Domestic Longhairs

a Domestic Longhair cat laying contently

Are you looking for a new family cat? If so, the Domestic Longhair may be the perfect fit for you! Domestic Longhairs are a breed of cats that have been around for centuries. They are known for their long, silky coats and gentle personalities.

Domestic Longhairs come in a variety of colors and patterns, including tabby, calico, and solid colors.

Domestic Longhairs are known for their laid-back personalities, making them great companions for families. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do tricks or even use a litter box. They love to play and explore, so they make great indoor cats.

Their temperament can vary from cat to cat and each has their own personality. 

Because of their diverse gene pool, there is a wide range in the traits and personalities that each cat may have. Your Domestic Longhair may be affectionate or independent, quiet or vocal, and relaxed or energetic. The diversity is so great that two kittens from the same litter may look and act completely different from their siblings.

All of them are quite intelligent and affectionate and will get along with both family and strangers. This is an indoor breed that does well at normal home temperatures, but doesn’t handle heat that great because of their longhair. 

These cats are relatives of the Domestic Shorthairs and are also not considered purebreds. The CFA has them listed in the Household Pet category. 

Domestic Longhairs are very playful and energetic, and they like to spend time playing with toys and running around. They are also very social animals, and will often choose to stay close to their owner while they’re at home. 

When it comes to grooming, Domestic Longhairs require minimal maintenance. Their coats are relatively low-maintenance and only need to be brushed once or twice a week.

The Domestic Longhairs have long, fluffy fur that needs very regular brushing. While not needed as kittens, as they age, regular bathings may be needed. They have high grooming needs, but only moderate attention needs. 

Domestic Longhairs are very social cats and enjoy being around people. They love to cuddle and will often follow their owners around the house. They are also great with children, making them an ideal pet for families with young kids.

Overall, Domestic Longhairs make excellent family pets. They are gentle, intelligent, and low-maintenance. They are also very social and love to be around people. If you’re looking for a new family pet, the Domestic Longhair may be the perfect fit for you!

Domestic Longhairs Information

  • Average Height: 8 to 12 inches
  • Average Length: Medium Length
  • Average Weight: 8 to 20 pounds
  • Coat Type: Medium to long length
  • Coat Appearance: The have a long, dense, and fluffy fur
  • Coat Colors: Their long fur may have all varieties of patterns and colors – solid, bicolor, or tricolor; with or without markings.
  • Grooming Needs: High
  • Shedding: Moderate shedding
  • Brushing Requirements: They should be brushed daily
  • Sensitive to Touch: With family fine but not so much with strangers
  • Excessive Meow: Some can be calm and others vocal
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Moderate
  • Good Pet: Yes, overall they are friendly and calm
  • Safe with Children: With training, yes!
  • Good with Other Cats: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes but high grooming needs could be a concern. 
  • Exercise Needs: Medium need
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: They are mostly healthy and most cats do not seem to have any hereditary diseases or genetic conditions.
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 18 years

Physical Appearance of Domestic Longhairs

a Domestic Longhair cat laying like they're waiting to play

Just like their shorthair counterparts, the Domestic Longhair can come in all kinds of appearances. Some can look similar to other feline breeds like the Maine Coon, American Longhair, or British Longhair. This is just a resemblance because of the genetic characteristics inherited by their ancestors. Over the years, these cats have been bred by many breeders to maintain their long and fluffy fur.

The Domestic Longhair is basically a Domestic Shorthair with longer, fluffier fur. They have a medium to long fur length that is thick and fluffy. Their fur can grow up to 3 inches long, though most will be a little shorter than this.

These cats also come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Most have short legs and a medium-length tail. The eyes of the cats can be several different colors.

The color of the fur varies and can be several different patterns, again all because of their diverse gene pool. Some of the more common patterns are tuxedo, calico, tabby, tortoiseshell, and tabby. Their color can be solid, bicolor, or tricolor that may or may not have markings.

Temperament of Domestic Longhairs

These cats can have varied temperaments. The fact that they have such a diverse gene pool results in them having very different personalities. Some can be quiet and some vocal with the majority being talkative with their owners. They can be affectionate or independent but generally most are affectionate towards the owners. But they all tend to be very playful for at least the first half of their life.

Overall, they are loyal and friendly with the family members. These cats are intelligent and smart. Some cats are relaxed, but these seem to be the minority of the Longhairs. Many will have lots of energy and be more active. Most Domestic longhairs can usually get along really well with other pets and strangers.

Training a Domestic Longhair

a black Domestic Longhair cat looking at something above them

These cats are intelligent and easy to train. As long as you have a litter box that gives them some privacy, and is big enough for them to comfortably fit inside you should have no problems with them using it. Just remember to keep it clean as this is the main reason why a cat may not use the litter box.

You may see a few accidents in the beginning but do not punish them. Give them praise and treats whenever they use the litter box. This will help them to understand what kind of behavior is expected of them.

To take care of their scratching habits, set up scratching posts around the house. Whenever you see them scratching your furniture or any other object, pick them and take the cat to the nearest scratching post. This will take care of their scratching habits and also prevent damage to your furniture. It may take time for them to get used to it in the beginning but eventually, they will learn.

If you already have pets in your home then there are some basic steps to take to teach the new cat how to interact with the existing pets. After you’ve introduced the new cat to each pet, observe their behavior. If the new cat is doing things that the other pets don’t like, you should step in and tell them no. You want to do this before an existing pet tells the new one for you.

Clicker training is becoming more popular now. Make a noise with the clicker when the cat does something which is considered good behavior. It will let them know that this is something that you like and hopefully will do it more frequently.

Their Compatibility with Children

a Domestic Longhair cat laying in the grass looking at something in a tree

Most Domestic Longhairs are friendly and love to spend time with children as long as they are not abused by them. This breed has a slight preference for being held. So while more than half like it, it’s still quite common to find many of this breed that don’t care for it.

If you happen to get one that does not like being held you may need to remind your children. Talking to your children about your pets likes and dislikes can help keep you from having a cat that ends up avoiding the kids. Because this breed is fairly forgiving you really should not have any long term issues even if the children repeatedly do some things it doesn’t like. Fortunately the Longhairs cats are generally not aggressive towards children.

You should teach your kids how to hold and behave with them. Treating your cats nicely will help the cats get along better with your children. Teach your kids not to touch or pet the cats when they are eating or sleeping.

Until you know how they will behave around each other it is often a good idea to have someone to keep an eye on them when they are together. Supervision will reduce the chance of accidents happening.

Best Climate for Domestic Longhairs

Like their cousins, the Domestic Shorthairs, these cats are also most comfortable at room temperature (65-75 degrees). The long fur on the cats is designed to withstand cold temperatures, but they don’t do as well in heat. Their long fur allows them to better adapt to living in colder areas.

Always have lots of water available for your cat to drink, especially if you live in hot areas. This will help them stay cool and keep them hydrated.

The Attention a Domestic Longhair Needs

a cute Domestic Longhair kitten looking at something below them

These need low to moderate attention from the owners. Many enjoy being lap cats and they will sit beside you and hope you will give them some affection. Usually they can be coaxed into playing if you have a toy they enjoy.

But because this is a mutt breed, the most we can say about them are generalities. It is possible that yours may be the one that likes to quietly observe the family from the edge of a room. It is impossible to tell which kind you have before you bring them home and spend some time with them.

However, even the most antisocial cats usually still love to play with their owners if you have something interesting for them to play with. Even if they don’t want to play with you, giving them a puzzle game where the reward is a treat should still keep them in a good mood and stimulate their mind.

Health Issues

Due to their mixed breeding, most cats do not have any hereditary or genetic conditions. This allows them to live healthily with a lifespan of between 12 to 18 years.

Spaying or neutering your cat can help further extend their lifespan. Having them fixed greatly reduces the chances of them developing some types of cancer, or seeking out other cats to breed. Having female cats go into heat twice a year is also very stressful for their body. If you don’t plan to breed them, get them fixed.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease in cats is a common problem affecting their gums and teeth. It’s caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on their teeth, which leads to bacterial infection in the surrounding gum tissue. The condition can result in pain, inflammation, tooth loss, and other serious health complications if left untreated.

Symptoms of Feline Periodontal Disease

The symptoms of periodontal disease can be subtle and could go unnoticed until the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage. Some common signs to look out for include:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Drooling or excessive salivation
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty eating or reluctance to eat – Pawing at their mouth or face
  • Swelling in their face or jaw

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for a dental examination.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

a Domestic Longhair cat outside staring at something intently

Domestic Longhair cats can have moderate to high grooming needs. Their long and fluffy fur can sometimes be a chore to maintain. This breed should be brushed almost daily. Regular and frequent brushings will help keep their fur from tangling and keep it looking nice. By brushing their loose fur you will lessen the chances of them having hairballs. We suggest using a bristle brush to comb them.

If your Domestic Longhair has dense fur under their tail, it can have bits of poop stuck to it. Use water to gently clean the fur if needed. Keep in mind that this is a sensitive spot here so try to be as gentle as possible especially as you brush it to avoid matting.

As the cat ages they may not clean themself as often or as well. You may have to bathe them once a month to keep their fur from becoming excessively oily. Only use a high-quality animal shampoo to bathe them.

Cats are known to have teary eyes. To clean any eye goo or stains, wipe the area around the eyes as needed with a moist cotton cloth. The moist cloth will be able to remove any stains near their eyes.

Trim their nails once a week. Trimming their nails will reduce damage to your furniture and also prevent the cats from accidentally hurting anyone while playing with them. Shorter nails should also greatly minimize the amount that they try to claw your furniture.

Check the ears of your Domestic Longhair every week for wax build-up. If there is any wax, use a wet cotton cloth to gently clean only the visible part of the ears.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your cat while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Domestic Longhair

a pile of cat food

As with everything else, there is no specific meal size for the Domestic Longhair. We recommend that you feed them between ¼ to ½ cup of high-quality cat food that is split between two meals.

The exact meal size will depend upon the activities that your cat does during the day. A high energy cat who spends a lot of time playing will need more food than a low energy cat who prefers to relax. Domestic Longhair have a tendency to gain weight. Monitor their activity level and how much you feed them and don’t feed them table scraps.

The food that you feed should contain taurine which is an essential nutrient that every cat needs. It is an amino acid that nourishes the brain, eyes, and also helps to improve the immune system of the cats. Consult your vet to find out if the food that you feed them has the necessary nutrients.

Related Questions:

How did the Domestic Longhair Originate?

It is believed that the Domestic Longhair are descendants of the Domestic Shorthair. They were a result of a spontaneous mutation where the fur grew longer and fuller. The longer fur allowed them to stay warm in icy cold temperatures of Russia, Turkey, and Persia. Just like the Domestic Shorthairs, the long fur cats were often brought aboard ships to help control the rodent population. Their great hunting skills eventually had them being brought to North America.

Can a Domestic Shorthair Produce a Domestic Longhair?

An interesting thing to note is that a Domestic Shorthair can produce a Domestic Longhair and vice versa. But the gene of long fur in Domestic Shorthair is recessive and only 1 in 10 will be born with longer fur.

Is the Domestic Longhair a Recognized Breed by the CFA?

No, just like the Domestic Shorthair, the Domestic Longhair is not recognized as a unique breed by the Cat Fanciers Association. They are also put under the Household Pet category by the association. It is a category in which cats are combined into a single group without any distinction based on fur length, age, color, or sex.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.