Exploring the world of long-haired tabby cats

Long haired tabby cats can be the dream pets of many for the tabby cats and long hair cats are both individually very popular among the pet owners all over the world. While the tabby pattern can occur in various long hair cat breeds, it makes it more difficult to choose as all of these cats look immensely adorable. So if you wonder that do tabby cats have long hair, read on as we explore important aspects of these adorable cats.


The uniqueness of the tabby cats

The first thing that you should know that tabby is not the name of any particular cat breed. Tabby is the name of the unique fur pattern that can occur in any breed of cat.  There are two major characteristic elements in the tabby pattern cats:

  • A distinctive M Mark adorns the foreheads of the tabby cats that have been associated with many historical and cultural tales too.
  • The fur patterns of different types that are a combination of swirls, dots, and stripes can be found on the tabby cats.

This pattern has an interesting genetic and historic tale that involves a modified gene called the Agouti being responsible for the origin of this pattern as it dominates the genetic coding of the particular cat breeds. The Agouti gene A/A or A/a gets dominant either completely or partially in the cat breed and thus occurs the markings on the fur coat and head.

The uniqueness of long hair cat breeds

The cats with long hairs usually boast a very plush coat which can have hair strands longer than two inches. This type of hair can occur in either true breeds or mixed breeds. On the same note, it must also be remembered that it is not impossible to find a short hair variety of any particular long hair cat breed.

The long hair in cats is caused by a specific genetic mutation where a gene known as FGF5 or Fibroblast Growth Factor 5 is the main player. However, there exist many breeds with true long hair and no explanation has been found so far for this characteristic of theirs. The gene FGF5 has been found mostly in the hybrid breeds in which it was introduced on purpose.

Tabby cats with long hair

long-haired tabby cats

Another special thing to note about the tabby pattern is that is the oldest existing pattern to have been occurred in cats of various breeds, domestic longhair cats being the most frequent recipient. On that note, a long-haired tabby cat can occur with the agouti gene becoming dominant in any of the long hair parent breeds of the progeny.

It is possible to expect hair as well as the fur on the tabby cats that can be of different sizes, in this case, long hair. If you are confused between cat hair and fur, let us clear that first. Cat hairs are the individual hair strands that are prone to shedding while cat fur is the whole coat that covers the body of a cat.

So if you ask us do tabby cats have long hair, the tabby pattern can very well occur on the cat breeds with long hair. It is only that it would be less visible on the long hair coat but it can certainly be there. Tabby patterns are of four types (some consider them as five by considering tortoiseshell pattern too) and all of these can occur in the long hair cats.

  • Mackerel tabby pattern: This is the most common pattern you can find on long-haired tabby cats that involves evenly spaced narrow stripes running parallel to each other all across the body.
  • Ticked tabby pattern: This pattern only gets visible upon close observation as it involves individual hair strands with the agouti coloration of alternate light and dark colors. These strands mix to generate a pattern.
  • Spotted tabby pattern: This is also called the Cheetah pattern as it involves striped lines running across the legs and tail along with small spots on the back and underbelly. These spots can be of any size and shape.
  • Classic tabby pattern: This pattern involves blotched markings that look like circular smudges of color. These smudges include a combination of swirling lines with different lengths and angles. This blotch is easily distinguishable too.

Choosing between the various long-haired tabby cats

Since the tabby is a fur pattern that can occur in any breed with any type of hair, the set of physical and behavioral characteristics of any particular long-haired tabby cat will depend upon the parent breed that it belongs to. As we have seen, the factors of hair length, coat amount, tabby pattern, and markings can differ in these hybrid cats. You can also find different colorpoint variations that again depend upon the parent breed.

You will have to do a lot of shuffling and research if you plan to get a specific type of tabby cat with long hair or vice versa. Always make sure to check the health status of the parent breed before buying any cat because the long hair cat breeds are prone to various health issues which we are going to discuss below separately.

Different long hair cat breeds with a tabby pattern

The Agouti or Tabby gene can occur in various long hair cat breeds and here are some of the popular examples.

Domestic long hair cats

With no clear lineage breeding history, the tabby pattern is the most frequent incident with the domestic longhair cats. Almost all the tabby patterns like stripes, swirls, and tiger dots can occur in these cats.

Maine coon cats

With the striking lush coat of long hair mostly around the tail and chest, Maine Coon long-haired tabby cat exhibit the tabby pattern most strikingly around their tail in dark bold colors. They love human attention and are very playful too, just like dogs.

Persian cats

This cat has the fame for having the longest hair coat which is super soft and fluffy. They mostly have the classic tabby pattern them but can have other ones too. Persian cats are very affectionate and love to nap too.

Some of the other popular breeds that have shown the occurrence of the tabby pattern are the Birman, Himalayan, LaPerm, Manx, American Bobtail, Ragdoll, etc.

Caring for the long-haired tabby cats

The long hair cat breeds are known to be healthy in general other than having breed-specific health issues which are rare. The primary and obvious concern related to these cats is grooming.

The long and densely haired coats of these coats are more prone to bugs and fleas as compared to any other breed. The problem becomes even more acute because it is difficult to spot the issue in their coat and also to handle it later. Hairball is another common problem with these cat breeds but that is not a major concern as there exist many easy solutions for it.

Here are some tips on giving proper grooming care to your long-haired tabby cat:

  • Be gentle while grooming and get started with it in the early years itself to make the cat comfortable it all along.
  • Choose the right hairbrush and other grooming tools for your cat that can tackle the mats, remove loose hair and other issues efficiently in all body parts.
  • Carefully watch out for the pests like lice, fleas, and ticks that can infect your pet by hiding in the coat easily. Make sure to bathe them with good shampoos and soap regularly.


The long-haired tabby cats are mostly known to be adorable pets with a strong personality and highly affectionate temperament. These charming cats can spellbind you easily as you will get lost in the locks and color while making a choice. Make sure to give them the right care and they will prove to be the best family member in the house.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.