Cat Breeds With Ear Tufts

There are several different types of ear tufted markings that occur in certain breeds of cat. These include straight, curved, branched, and spiral patterns. Some breeders even mix and match various styles to create new variations!

Many people believe that only pedigree cats have ear tufts, but this is not true! All domestic short-haired cats (also known as shorthairs) possess ear tufts. It is just how many they have and what style they have that makes each individual unique.

Some purebreds have very elaborate ear tufts that take more than just genetics to achieve. This can be quite expensive depending on the cost of stud books or sire lines for the parent animals.

However, any owner can choose to enjoy the benefits of an elegant ear tufting pattern by simply choosing to spay or neuter their pet. This article will discuss the pros and cons of doing either one of these with respect to ear tuffs.

British cats

cat breeds with ear tufts

Another popular ear tufted breed is the British or Oriental cat. These cats have very long, fluffy fur that hangs down from their ears. This hair covers most of their ear lobes making them look slightly lacy in shape!

The hairs are not short like those of some other breeds, but they do grow quite slowly. This gives these animals time to enjoy interacting with others and listening to music without being bothered by need to groom their coat.

Oriental cats were originally bred for use as companion pets and still find this role today. Because of their gentle nature, many people choose to keep an oriental as a pet instead of buying a more active dog-like breed.

Norwegian cats


Norway has many breeds of cat that have ear tufts or fur balls coming off their ears. These are called ear muffs, frolics, or auricles. There are even some breeds with both!

Norwegian forest cats get their name because they were originally bred in forests where they would hunt for prey by hearing sounds. Since these cats spend time outside, they require heavy coat layers to keep warm.

These coats also help prevent them from getting wet when it rains, which is important since most forest areas in Norway do not have adequate shelter. Because of this, there are very few social settings where Norwegian Forest Cats will meet others like themselves!

Another reason why Norwegian forest cats are not popular is due to the fact that there are no breed standards requiring them. Some people prefer having a more spayed or neutered pet so Norwegian forest cats can be put down if someone does not want it as a companion animal.

Cat owners who wish to have one must research local shelters and see if anyone is looking to give away their dog or cat. You should make sure it is an indoor only pet and that it gets enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Maine coons


While some breeds have ear tufts as part of their fur, none are quite like the Maine Coon. These long hairs that stick up from the ears are not attached to the skin at all, but instead grow straight down.

This is because there is an extra layer of cartilage in the middle ear between the ear drum and the air space where sound waves are absorbed and reflected. This gives them one more place to store sound energy before it is released.

Because they have these ear lobes that don’t connect with the rest of the skin, people sometimes describe the coat as looking like someone put a furry hat on top of your head!

Another reason why this happens is because when cats roll onto their backs, the longer hair gets stuck in the way and forces the body to contract slightly, which causes the ear to droop. Because this doesn’t happen very often, most individuals never develop the habit of pulling out the ear fluff, which may be the factor that makes it go away.

Scottish fold cats


Scottish fold cats got their name from the small tuft of fur that hangs down off of their ears. These ear tufts are typically one long strand that can be either solid or have two branches, making it look like little hairs with a nose hair sticking out!

Scottish folds were originally bred for use in hunting large prey such as rabbits and even some birds. Since they spend so much time looking at the ground, many breeders believe these tails help calm the cat’s nerves and aid in self-confidence.

However, most people now agree that this is just a way to make more money by promoting an exaggerated tic. The British Kennel Club no longer officially recognizes the ear tuft as a working trait.

Overall though, ear markings are pretty interesting and unique features that individual dogs and cats may develop. Just make sure you choose a breeder who uses responsible breeding practices and doesn’t overbreed your dog or cat.

Persian cats


Persians are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. They can be tricky to tell apart, especially if you have never seen a pure-bred Persian before!

Many people associate the ear tufting pattern with the breed name, but this is not completely accurate. While some Persians do have longer fur around their ears, these dogs were bred for many generations without ever having short or absent ear hair.

The fluffy undercoat that covers the ears is actually quite variable within the breed. Some owners choose to keep it, while others shave off all the fur from the ears every few days. This makes it very difficult to identify the dog’s gender until they are older.

Turkish cats


There are two main types of ear tufted cats- those with little to no fur on their ears, and those that have longer hairs or “fins” that extend beyond the edge of the ear. The first type is typically referred to as an Oriental cat, while the second is called a Turkish cat.

Oriental cats can sometimes look slightly silly because people perceive them to be more dramatic and/or significant than they really are. This isn’t necessarily true for Turkish cats, however!

Turkish kittens usually begin sprouting ear fashions at around four weeks old. By six weeks, most all individuals will have some sort of ear fin in place. These are often described as being like whiskers, but not quite.

Sphinx cats


Most sphinx breeders will tell you that most sphynxes have very little interest in dogs or puppies of any kind. This is not true!

Sphynx breeders are usually very friendly people who love animals. There are several theories as to why this may be, but none with certainty.

Some believe it has to do with their unique facial features and how they express themselves. Some say it’s because most sphinx parents choose mates that are more mature than adults which could also contribute to the lack of puppy desire.

Whatever the reason for the low kitten/adult dog desire, there are ways to help your cat show more interest in them. You can try introducing different sized toys, changing the amount of food, and even showing off some playful behaviors yourself.

Chinese cats


There are two major cat breeds that have ear tufts-the Russian and British tabbies. Both of these breeds come from Europe where they were first seen around 300 years ago.

The Russians got their name because when they were imported into Russia, people thought they looked like little dogs with fur standing up. This gave them the nickname “little dog in the tail” or « zhivaty kozhegorodok » (living at the city gate).

British tabbies get their name from the area they originate from – parts of England called Tabbaia which is short for Tabby Town. These cats were originally bred as house pets so some owners took to curling their ears while they slept to help insulate them.

These types of ear tufts can actually cause health issues though. The hairs get caught in your clothes and choke your cat, or get stuck in your hair and hurt you. Or, if your cat gets waterlogged during a swim, the excess fluid can enter through his ears and irritate him.

Mostly, it just looks funny! 🙂

Warning signs of ear mites

If you notice your cat acting nervous or anxious, scratching her ears more frequently, or looking like she has dry skin and flaky layers of scalp inside her ear, then it may be time to look out for ear mite related symptoms.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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