- Lifespan: 12-18 years
- Physique: Strong, elegant body
- Best Suited For: First-time cat owners, families with children and other pets, pet owners willing to groom their cats regularly
- Temperament: Playful, docile, friendly, loving
Considered one of the most popular cats in the United States, the Domestic Longhair is also one of the most common breeds. But it is actually a combination of several breeds, so you can call these cats mutts. In other words, the Domestic Longhair is not a recognized breed.
Today’s Domestic Longhairs are descendants of the Domestic Shorthairs that lived more than 400 years ago. Their fur grew long because of a spontaneous mutation that allowed the coat to be thicker and fuller so the cats could stay warm in cold and icy areas like Russia, Turkey, and Persia.
When the early settlers made their way to America, they brought Domestic Longhairs with them in order to help control the rodent population on their boats.
Considered one of the most popular cats in the United States, the Domestic Longhair is also one of the most common breeds.
These great looking cats have equally great dispositions, but because they are not considered a single breed and have a diverse gene pool, they can have a range of personalities. Overall, though, they are friendly, social, playful, loving, intelligent, and loyal companions that do well in just about any home. Some, however, may be quiet and shy, while others can be aloof or independent.
Domestic Longhairs can also be easy to train, can have a lot of energy, are affectionate towards their owners, and are usually also quite open to meeting strangers. These cats are even known for being quite talkative with their favorite human companions.
The Domestic Longhair is basically a Domestic Shorthair with fancier, longer fur. The long fur gene is recessive, though, so only about 1 in every 10 cats will be a longhaired cat, making these felines more rare than their shorthaired counterparts.
The medium to long fur can range from 2 to 6 inches in length. And if a Domestic Longhair also has a neck ruff, it will make his head look even broader than it really is. Foot and ear tufts are also possible on some Domestic Longhairs.
Like their personalities, the physical features of a Domestic Longhair can vary considerably, depending upon the breeds and genes in an individual cat’s ancestry. This is why Domestic Longhairs come in a range of sizes, shapes, body types, and facial expressions.
Because of their long and fluffy coats, owners of Domestic Longhair cats have to brush their pets at least weekly, but be aware that twice weekly, or even daily, brushings may be necessary to keep the fur soft, smooth, and healthy without any mats or tangles.
It is important to groom Domestic Longhairs regularly in order to prevent mats that may lead to skin infections. A weekly 20-minute brushing session may be enough to keep your cat looking great while removing loose hair and helping to prevent the occurrence of hairballs.
Regular bathing may also be necessary. And when matting does occur, it may be best to seek the help of a professional cat groomer to remove them, as attempting to cut them yourself can result in injuries and cuts to the cat’s skin.
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