16 Long-Haired Cat Breeds

Many breeds of cats come in long-haired varieties. A select few are known exclusively for their luxurious coats (lookin’ at you, Persian kitties)! Several on our list can be found in orange, while others you’ll only find in silvery, pointed patterns. The one thing they all have in common? They’re gonna need a thorough brushing at least twice every week. The key to a happy long-haired cat is no knots or mats.

Grooming Tips for Long-Haired Cats

Long-haired cat breeds groom themselves like other cat breeds, but usually require extra help in the detangling department. Just like long-haired dog breeds, mats and knots can become painful on long-haired cats and can even cause skin irritation or infection. Here are some tips to ensure a healthy coat and happy cat.

  • Use the right tools. Long-haired cats typically shed year-round and a deshedding tool will help them maintain a healthy coat (and help you maintain your sanity). A mat detangler will be your BFF should you discover a nasty snarl while brushing your cat. Finally, long-haired breeds, more so than short-haired breeds, can suffer from debris build-up in their ears. Use kitty-safe wipes to make sure their ears are free and clear.
  • Introduce your cat to brushing early. Kittens get used to new things (brushing fur, brushing teeth, food routines) much better than adult cats. If you adopt a long-haired breed, start a brushing regimen early on so your cat expects it - and even enjoys it! Honestly, this can be a really sweet parent-pet bonding time for you guys.
  • Work effectively, but quickly. The National Cat Groomers Institute says every cat has a “turkey timer,” which basically means they’ve got a limit to how long they can sit still for a grooming session. If brushing is your only task, it won’t take that long (especially if you’ve made it a habit and there are very few knots or mats).
  • Don’t miss hard-to-reach spots! Avoid the impulse to focus only on the easy parts (the back). Be sure to brush in armpits and down legs, under bellies and along the tail to make sure no mats sneak by. This also ensures your cat’s coat benefits from the natural oils circulated with every stroke of the brush, keeping their locks nice and healthy.

The 15 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds (Yes, They Do Exist)

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A gray and brown striped American Bobtail cat stands in a field of grass.

1. American Bobtail

  • Height: 9-10 inches
  • Weight: 7-16 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, friendly
  • Coat: Short or long
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15+ years

The International Cat Association says the American Bobtail coat is “plush like a rabbit’s pelt.” The long-haired variety isn’t too tricky to maintain, as long as you brush a few times per week. Like most long-haired breeds, they shed year-round, but you’ll find extra hair laying around as the seasons change, so have your deshedding tool handy in spring and fall. These fun-loving, sweet cats make great family pets and will appreciate the extra bonding time spent grooming.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A small Balinese cat with a cream coat and dark brown, face, ears, feet, and tail sits on a cream colored wooden floor looking up at the camera.

2. Balinese

  • Height: 8-11 inches
  • Weight: 5-12 pounds
  • Personality: Alert, outgoing
  • Coat: Long
  • Color: Variety of colors in pointed pattern
  • Life Expectancy: 10-20 years

Balinese will be game for lots of brushing because they love to be close to their favorite people. Even if their long, silky coats don’t always call for a detangle, remember to give them plenty of attention anyways. These outgoing animals need to be part of the action!

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A small white Birman cat with a brown face and ears and bright blue eyes sits in a grassy, shady spot.

3. Birman

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Personality: Quiet, loyal
  • Coat: Long, single layer
  • Color: Pointed, cream
  • Life Expectancy: 9-15 years

The Birman’s gorgeous pointed, cream-colored coat is a single layer of long, fluffy fur. The nice thing about the single-layer coat is fewer tangles! TICA recommends a full body brushing with a metal comb once every week to keep their coats healthy and beautiful.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A cream colored Himalayan cat with brown markings and bright blue eyes sits wrapped in cream and teal colored blankets.

4. Himalayan

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: 9-12 pounds
  • Personality: Sweet, friendly
  • Coat: Long, soft
  • Color: Variety of colors in pointed pattern
  • Life Expectancy: 15-18 years

Himalayan cats are part of the Persian Breed Group. Those irresistible faces are almost as charming as their long, soft, fluffy, extra-huggable coats. These kitties require diligent grooming as their coats mat easily. Brush them daily—and don’t forget to gently wipe their faces! Debris and tears can build up over time.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A cream color Japanese Bobtail cat with bright yellow eyes sits in front of a beige wall and looks off into the distance.
Vagengeym_Elena/Getty Images

5. Japanese Bobtail

  • Height: 8-9 inches
  • Weight: 6-10 pounds
  • Personality: Active, loving
  • Coat: Shorthair and longhair varieties, bobbed tail
  • Color: All colors
  • Life Expectancy: 9-13+ years

Japanese Bobtails come in both long- and short-haired varieties. With their cute little bobbed tails, silky soft fur and loving dispositions, they make delightful companions. Be sure to brush their fur a few times a week, but don’t overdo it! They don’t have an undercoat so shedding and matting isn’t a huge issue.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A brown LaPerm cat with white markings looks up towards the ceiling. It's got its mouth open and you can see its very small teeth. It has bright green eyes.

6. LaPerm

  • Height: 6-10 inches
  • Weight: 6-12 pounds
  • Personality: Adaptable, doting
  • Coat: Curly, short or long
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Probably the most unique cat on our list: the La Perm. Check out those curly cues! Okay, some do have straight, short hair, but most LaPerms are identifiable by their soft, curly locks. A LaPerm’s coat may take up to three years to reach its full length and find its curl type. Brush a couple times a week with a wide-toothed comb to avoid frizz.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A white and gray striped Maine Coon cat looks at the camera. It has big green eyes and is sitting in front of a blurry orange background.

7. Maine Coon

  • Height: 10-16 inches
  • Weight: 12-15 pounds (females), 18-25 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Sweet, smart
  • Coat: Long, silky
  • Color: Various
  • Life Expectancy: 12-20 years

One of the largest cat breeds, Maine Coons have some of the most luxurious coats. Their fur is thick, double-layered, and often silky to the touch. Some Maine Coons have coarse fur that needs extra brushing as it tangles more easily. This is why establishing a grooming routine early with a Maine Coon is crucial.

Long Haired Cat Breeds -A thick brown and black colored Norwegian Forest cat sits on a rock in front of a bush with yellow and green leaves.

8. Norwegian Forest Cat

  • Height: 9-12 inches
  • Weight: 8-12 pounds (females), 12-18 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Independent, loving
  • Coat: Long, double coat, coarse
  • Color: Various (known for white and tabby mix)
  • Life Expectancy: 13-20 years

At first glance, a Norwegian Forest Cat’s coat may look daunting. It sounds daunting! Coarse strands, a waterproof double coat meant to protect the kitty from harsh winters, a big bushy tail. Surprisingly, the Cat Fanciers Association says Norwegian Forest Cats only need a good, thorough brushing once per week. Maybe more as they shed their winter coats in the spring.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A small white Persian cat sits curled up on a blue surface. It has big green eyes.

9. Persian

  • Height: 10-15 inches
  • Weight: 7-12 pounds
  • Personality: Quiet, sweet
  • Coat: Long, soft
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 8-11 years

Like Himalayan cats, Persian cats must belong to a devoted human ready and willing to groom daily. Brush every day and be sure to keep a detangling comb nearby in case you find mats. Again, gently wipe their faces to make sure no grime has built up. Luckily, these gentle, sweet creatures are happy to sit and spend some quiet time with you.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A white Ragdoll cat with brown markings on the face and ears with big blue eyes sits in front of a blurry background.

10. Ragdoll

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds (females), 15-20 pounds (males)
  • Personality: Sweet, patient
  • Coat: Long, soft
  • Color: White bodies, pointed markings
  • Life expectancy: 13-18 years

They’re called Ragdolls for a reason. These cats don’t mind being in on the action, especially if the action is cuddling or hanging out with kiddos. TICA calls their coats “semi-long,” but there’s an undercoat and they require extra grooming, so we like them on the long-haired list. Since these sweeties are so easy-going, brushing daily shouldn't become an issue.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A gray Scottish Fold cat sits on a cobbled stone path next to a bush of flowers. It has big yellow eyes.
Polishchuk.pavlo., CC BY-SA 4 via Wikimedia Commons

11. Scottish Fold Longhair

  • Height: 8-10 inches
  • Weight: 6-13 pounds
  • Personality: Adaptable, loving
  • Coat: Long and short varieties
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Whether a Scottish Fold has long or short hair, they’ll always stand out with their signature folded ears. Short-haired Scottish Folds have thick, dense coats. Long-haired varieties should be brushed a few times each week to ensure their coats are healthy. Their loyal, adaptable dispositions make them great family pets. 

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A brown Selkirk Rex with the coloring of a tiger and big yellow eyes sits in front of a white background.

12. Selkirk Rex Longhair

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-16 pounds
  • Personality: Even-tempered, friendly
  • Coat: Short or long, dense, curly
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

Selkirk Rex Long-haired cats are meant to look a little disheveled. Avoid brushing too much, otherwise you’ll upset those curls. Unlike LaPerm’s, Selkirk Rexes are born with their curly hair (and curly whiskers). Some age into a more wavy look, but a slight curl is always present.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A striped gray Siberian cat with big yellow/green eyes and whiskers looks at the camera. It sits in front of a piano.

13. Siberian

  • Height: 9-11 inches
  • Weight: 8-17 pounds
  • Personality: Affectionate, playful
  • Coat: Long, thick
  • Color: Variety of colors and patterns
  • Life Expectancy: 11-18 years

Here’s another waterproof, thick coat. Siberian cat coats have three layers, each of which is crucial to keeping them warm in their native Russia. In summertime, you may notice their coat appears…shorter? It happens! They shed a lot of their winter coat for warmer months.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A brown Somali cat with yellow eyes peers at the camera while crouching underneath something.

14. Somali

  • Height: 7-11 inches
  • Weight: 6-10 pounds
  • Personality: Loyal, social
  • Coat: Long
  • Color: Red, brown, tan, lilac
  • Life Expectancy: 11-16 years

Somali cats have long, silky coats typically free of tangles or mats. A brushing a week should suffice. However, TICA says these social creatures may enjoy spending time with you so much that they’ll happily sit for as many brushing sessions as you’d like.

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A cream color Turkish Angora cat with red eyes sits under a white table next to a door and a white wall.
Donsu Lee / EyeEm

15. Turkish Angora

  • Height: 9-14 inches
  • Weight: 5-15 pounds
  • Personality: Outgoing, sweet
  • Coat: Long
  • Color: White
  • Life Expectancy: 12-17

These cats can come in lots of colors, but white is their signature look. To keep their coats in tip top shape, brush once a day (but honestly, it’s probably not necessary due to the silky texture and thin undercoat).

Long Haired Cat Breeds - A white Turkish Van cat with orange markings and yellow eyes and a pink nose sits in front of a gray background.
Michel VIARD

16. Turkish Van

  • Height: 10-14 inches
  • Weight: 10-20 pounds
  • Personality: Social, smart
  • Coat: Medium to long, soft
  • Color: White with red, cream, black or blue markings on the head and tail
  • Life expectancy: 13-17 years

In winter months, when the Turkish Van’s coat fills out to keep them warm, brush a few times each week. Reduce that to about once a week in the summertime and you’ll be good to go! These beauties are intelligent and enjoy playtime, too, so don’t skimp on bonding time!

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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...