Cat Varieties: Domestic longhaired
Domestic longhaired cats are the proper name for cats with medium or long
fur, if they are not a pedigreed member of a recognized breed. These cats make
excellent family pets for people who are prepared to give their coat the extra
care it needs.
Domestic longhaired cats come in all the standard cat colors including tabby,
tortie, bi-colored etc. If their fur combines several shades of the same color
they may be referred to as a smoke.
Some domestic longhaired cats are not able to maintain their own coat - they
must be groomed for at least half an hour per day, even bathed every week or
two. The cat may not enjoy the bathing process, but if it is bathed and groomed
regularly in its youth, it will accept it as a standard part of its routine.
Very long-haired cats won't make good outside animals, as their coats are very
prone to matting. In some cases, the mats come to resemble wings, leading to
stories of winged cats. The matted fur will usually accumulate in the under arm
areas and upper leg region of a long haired cat. In some extreme cases, the
matted fur can inhibit the cat's movements and cause irritation, and can cause
the cat to become caught on outside shrubs and trees. When this occurs, the
cat's forceful attempts to break away can pull large amounts of clumped fur
away, leaving bald areas and possible injuries.
Video - Longhaired
When such matting of fur occurs, a simple de-matting comb for cats or dogs will
be sufficient to detangle it. At first, the cat may be irritated by the comb,
but gentle brushes each day to ease the fur off will gradually work out the
matted areas, and continued brushing thereafter can help prevent large clumps of
fur from appearing again.
Some owners of long haired cats may feel tempted to cut tangled or matted fur
away with scissors in lieu of combing it out. This should not be done by any
owner not trained to do so, as it can be difficult to distinguish between
hard-matted fur and the skin of a cat. In addition, in extreme circumstances,
heavy-matted fur will harbor bacteria-infested soil or vegetation, which can
cause infection of any cuts accidentally inflicted on the cat by an untrained
owner attempting to cut out matted fur. If a de-matting comb does not work well
enough, the cat should be taken to a groomer, or some cases, a veterinarian, who
will be able to remove heavy matted fur with scissors professionally.