Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Between - The Medium Hair

Lately I've had a bunch of cats with medium length coats. Often mislabeled, it seems many people have a hard time deciding if their cat is considered a short haired or a long haired cat. And, often, the answer is neither! If your cat seems to be longer than a 'short hair' but not quite a 'long hair', they just might be considered a medium hair. Usually this coat length shows up in your everyday moggie, to borrow a term from our friends abroad, or domestic cat, as we most often call them here in the US.

So what do *I* consider a Domestic Medium Hair Cat to be? A cat with 'medium' length hair. Yes, really. Usually these cats are silky and fine coated. Undercoat may be thick, but is rarely 'fluffy' or bushy. The coat is long enough to be flowing, but not to the length of your long haired cat. Shorter on the back, there is usually some fluff around the neck and rear. Tails are often long and feathery.

The lovely Ash
it's easier to see the length of his hair prior to 
his bath and blow dry

After grooming the coat appears short haired length on top
but the long tail and fluffy pants point towards a medium length coat.

The coat is long enough to lay smoothly 
and appear flowing

but is without a fluffy undercoat.
elegance without the bulk


Domestic Short Hair
although this cat does have a longer coat
(especially over his spine)
he's still considered a short hair. Note the lack
of excess hair on the mane, tail or rear.

Domestic Long Hair
Although she has a fine, silky coat, the length in general
and the uniformity of length over the entire body
indicates a 'long hair' cat.

Usually it's the domestic ("mutt") cats that have hair length confusion, since we classify them by coat length. Does it really matter? No, not really. It is, of course, more correct to call the first three cats pictured Domestic Medium Hairs. But let's be honest, we are talking about crossbreed cats, most of which are strays,  'found' cats or 'alley cats'. Some professionals don't even bother with the term medium hair, and would just consider them to all be Domestic Long Hairs. 

As for me, I prefer to classify them as DMH (Domestic Medium Hair). In my mind, that term is linked to the appearance of the first three cats pictured. If I have a DMH on my list, I expect a cat like Ash. It's not a huge deal to me if they are mis-presented as a DSH (Domestic Short Hair) or DLH (Domestic Long Hair), as I find it a fairly easy coat type to work with. Price-wise, for professional grooming, I charge my standard long hair price, since these cats are longer coated and do take more time, effort and product than a shorthaired cat. If the cat is especially thin coated, I may charge closer to the short haired price. I think the Domestic Medium Hairs may be my favorite domestic length. I enjoy the feathery bit of flash coupled with a shorter body. It's sassy!


  1. This helped a lot! Thanks for the photos and descriptions!

  2. I like cats and dogs with long hair fully covered and fluffy they look so much adorable and lovely. But in such cases you have to deal wlot with their maintenance.. that is a difficult task to deal with.

  3. Thank goodness for an answer! I have been wondering this since I first got my cat 😊