Long Hair vs Short Hair Kitten: How to Determine?

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

long hair vs short hair kitten

Bringing a new cat home is not as simple as picking a kitten from a litter and naming it. Instead, it involves various considerations, such as how your new pet will adjust to its new home or whether you can handle a new feline friend.

Above all, one of the most important considerations is whether you will adopt a long hair or short hair kitten.

Kittens with different fur lengths and thicknesses require different care. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the differences between long hair vs. short hair kittens.

Short Hair vs. Long Hair Kitten: A Guide to Kitten Fur Length


Different kitten breeds mean different fur lengths and volumes. To understand kitten fur lengths better, take a look at the cat hair length chart below:

Short-Haired Kitten Medium Long-Haired Kitten Long-Haired Kitten
Has furs that only grow up to two inches Furs are longer than hair of short-haired felines

Sorter than a long-haired cat’s

Furs  growing up to 6 inches
Does not require lots of grooming Semi-long hair kittens require moderate grooming as their hair may tangle. Requires frequent grooming and fur detangling
Sheds a lot but does not experience matting Moderate shedding and matting Only sheds a bit of fur

Eperience a lot of matting

An Introduction to Long Hair Kittens


Being a close relative of the medium-haired kitten, long-haired felines typically have two to six inches long coats. Besides the longer-than-average hair, the fur of long hair cats is also dense, fluffy, or silky.

Some of the best examples of domestic long hair kittens are Himalayan, Persian, Ragdoll, Maine Coon, and Norwegian Forest Cats.

The long hair gene of felines is a recessive trait. For this reason, only about 10% of the feline population are long-haired. Experts think that long hair cats came from regions with harsh winters, such as Turkey, Russia, and Persia, about 400 years ago.

What Exactly Are Short Hair Kittens?


Domestic shorthair kitten breeds have sleek and glossy fur, requiring less grooming than medium and long hair felines. They tend to have a variety of personalities, ranging from being calm and quiet to being vocal and playful.

The origin of short hair felines is not entirely clear. The reason is that these cats have been domesticated and bred for thousands of years.

However, it is believed that short hair felines originated in Egypt, where people value them for their ability to hunt mice and snakes.

Long-haired vs. Short-haired Kittens: The Differences

Long-haired and short-haired cats both make great pets. However, they have differences that you need to know when choosing which one you should bring home.

1. Appearance


The first and most obvious difference between short and long hair felines is their appearance. Long-haired kittens look like fluffy and majestic animals.

However, long-haired newborn kittens do not have long coats right after birth. Instead, they look like typical newborn felines.

On the other hand, short hair kittens have a sleek and streamlined appearance.

Both kittens come in a variety of colors and patterns.

2. Maintenance And grooming


Long hair kittens require more grooming than short hair cats, as their coats are more prone to matting and tangling. Regular brushing and occasional baths are necessary to keep their fur healthy and clean.

Short hair cats typically require less grooming, as their coats shed less and do not require as much attention.

3. Shedding


Short-haired kittens shed lots of hair, especially during seasonal changes. So, if you plan to bring home a short-haired feline, you must prepare your vacuum cleaner and yourself for more cleaning than usual.

Long-haired felines also shed, but generally in smaller amounts.

How to Tell if a Kitten Will Have Long Hair or Short Hair

As mentioned, it is not always obvious if a kitten has long or short hair when they are still very young. However, some signs indicate whether your kitten will have short or long fur.

1. Fluffy tail


A fluffy tail is one of the signs your kitten will have long hair. This characteristic is more prominent in 8-week-old long-haired kittens.

Meanwhile, short hair kittens have sleek and smooth tails.

2. Fur growing between the toes


If you look at the paws of short-haired kittens, you will notice that they are completely free of fur growing between the toes. Unlike them, long-haired kittens usually have hairs growing in between their toes.

3. Long fur on the edges of the ears

Apart from a long hair kitten’s tail, it also has long furs sticking out the edges of its ears, even when the furs all over their bodies are still short. Short-haired kittens do not have such furs on their ears; if they do, the furs will be fewer than long-haired felines.

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Short or Long-haired Kitten


1. Cleaning habits

Taking care of a kitten means hair getting everywhere. If you do not have much time to clean your home, getting a long-haired feline is better, as it sheds less than short hair cats.

But if you prefer to have a short-haired kitten, you must conduct frequent cleaning and vacuuming.

2. Climate

Long-haired cats are better suited to cooler climates, as their thick coat can provide insulation from the cold. Short-haired cats are better suited to warmer climates, as they have less fur to keep them warm.

3. Cat allergies

If you have a family member who has allergies, a short-haired kitten is a better option as it produces less dander.

4. The cat’s health

Long-haired cats are more prone to hairballs, as they tend to swallow more hair during grooming. Short-haired cats are less likely to have this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions


Care Tips for Long Hair Cats

Long-haired cats require more grooming than short-haired cats to keep their fur in good condition. Here are some care tips for long-haired cats:

  • Frequent Brushing

Long-haired kittens experience matting and tangling a lot. So, you must brush your hair daily using a slicker brush to remove knots and tangles.

  • Hair Trimming

The furs on a long-haired feline’s belly, hindquarters, and underarms are prone to matting. Fortunately, trimming the furs in these areas can prevent tangling.

  • Bathing

Regularly bathing your pet will keep its long, luscious furs free of dirt and debris, thus preventing matting. Use a shampoo specially made for felines, and rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue on its furs.

Can a long-haired kitten turn into a short-haired cat?

Long-haired kittens can turn into short-haired cats if one of their parents has short hair. This happens when the genes of the short-haired parent cat are more dominant than the long-haired one.

Does a cat’s fur grow longer as it ages?

Yes. In fact, the majority of feline breeds have short furs when they are young. Their hair grows longer as they mature.

What are some long hair cat breeds?

Some of the most popular long-haired feline breeds are Persian, Angora, Domestic Long Hair, and Maine Coon cats.


Long hair vs. short hair kittens – these felines have many differences, all affecting how you need to take care of them.

But apart from these differences, whether you should get a long or short hair kitten boils down to your personal preference. Some people may find long hair kittens to be more aesthetically pleasing, while others like short-haired kittens as they are low maintenance.

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