Health Concerns to Consider When Adopting a Long-Haired Cat


Long-haired cats are beautiful and a welcome addition to most homes. However, with the longer fur and genetics come some differences between long-haired and short-haired cats that could impact your cat's health. Here are some common health problems of long-haired cats to look out for and prevention tips to keep them from happening.

Gastrointestinal Obstructions

Cats with longer fur tend to be more likely to develop hairballs, and therefore gastrointestinal obstructions. This is basically like a giant hairball that gets wedged in the intestines, colon, or esophagus and can't make its way out either by being thrown up or excreted.

When gastrointestinal obstructions occur, it can be a serious health risk for your cat. Your kitty may stop eating, could become weak and sick, and—without medical care—they could die.

The good news is, with a regular professional grooming regimen, you can avoid this problem from ever happening. Regular pet groomings remove loose fur before your cat can swallow them, keeping them safe.


Fur matting is another problem that long-haired cats often experience. This is where multiple long strands of fur get tangled on each other, getting worse and ultimately forming a mat or severe tangle.

This might sound like it's not a big deal, but if mats aren't taken care of in a timely manner, they can definitely hurt a cat. They're more likely to develop where your cat's body frequently moves, like near the legs. Once a mat forms, your cat will have their skin and hair pulled every time they try to move that part of their body.

Matting can be prevented with regular groomings, just like with gastrointestinal obstructions. However, you should also consider buying a fur detangler so that you can tackle any mats that develop at home before they become a big problem.

Toe Pain

Lastly, if you've never been around a long-haired cat in person before, it might surprise you to learn that long-haired cats often have fluff between their toes. This is simply fur that grows out there to keep your cat's paws warm if they ever walk through a cold environment.

While toe fluff is cute, it can cause some problems for your cat in the litterbox department. Clumping cat litter can get stuck on toe fluff, forming a clump right under your kitty's paw pads. This can obviously be quite painful to walk on and isn't easy for a pet owner to break off without hurting their cat.

If your cat develops toe fur clumps, seek help from a vet. In the meantime, you can vastly reduce the risk of this occurring by keeping your cat's box as clean as possible or by choosing a non-clumping kitty litter.

Long-haired cats can have lives that are just as long and healthy as their short-haired counterparts if your their parents know how to care for them. Ask your vet if you have any other questions about the newest member of your household.


25 October 2018

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