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Long Haired VS Short Haired Cats: What's Better For You?

Updated on October 31, 2016
Prince Fredward says, "Why'd you stop?! Keep brushing meeee!"
Prince Fredward says, "Why'd you stop?! Keep brushing meeee!"


Short Hair

Grooming is going to be easier going with short hair cats. A simple pet brush will give you bonding time with your feline and get rid of the shedding at the same time. With short hair, however, keep in mind that this means there is usually more shedding. Do you have all carpet? Plan on vacuuming 2-3 times a week to keep the pet fur off of your furniture.

Other Short Hair Grooming & Maintenance

For short hair cats, grooming is minimal. You can brush but do not have to (though I bet your feline friend will insist). Actually, using a rubber product such as the glove in the Amazon bubble to the right is a simple way of brushing off all the loose hairs on your kitty while still getting to spend the bonding time with your cat.

And while it is still suggested to bathe your short hair cat, it's not such a big to-do as with long hair cats, and you surely do not have to do it as often.

Medium-Length Hair

With cats who have medium hair length, the grooming is sometimes tedious, especially if your cat is prone to matting. Luckily, there are hair softeners and de-tanglers that will help with this. When budgeting what kind of treats to get your beloved friend, make sure to grab one of these every once in a while. This will make your grooming as well as your pet's grooming of itself much easier! Check out the Ultimate Touch Instant Mat & Tangle Remover in the Amazon box below! It says it's for dogs, but it's super cheap and can just as safely be used on your cat.

Four Paws Magic Coat Instant Mat Removing Comb
Four Paws Magic Coat Instant Mat Removing Comb

This product is stated on Amazon to "recommended by professional groomers and handlers to remove mats and tangles quickly."


Long Hair

For a cat with long fur, the shedding is usually less, but the matting is sometimes so much worse. Because of this, you simply have to be willing to groom your cat. If you have a cat with long hair, and they are getting their tongue stuck by trying to groom themselves, you have a mat on your hands. Again, check the De-Matting tool to the right! It's cheap and safe. Your kitty will love the time you spend with them, and they will feel relieved when they can lick themselves without knots!

Other Long Hair Grooming & Maintenance

It is suggested to give long hair cats gentle baths, as anything too rough will knot the hair right back up. Imagine having to brush that out again?

Give your long hair cat a bath once a month, and make sure to wipe around the eyes of the ones who might have more eye stains than others. To get rid of these stains, I've heard people using Hydrogen Peroxide, but I'm not sure I'd suggest that. Your best best is to probably use a soft dish soap such as Dawn dish soap.

Himalayan-Persian Cat
Himalayan-Persian Cat
British Longhair Cat
British Longhair Cat
Tiffanie Cat
Tiffanie Cat

Break! Look at pictures of kitties!

While you digest whether grooming is something you want to do, look at these cute long hair beauties! Their descriptions will also make you go "awwwww."

Types of Long Hair Cats

Persian and Himalayans are the most common long hair cats.

Persians are gentle, quiet souls. They speak more with their eyes than their mews, and children are on the Okay List, as long as they are as gentle as the cat themselves. Cat and owner personalities are best matched when they can give each other what the other needs!

Himalayans, bless their hearts, love attention and play times, though you'll be more likely to see them lounging on your sofa than peering at you from the top of your furniture. They're pretty easy to get along with!

There is the British Long Hair, which I think is just gorgeous, but it's not as common as the short hair. My family had a blue/gray cat when I was younger. She was a short hair, but the British Long Hair reminds me so much of her.

There is a Tiffanie Cat, which is the best of Persian and the Burmese bred together. I think this is my favorite breed of long hair cats right now. They are beautiful, their breed name is almost dainty, and of course they can be either dainty or sturdy as cats will be. The best part? They're known to play fetch with you!

This cat REALLY loves being brushed!

Litter Trouble

Short Hair

Short hair cats are generally cleaner about the litter. They may make a mess right next to the litter box with their digging, but a simple rubber mat can fix that. Just remember to vacuum or sweep it up often.

When it comes to litter and feces becoming stuck, this is rarely a problem with short hair cats. The shorter fur is simply not as dangerously close! If you do see it happening, however, their stool might be too soft, and this means their diet isn't right. Keep in mind that hard food usually better.

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Medium and Long Hair

Unfortunately, these beauties are prone to getting litter residue stuck in their fur. Again, grooming greatly helps this. The less matting in the fur, the less hair in danger of dragging in the litter box. Some owners will even trim their long hair cats' tails or bottom to keep it out of the way.

Again if you have a cat with medium length or long hair, you simply have to be willing to groom. Just brushing out litter residue or trimming the fur away in appropriate areas, keeping on top of it is the only way to ensure yourself a clean kitty.

Other Litter Maintenance Tips

Also consider keeping up on your cat's claws. Longer claws will enable dirty litter to stick and get stuck, meaning litter tracked throughout the house and much more vacuuming and sweeping. When you keep up with cat claw maintenance, it puts this occurrence back down to zero.

Fortunately, some cats will bite their claws to keep them at a short length. My Prince Fredward does not, however, and he and I do a monthly clipping.

For proper clipping techniques, I really suggest this article:

The Humane Society's article is extremely helpful with tips on how easiest and safest to clip your cat's claws. Do keep in mind that every cat is different. For my Prince Fredward, I have to have someone else hold him by the scruff of the neck, which seems to completely immobilize him, and then I gently hold one of his paws in one hand to stretch out his claws and clip with the other hand.

He might mewl in protest after a while, but as long as I don't take too much time, he's fine. (And he always gets a treat after!)

I prefer small/medium clippers with rounded edges and without the guillotine. See to the right in the Amazon bubble for reference. The Humane Society's article mentions a couple different tools, and each are safe. Use what you are most comfortable with! Trust me, your cat can tell if you're nervous about that sharp object in your hand.


Remember that whether you choose a long hair or a short hair cat, you will have to be willing to take the necessary steps for grooming and hygiene maintenance. These are all important for your pet and for your house's and family's needs as well.

If you have any stories to share, please comment below! =) I'd love to hear about them. I will answer any questions about behavior as well, so don't hesitate to ask!

And good luck with your pet's maintenance!

© 2011 Jennifer Kessner


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    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      My family has only ever had short haired cats. Amy hated getting brushed, period, until I found a fine tooth comb. Even then, she doesn't like her back being brushed. And don't try to brush her if she is not laying down.

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      LOL! Cat personalities never fail to surprise me. xD When we first got Prince Fredward from my grandfather, he was already 4 years old, and I'm pretty sure he'd never been groomed at all let alone brushed.

      When I bought a pet brush, he would get jumpy and skittish, and he even tried to bite me once. It was a matter of me showing the brush to him first so that he knew what it was and that it wouldn't hurt him, and then he'd let me brush him. I've experienced with different types of brushes too, to see which he prefers.

      He prefers the rubber cat brush to the wire one, and he turns his nose up at combs and any other type of brush. Fortunately, his hair isn't too long, so I can get away with just a rubber brush.

      Good luck if in the future you try to get Amy accustomed to it more or to any other kind of brush! I'm sure there are cats that just will never like brushing, and that's okay too. Good thing yours is short haired! =)

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Yep cats are skittish sometimes. It was good to let the little fella look over the brush! Welcome to HUB writing. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and Useful.” I'm now your fan! RJ

      Based upon this HUB, you might enjoy…

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Lovely hub. I had to peer around Tiggy who had inconvenietly sat on the front of the screen for his bath.He says long hair is a bind as it is so difficult to keep clean and boy does he have bad hair days!

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      Thank you very much! =)


      Tiggy sounds adorable! Glad to hear he's fervent about helping you out with the grooming. xD Good look with his future bad hair days. =)

    • profile image

      Kari_24 5 years ago

      I have only ever had short-haired cats but I am determined to get a long-haired cat at least once in my life because I think they are so beautiful!

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I completely agree! If I can ever afford the time and money, I'd love to get a Tiffanie cat, but any long hair breed would do. The bonding and grooming would be loads of fun. =) Thanks for the comment!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

      I have a ragdoll cat named Smeagols and he is definitely long-haired, but we love him so much. He is such a gorgeous cat. I like both long hair and short hair cats, but I think I like long hair cats just a teeny bit more! Voted up and awesome.

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Smeagols! That is absolutely adorable, =) and he sounds gorgeous. Thanks for the vote and comment, Kitty!

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