A long haired grey cat is a very distinctive and sought-after cat! These cats are not easy to find and you are most likely going to either end up searching for a solid color cat or a silver black tabby with long hair.
Although domestic longhair cats can come in grey patterns you might find that a purebred cat specifically renowned for producing dilute grey cats is the ideal opportunity for finding a cat with the right look.
Are these cats rare and what breeds are best to source a long hair grey cat from? Read on to get the low down on these cats…
Are Grey Cats Rare?
Grey cats are very distinctive and less common than tabby cats or black cats, but they are not especially rare. In fact, some breeds are famed for their distinctive grey or blue color.
Grey cats actually come from black cats! Cats have two basic colors black and red. The majority of the other colors you see in cats are merely variations of these two colors.
In addition, they have striping genes, piebald genes, dilution genes, and masking genes that create a wide range of tabby cats, bi-color cats, torties, color point cats and faded out or dilute cats.
Grey cats are essentially black cats with recessive dilution genes at work. Basically, both their parents had a copy of the recessive dilution gene, and because they inherited two copies of the dilution gene their color or pattern is diluted, faded, or muted – the black has been washed out to grey or blue…
Now black cats are quite common – there are only two main colors, after all, it is the recessive dilution genes that make gray or blue cats a little more unusual – but not necessarily rare!
Breeds such as the Chartreux, British shorthair, Russian blue, and the Korat cat all have a high incidence of dilution creating many grey cats in these particular breeds!
Are Long Hair Cats Rare?
What about long hair in cats, is that unusual? Well yes…Cats do not just grow long hair because their hair does not get trimmed or cut!
The length of cat hair is also genetically controlled by genes inherited from both parents.
In cats, the gene controlling hair length, like the dilution gene, is recessive. This means that each parent cat must have a longhair gene within their own pair of genes to pass on.
If they only have shorthair genes then the offspring will be a grey shorthaired cat. If they have both types of genes themselves then the dominant short hair gene will make their own hair short but they can theoretically pass recessive genes to their offspring allowing two short-haired cats to produce a long-haired cat! If they are both long-haired then their offspring will be longhaired.
It is estimated that due to the long hair gene being recessive only 1 in 10 cats worldwide are longhair!
This makes long-haired cats uncommon but not necessarily rare. Throw in dilution genes to the mix and it is clear that a long haired grey cat is not an everyday cat!
Long Haired Grey Cat Breeds
We can see that it is entirely possible through fortuitous circumstances for a long-haired grey cat to be produced quite naturally from even a standard pair of tabby cats – but it is very unusual. The genetic fates have to intervene!
Luckily, over time, this is exactly what has happened and then people have got involved and helped genetics along somewhat to produce this outcome a little more often than you would expect to occur naturally!
Specific breeds of cats are known to produce beautiful, long haired grey cats through years of natural selection. Indeed, some cat breeds favor this particular color and hair length outcome.
Check out some of these amazing cat breeds that produce wonderful grey long haired cats:
The Nebelung cat has only really been around since the 1980s. They genetically originate from the same cats as the short-haired Russian Blues. Originally they were described as a Russian Blue with a mid-length coat but breeders of Russian Blues objected to the description and they came to develop their own distinct, stand-alone, breed standard.
They are medium size cats with gray-blue mid-length fur and are notable, apart from the color and fur length, for their round, green eyes.
They are active, lively, playful cats with a high degree of intelligence. They live well in families but have a recognized tendency to bond with a single member of the family – but will still remain active and attentive to the remainder of the family – they just select their favorite people as their best buddies!
Their intelligence is such that they are relatively easily leash trained and sometimes end up behaving like dogs on occasion – following their people around and vocalizing for fun.
Norwegian Forest Cats
The Norwegian forest cat is a natural breed meaning it has developed of its own accord without overt human interference.
It is thought to have a long historical storyline. It is said that 1000 years ago Vikings raided Britain and acquired British Shorthair cats that had been introduced to Britain by the Romans. Later, the Crusader Knights from the area brought back long hair cats from the east. These all bred together and gave rise to the specific breed of Norwegian Forest Cat.
Despite the name these cats actually found favor working on farms and on ships as mousers as they had a fantastic hunting instinct that made them very welcome to the farmers and sailors of the time!
They are a large cat, not dissimilar to the Maine Coon, they have a shaggy mid-length coat that is waterproof and lies over an inner coat that protects them in cold weather. They come in numerous colors and patterns but grey, black silver, and black smoke cats feature among the variants.
They are good family pets, active, intelligent, and friendly with people. But, they are known to suffer from some health issues. They are known to have issues with kidneys, heart, and some joint problems.
Persian cats have been the most popular long-haired cat breed since the early days of cat fancy. These cats have a long history and are thought to originate from modern-day Iraq. They have a very distinctive look brought about by their long hair and flat-faced features. They are so distinctive they have been used to breed with other cats to produce other distinct breeds such as the British Longhair and Shorthair, the Himalayan, and the exotic shorthair.
Apart from their appearance, a measure of their enduring popularity stems from their easy-going nature. They are lap cats that simply don’t really like to move too much or too far! They are happy to receive affection from their people and are gentle, easy-going cats.
They are very widespread as a result of their popularity and extensive breeding and come in a full range of colors and patterns. Solid colors seem to be more highly sought after with grey long hair Persians being a favorite although grey and black Persian tabbies are also available if your heart is set on a grey coloration and a solid color variant is not available.
The popularity of this breed is such that there are many cross breeds available if grey coloration is an absolute must – Persian/Maine coon crosses and Persian/ragdoll crosses seem to produce a high number of grey long-haired cats if you can’t find a full Persian.
Persians do have some breed health problems – look out for cats with faces that are too flat. These cats may have breathing issues, although if you opt for a Persian mix you should be able to avoid any flat face-based issues.
The Siberian Forest Cat is a natural breed originating from the farms of St Petersburg, Russia, and first known in the UK over one hundred years ago but only recognized in the USA in the last 30 years. Outside of Europe, they are relatively rare.
They are fluffy cats with a mid-length shaggy coat of three layers. They are a mid-size but powerful barrel-chested cat reputed to have a mighty jump powered by a strong set of back leg muscles. They have a round head and a sweet facial expression that often appears to be sat atop of a fur ruff around the neckline.
They are widely reputed to be hypoallergenic but there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim. They produce the Fel D1 protein like all cats which gives rise to the allergic response in people.
They are a good family pet, they are active, have no issues with children, like to play games, investigate and be part of family activity in the home and follow their owners around. A Siberian will wait at the door for you to come home. They have an unusual love of water, so if you can’t find your cat they are probably hanging out near a sink or shower!
Being a natural breed they do come in every possible color and pattern combo. Grey solid color cats and black silver and grey tabbies are reasonably common in the breed meaning if you want a cat with grey long hair cat this could be a good option. Additionally, their natural bloodlines mean they suffer from few breed-related health issues – just the usual feline problems.
Recognized as a breed in Britain but less so in North America, the British Longhair is the long hair version of the British Shorthair. It is thought that breeding British shorthairs with Persian cats after WW2 to develop the gene pool of the British Shorthair brought the long hair into existence.
The British shorthair is a cat that is predominantly favored in blue solid colors in the UK and the long hair is similarly likely to be available in blue – although both breeds come in the full range of colors and coat patterns. Silver black tabby variants are particularly distinctive.
They share similar traits with Persians and British Shorthairs.
These cats are medium size and powerfully built with a robust torso and squat, powerful legs. They have a wide, round open face, a relatively short nose – but not flat-faced, oversized cheeks, and round eyes that all amount to a cute expression – they always seem to be smiling!
They make good family cats, being good with children, other cats, and dogs. They are known for their lack of shedding but are widely appreciated for their intelligence and lazy laid back ways that appear to have been inherited from their Persian side of the family! They make good lap cats and love interaction with people.
If a grey longhair cat that can be comfortable indoors in a lively home is the cat for you then the British Longhair may be it. They tend not to suffer from the same problems as Persians due to the mixing with their shorthair relatives.
The oriental longhair, formerly known as the British Angora, is a product of cross-breeding between the siamese cat and the British shorthair, Russian blue, and Abyssinians.
It has a long silky coat with an impressive tail plume, but in many other respects represents its siamese heritage. It has the characteristic head shape of a siamese – triangular with pointed ears and a lean athletic frame – it just doesn’t have the typical siamese color points!
Like its siamese forefathers, it is vocal, active, intelligent, playful, very family and socially orientated, and doesn’t tolerate being left alone for too long. They are good with children, and other cats and even feel very comfortable around small, calm dogs.
Unfortunately, like some siamese cats there is a danger of health issues – look out for kinked tails and cross eyes, they are also noted for losing eyesight with age.
They have been bred specifically to provide the features and characters of siamese cats but in a wider range of coat patterns and colors and this has been achieved. These cats come in a wide variety of patterns from tabby, torties, and calico to a solid color and bi-color cats. This means that finding a grey cat should be possible from this breed – even if it is a grey and black silver tabby!
How Much Do Long Haired Grey Cats Cost?
You may be lucky and find a domestic longhair grey tabby for as little as $60, and even a solid blue domestic longhair should cost $60 – but they are going to be few and far between.
If your heart is set on a grey longhair cat then the best option may be to look at one of the breeds that are specifically known for producing grey long hair cats like either the Nebelung, Norwegian Forest Cat, or British Longhair. A certified pure breed cat is likely to cost from $800 to $2500 depending on the lineage of the cat and the reputation of the breeder.
If finding a grey long hair purebred cat proves difficult you may need to opt for a black and grey silver tabby. The silver refers to the hair color at the skin on the dark tabby markings. This lack of color takes some of the depth out of the markings giving a cat with a grey body and slate markings. Again, a purebred Norwegian Forest Cat in tabby markings will have a cost dependent on the breed history of the cat.