Silky and soft to the touch, long-haired cats are often the most cuddly of friends.
U.S. animal shelters adoption rates rose up to 40 percent in 2020 as people yearned for a comforting creature to cuddle during the dark days of lockdown.
Before potential owners adopt their new fluff ball, there are a few factors they should be aware of. Long-haired breeds usually require regular grooming to keep shiny coats tangled and matted.
Below, Newsweek has compiled a list of cat breeds that are perfect for petting.
20. Turkish van
Turkish vans are white, long-haired cats that love to swim in the water.
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These white cats have fur so soft that it feels like cashmere. Many Turkish vans have a patch of paint between their shoulder blades called “God’s thumbprint”, which is considered a lucky charm.
19. American bobtail
An American bobtail cat has a tail that is one-third the length of a normal cat’s tail.
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American Bobtails are naturally occurring cats that show up in their thick, shaggy coats and wild looks. The breed is not related to the Japanese bobtail, despite the similarities in name and pompom-like tail.
Close up of a LaPerm cat from the side
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Curls are the standout feature of these cute cats – from tight corkscrews to loose waves. Oddly enough, the first LaPerm, born in Oregon in 1982, was hairless. Only later did curls appear and develop into a thick coat that was passed on to future offspring.
17. Selkirk Rex
Selkirk Rex cats are nicknamed “the cat in sheep’s clothing”.
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Named for the Selkirk Mountains in Wyoming, these cats have loose, flowing curls, almost like sheep.
Selkirk Rex cats have three types of fur hair – quail, awn, and down hair.
16. Turkish Angora
A Turkish Angora cat seen at the LondonCats International Show and Expo on May 4th 2019 in London, England in the United Kingdom
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Elegant Turkish Angora cats have long, silky fur and no undercoat, which makes grooming relatively easy.
Siberians hair seasonally in spring and autumn and need to be brushed several times a week to keep their fur from becoming tangled.
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Due to the icy climate of their native Russia, these cats have thick and protective fur. Traditionally, Siberians have large round paws and a fluffy belly that is typically white like the chest and legs.
These cats shed seasonally in the spring and fall and need to be brushed several times a week to keep their fur free from tangles.
Persians need to be combed daily to keep their fur sparkling clean.
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As one of the most popular cat breeds in North America, the Persian cat is also relatively easy to care for. The breed comes in two types, “Show” and “Traditional”, both of which wear long, flowing coats that come in a range of colors and patterns.
Cats need to be combed daily to keep their fur sparkling clean.
13. Norwegian forests
Norwegian forest cats have thick, shiny outer hair and a woolly undercoat for insulation.
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Native to Northern Europe, this breed is adapted to a cold climate, with a top coat of thick, shiny hair and a woolly undercoat for insulation. Known as Wegie for short, these cats have bushy tails that are usually as long as their bodies.
Ragdolls are a gentle, adaptable, and friendly breed of cats
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Loved for their white, silky soft hair and baby blue eyes, Ragdolls are one of the most affectionate cat breeds. If groomed from an early age, a ragdoll will enjoy the attention and may even assume the flaccid pupa-like position for which it is named.
11. Maine Coons
Maine Coons are the largest domestic breed of cats that develop their cozy, three-layered coat over time.
The Maine Coon is the largest of all cat breeds and is often referred to as the “gentle giant” of cats. Over time, these cats develop their soft, triple-layered fur, and daily grooming will encourage fur that is perfect for petting.
10. Exotic shorthairs
An orange exotic shorthair is perched on the scratching post of a café
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Developed as a short-haired version of the Persian, the Exotic Shorthair still offers a good dose of fluff. Best for those looking for a cat that requires less grooming, its short, thick coat is easier to care for.
Somali cats are sometimes described as a long haired African cat.
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This breed is sometimes described as a long haired African cat and resembles an Abyssinian in everything except for its long hair. These “little lions” have a cute ruff and are available in four popular colors: fawn, blue, red and red.
Birman cats have a silky texture and a light undercoat, and their long hair rarely becomes matted.
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According to legend, the “Sacred Cat of Burma” got its golden fur and blue eyes through the intervention of a blue-eyed goddess. Due to the silky texture and the light undercoat, the long hair of the Burmese rarely matted.
7. British Shorthair
This British Shorthair cat can groom and wash itself and moult far less than other cats.
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With a round, chunky build and soft, plush fur, British Shorthairs are cozy family cats. Originally brought to Britain by the Romans, the most popular species is “British Blues”, which have beautiful blue-gray fur.
The Himalayan cat is a calm cat that exhibits kitten-like activity
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Appreciated for their glossy fur, potential owners should be warned: Himilalyans lose a lot during the spring and summer months. However, this makes room for a new, thick coat that will protect the cats from cold winters.
5. Japanese Bobtails (long hair)
A Japanese bobtail jumps through a hoop.
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A fluffy, rabbit-like tail sets this cat apart from other breeds. These long, slender cats come in both short-haired and long-haired varieties, with the latter requiring grooming about once a week.
4. Scottish Folds
Scottish Fold cat lounges.
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All Scottish Folds are descended from Susie, a white barn cat who lived in the Tayside area of Scotland in the 1960s. Scottish folds are known for their distinctive little round ears that fold forward. However, it’s worth noting that these cats have been banned in some countries due to associated health issues.
Fluffy Munchkin cats weigh anywhere from 5 to 9 pounds.
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The Munchkins are characterized by their short, stocky legs and are considered the original breed of dwarf cats. Weighing between 5 to 9 pounds, these fluffy creatures are perfect for squeezing.
The Ragamuffin breed is known for loving attention like a dog.
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Closely related to ragdoll cats, raggamuffins are just as huggable. Created in the 1960s, these fluffy cats are just as affectionate and good-natured, although they won’t go limp if you hold them.
A Manx cat.
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Manx cats have one outstanding characteristic – they do not have a tail. Hailing from the Isle of Man in the UK, these cats have short, double-coated coats. Their fur is thick and dense and tends to peel off. The long haired Manx cats are called Cymrics.