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Their skill in foraging for food allows them to survive in steep mountain areas where they both graze and eat plants that many other cattle avoid.They can dig through the snow with their horns to find buried plants.There were also Highland cattle in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the 1880s.

They have long horns and long, wavy, woolly coats that are coloured red, ginger, black, dun, yellow, white, grey, "silver" (white but with a black nose and ears), or tan, and they also may be Brindled. They originated in the Highlands and Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland and were first mentioned in the 6th century AD.The first herd book described two distinct types of Highland cattle but, due to crossbreeding between the two, only one type now exists and is registered. They are a hardy breed, having been bred to withstand the conditions in the Scottish Highlands.Their long hair gives the breed its ability to overwinter.Mature bulls can weigh up to 800 kilograms (1,800 pounds) and cows can weigh up to 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).Cows typically have a height of 90–106 centimetres (3–3.5 ft), and bulls are typically in the range of 106–120 centimetres (3.5–4 ft).

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