Long-haired cats are known for their beauty and bright but industrious coats. Popular breeds include the glamorous Balinese, the affectionate Himalayan, the almost-dog 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, got its name from the Turkish city of the same name. Meanwhile, the Persians were not imported into Europe from Persia until 1620.
2. The Maine Coon is the largest breed of domestic cat, not wild, and regularly weighs more than 20 pounds. This tough and robust cat originated in Maine and is known for its love of snow and its unique disposition to “play fetch.”
3. The Norwegian Forest Cat is another long-haired breed known for its size. These sturdy, independent, winter-loving cats will reach up to 22 pounds and are believed to be ancestors of the popular American Maine Coon.
4. The Turkish Van is one of the oldest and unique cat breeds due to their love of water. Vans are known to enjoy the occasional bath 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 breed of purebred cat in North America. Loved for their sweet and gentle nature, these adorable felines could find their way into anyone’s heart.
6. Most long-haired cat breeds are known for their docile and sweet nature. Because many long-haired breeds, such as the Himalayan and Persian, are very passive, it is important to keep these gentle and 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. Hailed by cat breeders and fans, the Javanese is often touted as the smartest feline. These playful cats have been known to open doors, break into closets, and search for treats hidden in locked drawers.
8. The Burmese, a popular long-haired Asian man, 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 died during an attack on the temple. When he died, Sinh put his feet on his fallen master and his legs turned brown like the Earth, his eyes blue like the sky and where his feet touched his master turned pure white.
9. The Cymric, a close relative of the long-haired 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 also has a reputation for chasing anything that moves.
10. The Ragdoll, a fairly new large long-haired breed, was first bred in the 1960s in California. Bred specifically for their gentle personalities, the Ragdoll is often considered the gentlest breed.