Long-haired cats are known for their beauty and lustrous yet industrious coats. Popular breeds include the glamorous Balinese, the affectionate Himalayan, the almost dog-like Maine Coon, the water-loving Turkish Van, and the quintessential Persian. If you are a lover of long-haired cat breeds, read on for 10 fun facts about long-haired cat breeds.
1. Long-haired cats were first seen in Europe in the early 16th century. The first known longhair, the angora, was named after the Turkish city of the same name. Meanwhile, Persians were not imported into Europe from Persia until 1620.
2. The Maine Coon is the largest non-feral domestic cat breed and regularly grows to over 20 pounds. This hardy and sturdy cat originated in Maine and is known for his love of snow and his unique willingness to “play fetch.”
3. The Norwegian Forest Cat is another long-haired breed known for its size. These hardy, independent, winter-loving cats will reach up to 22 pounds and are believed to be the ancestor of the popular American Maine Coon.
4. The Turkish Van is one of the oldest cat breeds and unique for its love of water. Vans are known to enjoy the occasional swim and love to get into bathtubs, puddles, and any other body of water they can find.
5. The long-haired Persian cat is the most popular purebred cat breed in North America. Loved for their sweet and gentle disposition, these cuddly felines could win anyone’s heart.
6. Most long-haired cat breeds are known for their docile and sweet dispositions. Because many long-haired breeds, such as the Himalayan and Persian, are very passive, it’s important to keep these gentle, friendly cats indoors and safe from potential predators.
7. The Javanese, a cousin of the popular Balinese breed, is a long-haired breed known for its intelligence. Acclaimed by breeders and cat fanatics alike, the Javanese is often touted as the most intelligent feline. These playful cats have been known to open doors, break into cabinets and scavenge for hidden treats in locked drawers.
8. The Burmese, a popular long-haired Asian, is believed to have sacred origins in his homeland of Burma and Thailand. Legend has it that Sinh, the first Burmese cat, was owned by a respected and renowned priest named Mun-Ha and was appointed guardian of the Lao Tsun temple. Legend has it that one day Mun-Ha was killed during an attack on the temple. When he died, Sinh put his feet on his fallen master and his legs turned brown as the earth, his eyes blue as the sky and where his feet touched his master they turned the color of pure white.
9. The Cymric, a long-haired close relative of the Manx, is known for its small and sometimes absent tail. This unique breed is known as “the rabbit” thanks to its wavy tail and tufts of fur on its neck and belly. This playful breed is also known for chasing anything that moves.
10. The Ragdoll, a relatively new large longhaired breed, was first bred in the 1960s in California. Bred specifically for their gentle personalities, the Ragdoll is often considered the most gentle breed.