FAQ: Longhaired Cat Breeds and Varieties

What is the origin of long-haired cats?
In the 16th century, the Angora was brought to Europe from Turkey. A whole 3 centuries passed before the Persian reached the shores of western Europe.

What feature should I look for when choosing a long-haired cat?
Kittens should be at least 12 weeks old and look happy and interested. Its ears, eyes and nose should be clean and free of any discharge. The cat’s gums should be pink, its hair soft, clean and shiny and it should feel ‘solid’ not bony.

How can I find a good breeder?
The best way is to visit a cat show and enquire to exhibitors about breeders they would recommend.

Are kittens born with long hair or does it grow?
Long-haired kittens are born fluffier than standard kittens but the hair does continue to grow as they mature.

Is a special diet required?
A normal varied, nutritional diet will be adequate. They require no different to short-haired relatives. Conditioning tonic for their hair is available but not entirely necessary.

How much grooming is required?
You should spend at least 5 minutes a day grooming a Persian. Some owners may spend up to half an hour every day. Other long-haired breeds have silkier hair and may not need such attention.

What equipment do I need for grooming?
A metal comb should be used – one with alternating long and short teeth. A pure bristle brush is good as well. Round-ended scissors may also be useful to remove knots. If your cat’s hair is very matted, a little grooming powder (or talcum powder is this is unavailable) will make the hair less likely to stick together.

How young should I begin to groom kittens?
If you begin as soon as you handle the kitten you will familiarize him with the process and you will gain good experience before it become a more necessary task. To begin with, simply stroke the cat as you would normally and then carry on with a comb in your hand. Always begin and end with a pleasurable area such as below the chin.

Are there times of the year that more grooming is required?
Cats molt in spring and summer, so this is the time you need to pay particular attention. Hair loss can be considerable in these breeds.

What problems can occur due to neglecting grooming duties?
Your cats fur will become matted. The fur will form knots, causing the hair to tighten and tug at the skin. Cats with badly matted hair can be in a lot of pain. You will also loose interaction with your cat, since he may respond badly when you stroke or groom him. In severe cases, the cat must be anaesthetized while a vet removes the worst areas. A few minutes every day will save you more time in the future.