Short-haired cats might have their charm, and the semi-long can be absolutely gorgeous, but, if you want magnificence in a cat, you must look to the long-haired breeds.
There are several extremely well known and popular long-haired breeds, including the stunning Persians, the charming Ragdolls and the personable – and huge! – Maine Coons.
These breeds come in a variety of colors, including the exotic sounding Cameo Red Smoke, Chocolate-Lynx Point, Brown Ticked Torbie and Red Silver Mackerel Tabby and White, but there is something about an all-gray long-hair with gorgeous amber or green eyes that stops people in their tracks.
In the world of cats, however, even if they look gray, gray cats aren’t called gray, and are, instead, called blue.
The Nebelung: The Song Of The Nibelungs
Looking like some fantastic animal out of the epic Germanic poem, the Nibelungenlied, these gorgeous cats with their deep gray-blue fur may resemble nothing more than long-haired Russian Blues, but they have their very own, very special, identity.
Named after both the German word for “mist” and the aforementioned romantic saga, this American breed with its stunning green eyes is fairly rare, and only a few breeding programs are in existence.
This should be rectified, though, as these affectionate, loyal and intelligent cats with their beautifully dense fur have proven very popular.
The British Longhair: Stiff Upper Lip…Not!
Although the British Longhair is seen in a variety of colors, one of the most iconic is the deep blue/gray that can come in a variety of patterns including bicolor, tabby and tipped.
A stocky cat with a body that’s close to the ground, British Longhairs are compact and muscular, have large, round, expressive eyes and are the result of crossbreeding British Shorthairs with Persians.
Not yet fully recognized as a separate breed, although efforts are still ongoing, these cats are docile and calm, and, if not regularly exercised, tend become overweight.
The Siberian: The Cat Who Came In From The Cold
One of the breed’s most gorgeous traditional colors is the Blue Tabby, which is a soft gray so light it almost glows.
A variation is Blue Tabby and White, and this stunning longhair that has long been praised in Russian literature and folklore, is one of the largest and heaviest breeds in the world and is said to be the ancient ancestor of all longhairs.
Possibly the only feline that is thought to be hypoallergenic – safe for those with cat allergies – these cats have coats that are triple-layered and which serve to protect them from the icy Russian winters.
They also moult at least once a year, and, contrary to popular belief, their long and dense coat rarely gets tangled and isn’t as hard to care for as one might think.
The American, British and Russian gray longhairs have all stood up and been counted, but there are many other breeds around the world that can boast of lovely long-haired grays.