Why is it that we rarely see long-haired feral cats in feral cat colonies? Or have I missed something? I’ll have to keep this brief because there is not much to say unless somebody can add to the article in an enlightened comment.
Long-haired domestic cats are quite popular. There are some very popular breeds with long hair such as the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cat. The former is probably the most popular purebred cat in America. The long coat is undoubtedly beneficial for an outdoor cat in cold climates. The trouble is that long coats easily become matted and if left unattended can lead to infection or an infestation of the skin. The Persian cat is another example where arguably the fur is unnaturally too long. Nature would not create fur like this. Even in very cold climates the fur wouldn’t be this long. It would be denser but not very long. And I am referring to genuinely long fur not medium longhaired cats.
Long fur needs attention from humans. It needs to be combed and brushed. The cat cannot maintain it adequately on his own. As feral cats do not have human caretakers any long-haired feral cat would eventually suffer from a matted coat and the consequent potential health problems. Therefore by dint of natural evolution most feral cats have short hair which is much more easy to maintain. That’s the argument. Now tell me that you see an equal number of short and long-haired feral cats 😉