17 Long-Haired Cat Breeds That Have Seriously Impressive Locks
These beautiful long-haired cats are ready for their closeup
Long-haired cat breeds to love
Whether it’s a small cat breed or a large cat breed—or the color is jet black or snow white—all cats are beautiful. Some of the cutest cat breeds have long and flowing hair that makes them especially photogenic. Long-haired cat breeds have the kind of mane that deserves a round of applause (and probably lots of brushing). And if you’re a sucker for a pretty head of hair, make sure to also check out our roundup of fluffy cat breeds that are irresistibly cuddly.
Are long-haired cats rare?
While long-haired cat breeds aren’t considered rare, they’re far less common than short- or medium-haired cats. In fact, only about 10% of cats in the United States qualify as domestic long hair. Also, certain long-haired cat breeds are rarer than others. For example, the Burmilla is considered quite rare, while Maine Coons are more common.
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With its stunning colorpoint coat pattern and striking blue eyes, the Ragdoll is arguably one of the most beautiful long-haired cat breeds. “They were developed in the 1960s and are known for their silky coat and loving demeanor,” notes Zach Coston, DVM, a veterinarian with Dutch. “They are a gentle, affectionate breed that prefers to relax with their owner.”
While Ragdolls are a generally healthy breed, they are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that thickens the heart muscle, similar to several other cat breeds. Their longer fur coat also requires regular grooming to prevent it from getting matted and tangled. You may even need to bathe your cat in rare cases—like if your kitty gets itself into a major mess.
|Life expectancy||12–17 years|
Pretty as can be, Persian cats are a more popular long-haired cat breed known for their ultra long, luxuriously silky coat and short snout. True to their name, this feline comes from Persia (now Iran) and has a docile, affectionate personality.
On that note, this kitty is down to lounge around and is considered pretty quiet and well mannered. Some health conditions they’re prone to include respiratory issues, eye infections and dental disease. Love a good cuddle session? These friendly cat breeds are almost always up for a snuggle.
|Life expectancy||15–20 years|
“The Himalayan is a breed that was recognized in 1957 and was developed from a Siamese crossed with a Persian. As such, Himalayans share several characteristics with their founding breeds,” says Dr. Coston. “They tend to have a flatter face, small nostrils and large wide-set eyes with a medium to long silky coat that tends to have a colorpoint coat pattern.”
Unfortunately, the flat face comes with multiple health issues, including chronic respiratory problems due to constricted airways, dental disease and chronic eye issues due to dry eye or chronic eye irritation. These cats tend to be less active than many of their counterparts but do make good companions. Not sure which cat to get? These are the cat breeds most compatible with your zodiac sign.
|Life expectancy||9–15 years|
The magnificent Maine Coon is a large, long-haired cat breed that originated in the U.S. It’s known for its muscular build and shaggy coat, as well as the cute tufts of hair on its ears and toes.
This cat breed is super smart and notably curious, which means it’s always exploring and potentially getting into shenanigans. Maine Coons are considered healthy felines but are prone to hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We can’t always tell what our kitties are thinking, but understanding their cat behavior is a great way to get a better idea of what they need.
|Breed overview||Maine Coon|
|Life expectancy||10–13 years|
Norwegian Forest Cat
Known as the Skogkatt in its homeland of Norway, the Norwegian Forest Cat is a large kitty with long and thick fur, cute fur tufts on its nose and ears, and a beefy build. They were actually originally bred to be hunters in harsh, snowy climates, but today they tend to spend more time enjoying catnip and the comfort of indoors.
Norwegian Forest Cats are known for their happy, playful and spirited personalities and are also thought to be easy to train. In fact, some consider them even dog-like in character. While a healthy breed in general, they can experience conditions such as hip dysplasia and heart disease. Take a peek at the most expensive cat breeds in the world!
|Breed overview||Norwegian Forest Cat|
|Life expectancy||14–16 years|
Ragamuffin cats are one of the newest long-haired breeds on this list. They originated in the United States in the 1990s and are very, very similar to Ragdolls. The difference is that the Ragamuffin tends to be a bit bigger, and their coat is a bit more dense and full compared with the silky soft coats of the Ragdoll. Another distinction is that they come in a broader range of colorings and patterns.
Personality wise, Ragamuffin cats are super gentle and friendly, and they’re known for their unwavering loyalty and eagerness to spend time with their beloved pet owners. This breed is healthy, though it experiences issues such as bladder stones and heart disease. While some cats are known for being standoffish, these affectionate cat breeds are keen on connecting with their humans.
|Life expectancy||12–18 years|
Burmilla cats are actually a combination of the Burmese and Chinchilla Persian cats. This beautiful, medium-size kitty is known for its royal-esque coat of silver fur, which has a shimmery quality that makes it quite stunning. It’s another newish breed, having originated in the 1980s in the United Kingdom, and is beloved for playful kittenish tendencies that last a lifetime.
Burmillas are also quite social and love spending time with their owners. Health conditions that affect this long-haired cat breed include polycystic kidney disease and dental issues. Have other health questions about your kitties? Here are secrets your veterinarian may not tell you.
|Life expectancy||7–12 years|
Turkish Van Cat
If you haven’t heard of the Turkish Van Cat, no sweat. It’s one of the rarest long-haired cat breeds on this list! It’s also considered an ancient breed, originated in the geographic region that now includes Turkey, Russia, Iran and Iraq. This breed was brought to England in the mid-1950s, where its name was changed from “Turkish Cat” to “Turkish Van” to differentiate from the Turkish Angora.
This cat has a very striking white coat with unique markings on its head and tail, and it often has deep amber or blue eyes. Some even have both! Turkish Van Cats are quite smart and have a playful disposition. They’re even known for enjoying water. One of the primary medical issues to be aware of is genetic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Check out these other rare cat breeds.
|Breed overview||Turkish Van Cat|
|Life expectancy||7–12 years|
This list of long-haired cat breeds wouldn’t be complete without including these sweet floofs. Turkish Angoras are, no surprise, from Turkey, and they are considered one of the most socially outgoing and affectionate felines out there. They’re also quite beautiful, with a long, dense and silky white coat that extends all the way through their very long tail.
Turkish Angoras are also very playful and curious, and they often require a lot of physical and mental stimulation in order to live their best life (so they’ll probably enjoy these cool cat products). Regarding health, they can experience genetic deafness and heart disease.
|Breed overview||Turkish Angora|
|Life expectancy||15–18 years|
Long-Haired Scottish Fold
You may be more familiar with the short-haired version of the Scottish Fold, but this cutie also comes in a long-haired variety. As their name suggests, they come from Scotland and are popular across the globe. Their fan base is partly due to a unique appearance that makes them a highly coveted kitty—with their folded ears and large, round eyes—but their personality is also quite appealing.
Scottish Folds are very gentle and sweet, and they are also always game for playtime and cuddling. They’re also quite adaptable and really enjoy human companionship—who knows, maybe yours will even gaze adoringly and make you wonder why cats stare at you. Because of their ears, Scottish Folds sometimes deal with ear-related issues, such as infection, compromised hearing or deafness. This breed comes in different colors, including orange, tabby and gray. Speaking of, peruse our roundup of beautiful gray cat breeds.
|Breed overview||Long-Haired Scottish Fold|
|Life expectancy||12–16 years|
Like the Scottish Fold, the American Curl comes in both short- and long-haired variations. In either scenario, this kitty has unique ears that curl backward, which is how it gets its name. They tend to be stocky and stout in frame and have a soft, silky coat that comes in all kinds of colors and patterns.
American Curls originated in the 1980s in California and quickly became popular because of their unique appearance. They’re also sweet felines with silly, playful personalities. Medical issues to be aware of include eye problems such as cherry eye and progressive retinal atrophy, as well as ear infections due to their ear shape.
|Breed overview||American Curl|
|Life expectancy||12–16 years|
This large, long-haired feline is considered a national treasure in its homeland of Russia, making its way into everything from old fairy tales to modern-day competitions. To adapt to cold terrain, it has a thick, dense, triple coat that’s water repellant and a notable ruff around the neck and chest. (Bonus: It’s also hypoallergenic!)
While resilient, strong and independent, the Siberian also has a softer side. It tends to be curious and quite social, which means it has a great time interacting with other people and pets. Regarding health, they’re prone to issues such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, polycystic kidney disease and hip dysplasia. By the way, dogs aren’t the only critters known for their smarts. These are the smartest cat breeds out there.
|Life expectancy||8–10 years|
“The LaPerm is a rare breed that is small in stature and has a characteristic loose curly fur coat that can range from short to long in length,” Dr. Coston says. “They are a newer breed that was officially recognized in 2002 and are differentiated from a Selkirk or Devon Rex.”
Much like Rexes, the LaPerm is very outgoing, playful and affectionate without being overly clingy. They are a relatively healthy breed, but they can experience dental issues, allergies and thyroid problems. The short-haired LaPerm cats require minimal grooming, while long-haired cats require slightly more grooming. These pretty and sometimes orange cats are a sight to behold!
|Life expectancy||10–15 years|
Though its name might have you thinking this cat’s from an exotic faraway land, it actually originated in the 1950s in the United states. It’s a variation of the Siamese cat, only the Balinese has a much longer coat and tends to be a bit less high maintenance in terms of social needs. That said, Balinese kitties are very vocal and super smart, and they also tend to be pretty social creatures that love chatting and hanging out with their owner.
You’ll often see this breed in the classic Siamese colorpoint coat, but it also comes in tabby point and tortie point. The health conditions they’re prone to include bladder stones, dental problems and respiratory infections.
|Life expectancy||15–20 years|
If you’re drawn to rare cat colors, colorpoint coats and long fur, you’re going to fall in love with the adorable Birman. This medium-size cat has a fluffy, long-haired colorpoint coat and striking blue eyes. And if looks weren’t enough, it’s also an incredibly affectionate, gentle and sweet kitty that serves as a wonderful human companion.
Though they love social time, they also enjoy spending time alone—which is helpful if you’re someone who travels a lot. Health issues to be aware of include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dental problems and obesity.
|Life expectancy||13–15 years|
The American Bobtail is a muscular cat known for its short, bobcat-like tail. It’s sometimes confused for a Manx, but the two aren’t quite the same.
“These cats are bred to have colors and patterns that mimic their more wild type counterparts, and coat length ranges from short to long, but they can come in any color or pattern,” notes Dr. Coston. “The American Bobtail is an intelligent, playful, outgoing cat that enjoys chasing toys and being very active. These cats are happiest when they’re finding new discoveries to stimulate them mentally.”
While American Bobtails are relatively healthy, Dr. Coston notes that they’re more prone to hip dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
|Breed overview||American Bobtail|
|Life expectancy||13–15 years|
As Dr. Coston noted, the Manx and the American Bobtail look very similar. While the latter has a tiny nub of a tail, however, the Manx has none—or a very, very short one in some cases. Their bodies are also round and compact, and they come in a handful of different colors and patterns.
Interestingly, Manx cats come from the Isle of Man in the Irish sea and are considered a rare and ancient breed. Their personality has been described as dog-like, as this long-haired cat breed is very loyal, deeply affectionate, active and eager to play. (If you need a pet-hair remover for your long-haired fur ball, whether cat or dog, we’ve got you covered.) Medical issues they run into include spinal problems and digestive issues.
|Life expectancy||10–14 years|
Tips for grooming long-haired cat breeds
Long-haired cat breeds typically require more grooming compared with short, medium or hairless cat breeds. Follow these tips for a healthy, pristine kitty:
- Groom from a young age, so they’re used to being brushed.
- Brush daily to prevent knots, matting and tangles.
- Cut away matted fur or knots that do occur (there are special de-matting combs available).
- Use a wide-tooth comb or brush that’s made specifically for long-haired cat breeds.
- Trim fur around their hindquarters to prevent fecal matter from getting stuck in fur.
- Keep grooming sessions short, and stop if your cat is distressed. A nice treat after brushing can help them look forward to the experience.
- Consider professional grooming.
- Zach Coston, DVM, a veterinarian with Dutch
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: “Grooming Your Cat”