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Domestic Long Hair

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Domestic Long Hair


A relative of the domestic short and medium haired cats, the domestic long hair is a sight to behold. With their regal coat measuring anywhere from two to six inches, these cats have a variety of personalities, fitting in a wide array of homes and are the second most popular cats in the U.S.


Because the long hair gene is a recessive trait, only 10% of cats are considered long haired. Domestic long hairs are not a recognized breed, so may have a wide and mixed ancestry. Some domestic long hair cats have tufted ears in addition to their long coats and may share a relative with ear-tufted breeds, like the Maine coon and American bobtail. It’s hypothesized that the domestic long hair dates back 400 years to the wintery regions of the countries of Persia, Russia and Turkey, where long, warm coats helped them survive.


Because domestic long hair cats have a mixed background, each will have a unique temperament—from the stealthy to the cuddly, the domestic long hair is a great choice for any sized family looking to bring a new family member into the household.


Fun fact: the domestic long hair cats are the perfect candidates for fur donation! Their long, thick fur is collected and used to make hair booms used to clean up oil spills, keeping our water and wildlife clean and healthy.

Breed Traits


3 out of 5

Activity Level

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Children

3 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

5 out of 5


3 out of 5

Need for Attention

3 out of 5

Affection Toward Its Owners

2 out of 5


3 out of 5


4 out of 5


3 out of 5


5 out of 5


The personality of the domestic long hair is as wide and varied as their coat colors, making each cat truly unique. If you’re considering adopting a domestic long hair cat, get to know their individual likes, dislikes and behaviors. Most long hairs tend to be playful, affectionate and easy-going. Others may be a bit slower to warm up or prefer a bit more space.


The domestic long hair is said to have evolved from the northern, wintry areas of Russia, Persia and Turkey. The leading theory is that a gene mutation naturally occurred so the cats could adapt to the colder weather and survive better about 400 years ago.

Domestic long hairs then made their way to the Americans when they set sail from Europe with the first settlers. Their job on board was to help with the rodent population.

Physical Attributes


Though many are medium build, the domestic long hair’s particular body shapes are heavily influenced by their unique ancestry and genes. Faces may be long or short. Some may have muscular bodies while others are leaner. It’s possible for some of these cats to have a stouter appearance with flat-looking face and others may have an elongated face accompanied by a pointy nose. The vastness of physical variety makes the long hair an often striking and unique beauty.

Long hairs typically weigh anywhere from 8 to 15 pounds and the males tend to weigh more than their female counterparts.

Their mixed genetic pool gives them an advantage, as they are not more predisposed to any health issues as any other cat.

Coat: Long Hair

Domestic long hairs who are healthy and groomed well often exude elegance, although sometimes their goofy personalities may disrupt any sense of regality! They share many similarities to their short haired cousins such as a medium physical build, and their distinguishing feature is their 2 to 6 inch fur.

These luscious coats come in a variety of combinations from a single color such as black to the classy tuxedo look or even calico, torbie and tabby.

A domestic long hair cat’s coat typically takes some diligent care to avoid matting. Cat parents can anticipate brushing daily or every few days, checking for mats regularly and clipping claws approximately once or twice a month. Mats should be addressed by a professional groomer to avoid injury to the cat’s skin. Any matted fur will need to be addressed as soon as possible as it does pose risk of skin infection.

One of the most adorable features of some domestic short hairs is their neck ruffs—fur that extends beyond their heads to give the appearance of broader heads. Some may also have foot tufts and ear tufts—fur that sticks out between toes and out of ears—these too add a unique, ultra-cute characteristic to the long hairs.


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, cats are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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