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Generic term for any member of breeds of domestic cats noted for their long, soft, flowing coat. Longhair breeds include Balinese, Birman, Cymric, Himalayan, Javanese, Norwegian forest cat, Maine coon cat, Persian, Ragdoll, Somali, and Turkish Angora. Though considered more lethargic than shorthair cats, longhairs are, like shorthairs, noted for playfulness, affection, and the ability to defend themselves if necessary.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on longhair, visit Britannica.com.