The inner and outer ear hairs on cats are known as furnishings. Each breed has its standard for heaviness of furnishings and whether ear tufts, or Lynx tips, are allowed or encouraged. Those that do have long tufts resemble certain species of wild cats like Lynxes and bobcats. If you’d like your own little “wild” cat with Lynx tips, look towards some of the more natural breeds.
Norwegian Forest Cat
The large Norwegian forest cat originated in Norway, and has appeared in folktales in his native land for centuries. He has an insulated, waterproof double coat to protect him from the elements -- a longer, more coarse outercoat and a soft, dense undercoat. His triangular head has large, wide, rounded ears that are heavily furnished. Lynx tips are not required, but desirable, according to the breed standard.
The medium to large Siberian is Russia’s forest cat, and he has been featured in Russian fairy tales for hundreds of years. This natural breed has a dense triple coat that’s water repellant and sports a ruff around his neck. His ears are large, wide and rounded with full, heavy furnishings in the middle. Ear tipping is allowed, but not required.
The Maine coon is a large, muscular native American cat who reigns as the official cat of Maine. Dubbed the “gentle giant,” his rugged, shaggy coat has three lengths, finished by a fluffy tail. He has large, wide, well-tufted ears, which often taper to a point at the tip.
The medium to large American bobtail looks like a wild cat and has developed to survive feral environments, thanks to natural selection. This hearty-looking cat has a short tail -- hence the name -- that can be straight or curled. Ear tipping on his medium, wide-set ears is highly desirable to complete his natural look.
The American curl is slightly different from most cats with ear tufts. This naturally unique cat has long Lynx tips, but her wide ears curl backwards at 90 to 180 degrees. She was discovered as a stray in California, and selectively bred since the early 1980s. Her body is medium-sized with a flat, silky coat that has very little undercoat.
The Persian also has long ear fur, although not necessarily Lynx tufts. The No. 1 most popular cat in the world, he was thought to originate in Persia. He has been seen in ancient hieroglyphs dating back to 1684 B.C. His coat is long, thick and glossy, and he has a prominent neck ruff. His ears are widely spaced, low set and well-furnished.