Longhaired Cats (Cat Breeds)

Most wild cats are equipped with fur of short or medium length (Pallas's cat or Manual is the longest haired among the wild felines), and all domestic cats in Europe were originally shorthaired. Longhaired cats may have developed in cold countries such as Russia where there was need for a long coat, but it seems likely that they probably arose from spontaneous mutations which were then perpetuated through interbreeding.

By the late sixteenth century, they had arrived in Europe, according to some accounts brought back by the Italian traveller Pietro della Valle, from Asia Minor. Most of today's longhaired pedigree cats, however, are descended from cats brought to Britain from Turkey and Persia in the late nineteenth century.

Most longhaired cats are of the exotic-looking Longhair type popularly known as Persian. In the US these cats are formally classified as Persian, with the colours listed as varieties. However, in Britain, they are called Longhairs and each colour is classified as a separate breed.

All Longhairs of Persian type have a cobby (sturdy and rounded) body with a round face and head, short, thick legs, a short nose, and large round eyes. They also posses an exceptionally full coat. This is known as a double coat because it consists of two types of hair - long, soft, woolly undercoat hairs and slightly longer, coarser guard hairs, which can be as much as five inches (twelve centimeters) long in some show specimens. There are several longhaired cats that aren't of the Persian type. These cats have various origins, but most come from cold climates where a long coat is useful. On the whole, their coats aren't woolly or as full as those of Longhairs, which makes them easier to groom. They differ from Longhairs in other ways too: they are slimmer, longer in the body and leg, and have narrower faces. Examples of these are the Balinese, Angora, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Maine Coon.

Although the coat of a longhaired cat is its pride and joy is often extra long around the head where it forms an attractive ruff, there is one major disadvantage to this glamorous upholstery. Most longhaired cats moult all year round, and thus demand regular daily grooming to prevent matting and fur balls.

A cat that is basically a longhaired Siamese, it has the same long, slim, body and wedge-shaped head. The fur is medium in length and gloriously soft

The classic longhaired cat. It has the characteristic sturdy, rounded body that is described as "cobby", a round cafe and head, a short nose, round eyes, and short, thick legs. The fur is long and luxuriant, consisting of long, soft, woolly undercoat hairs that are covered by slightly coarser guard hairs.

Norwegian Forest Cat
A naturally-evolved, and extremely rugged breed, the Norsk Skaukatt, as it is known in its native country, has a medium build and double coat consisting of water-resistent guard hairs covering thick underfur.

The Ragdoll is an example of a large, muscular, cat, with fur that is long but not as full as a Longhair. Another feature that sets this breed apart is its tendency to relax all its muscles when picked up or handled.

One of the original longhaired breeds, the Angora is slim and long-bodies, with a long, wedge-shaped head and silky, medium-long fur that is much easier to groom than a Longhair's. It is a breed that is quite disimilar to any other.

* Black Longhair
* White Longhair
* Blue Longhair
* Cream Longhair
* Red Self Longhair
* Chinchilla Longhair
* Smoke Longhair
* Bicolour Longhair
* Tabby Longhair
* Tortoiseshell Longhair
* Tortoiseshell-and-White Longhair
* Colourpoint Longhair
* Pewter Longhair
* Chocolate and Lilac Longhairs
* New Longhairs
* Birman
* Ragdoll
* Balinese
* Turkish Van Cat
* Angora
* Tiffany
* Somali
* Maine Coon
* Norwegian Forest Cat
* Non-pedigree Cats