Common Health Issues To Watch For In Long-Haired Cats

Long-haired cats can be immensely beautiful. Stroking and admiring their long, lush coats can be pleasing for both you and the cat. However, long-haired cats are also prone to a number of health problems that are not seen as often in short-haired cats. Here are some health problems to look out for if you have a long-haired cat.

Hot Spots

Hot spots are areas where the cat's skin becomes red, itchy, and irritated. The cat may begin scratching the hot spot, which only serves to make it worse over time. While hot spots can appear on short-haired cats, too, they are more of an issue with long-haired cats for a few reasons. Long-haired cats are more likely to develop mats in their fur, and those mats can irritate the underlying skin, leading to a hot spot. Their long hair is also more likely to hide a hot spot so it goes unnoticed for longer. 

If your long-haired cat has a hot spot, take them to the vet at an animal hospital or clinic. Often, vets need to prescribe a steroid cream in order for the spot to heal.


Cats are pretty good about grooming themselves, and they generally swallow some hair as they go about their grooming. The longer their hair, the more likely it is to get tangled together and cause a hairball in their digestive tract. If your cat has a hairball, you may notice them vomiting from time to time. They may also develop a cough, and some cats even stop eating. A vet can make sure that a hairball is, indeed, to blame for your cat's symptoms. They can then recommend a special food that will help break up the hairball and prevent additional ones from forming.

Paw Infections

The long hair on a cat's paws can trap moisture and bacteria against their skin. In some cases, this can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection. You may then notice that your cat is licking their paws all of the time, or that their paw pads look red and irritated. A vet can recommend an antifungal or antibacterial cream, or in some cases, oral antibiotics to clear up the infection.

If you have a long-haired cat, make sure you watch out for the health problems above. A vet can treat all of these problems pretty easily, but it is important to catch them early so you can get your cat the right care. Contact a vet clinic or animal hospital near you like Center-Sinai Animal Hospital to learn more.