Long-haired cats are known for their beauty and shiny yet labor-intensive coat. Popular breeds include the glamorous Balinese, the affectionate Himalayan, the almost canine Maine Coon, the water-loving Turkish Van, and the quintessential Persian. If you’re a lover of long haired cat breeds, read on for 10 fun facts about long haired cat breeds.
1. Long-haired cats were first sighted in Europe in the early 16th century. The first known long-haired cat, the Angora, was named after the Turkish city of the same name. Meanwhile, Persians were not imported to Europe from Persia until 1620.
2. The Maine Coon is the largest domestic non-feral cat breed, regularly growing to over 20 pounds. Originally from Maine, this tough and hardy feline is known for its love of snow and unique willingness to “fetch.”
3. The Norwegian Forest Cat is another long-haired breed known for its size. These winter-loving, independent, and hardy cats grow up to 22 pounds and are believed to be the ancestors of the popular American Maine Coon.
4. One of the oldest cat breeds, the Turkish Van is unique for its love of water. Vans are known for the occasional swim and love getting into bathtubs, puddles, and any other body of water they can find.
5. The Persian cat, a longhair cat, is the most popular purebred cat breed in North America. Loved for their sweet and gentle nature, these cuddly cats could win anyone’s heart.
6. Most long-haired cat breeds are known for being docile and sweet. Because so many long-haired breeds, like the Himalayan and Persian cats, are very passive, it’s important to keep these gentle and friendly cats indoors and protected from potential predators.
7. A cousin of the popular Balinese breed, the Javanese is a long-haired breed known for its intelligence. Celebrated by breeders and fans of the cat, the Javanese is often touted as the smartest cat. These playful cats are known for opening doors, breaking into closets and finding hidden treats in securely locked drawers.
8. The Birman, a popular Asian longhair cat, is believed to have sacred origins in its native Burma and Thailand. According to legend, Sinh, the first Birman cat, belonged to a respected and renowned priest named Mun-Ha and was appointed guardian of the temple of Lao Tsun. Legend has it that Mun-Ha was killed one day in an attack on the temple. When he died Sinh put his feet on his fallen master and his legs became brown like the earth, his eyes blue like the sky and where his feet touched his master he became pure white.
9. A close long-haired relative of the Manx, the Cymric is known for its small and sometimes absent tail. This unique breed is known as “the rabbit” because of its short 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 breed with large long hair, was first bred in California in the 1960’s. Bred specifically for their gentle personalities, the Ragdoll is often considered to be the gentlest breed.
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