A semi-longhaired breed who love the company of their owner. However, they are not very tolerant of other pets in the home, wishing to be the number one cat!
Characteristics: With long silky hair that very rarely tangles. These very intelligent, Angora cats do have coats of different colours, but the most valued is pure white. Despite being a rather slender breed, the majority of Angoras are very athletic and powerful felines. They often have eyes of different colours, known as heterochromia.
No 4. Norwegian Forest or Wegie long haired cat
Descending from Nordic wild cats that sailed on Viking ships, with the intention of controlling rats. This feline weighs quite heavily at between 7 and 9 kilos, with a large build.
Characteristics: Having very affectionate, mischievous and lively personalities. Norwegian Forest cats are very fast and strong and are more suited to owners with gardens or outside space. His coat is built to withstand Scandinavian winters and is quite water-resistant. A very sociable cat that loves nothing more than being pampered by the family.
These 4 examples are just some of the many excellent cat breeds with long hair. Others such as the Himalayan, the Birman, the Somali, the Rag Doll and the American Curl are all just as luxurious and make lovely pets.
Whether you choose to rescue a cat from a rescue shelter, or opt for a purebred cat, your choice of a long haired cat needs the same consideration. He will be dependent on you totally for his socialisation needs, wellness and health. All long haired cats need constant grooming and it’s important to make this an enjoyable experience for your pet. Certainly offer the cat rewards when being brushed so that he associates it as a positive experience. Because of this need for grooming, long haired cats are best suited to owners who can allocate sufficient time for these grooming tasks.