If you ask an average person to tell you what he knows about a cat when he gets to the fur, he would probably say something like; they are furry animals.
But, this is not the case. Cats have a variety of fur and hair on their bodies. All cats have no less than four kinds of hair while a few of them have higher.
If this is new to you, then it is no problem because you are not alone. If you are here, then you are in luck. We will be looking at the various kinds of cat fur there are, how they differ and what they do.
Interested? Let’s read on to learn more.
Kinds Of Cat Furs
Here, we are going to be speaking about the fur covering the majority of the body if a cat. You can find this fur in different forms which include:
- Short Haired
- Semi Ling-Haired
- Ling Haired
- Crimped among a host of others.
Short hair, semi-long and long hair are quite common in cats but crimpled or curled occur as a result of a hereditary genetic irregularity. In some breeds, this irregularity was seen as an appealing feature, and for this reason, it was bred into the line.
Asides from the fur on the surface of the cat which showcases its fur texture and coloring, there are lots of more kinds of hair if you take a closer look. Let us take a look at some of them below;
These are the longest hairs on a cat coat. You can find it on the top later. It usually has a coarser feel than the layers of fur underneath. It aids in keeping the wind out, protecting the cat against cold and ensures water runs off the fur of cats without immediately drenching them. This hair can be found in dogs; however, their’s tend to become coarse while that of a cat is usually soft and smooth.
This consists of shorter and much softer hair in comparison to guard hairs. Lots of individuals refer to it as the undercoat of a cat. This hair is usually thick and plush especially in cat breeds that come from colder regions and have heavy, thick coats. One of this is the Maine coon which is a huge breed that was bred in Maine, New England which is known to get cold.
The down hair although usually soft is warm and thick if the cat is cold. This is because it slightly stands up which ensures it encloses warm air close to the body of the cat to keep them warm. The down hair is protected by the guard hairs from winds and also protects it from rain to an extent.
When grooming and brushing your cat, it is crucial for your comb or brush to get down to the skin, before you begin moving across the down-hair. Failure to do this may result in matted or knotted lower layer of hair even though the outer layer may seem smooth. This may result in incontinence for your cat.
Additionally, when spring comes, and your cat sheds, this coat is the one they lose a lot of. The reason for this is; they don’t need so much warmth during months of the year with more heat.
You can find Awn hairs between the down hairs and guard hairs. It is responsible for merging all the coats into one instead of different layers.
The awn hairs are not as long as guard hairs but have more length than down hairs. They aid in protecting the down hairs and coat and generally consist of a majority of the patterning and coloring that gives the cat’s coat its look.
Whiskers may have a very distinct feel to hair or fur. However, they come from the same elements; proteins and keratin. It is a bit rougher than the soft fur on the coat of the cat. Also, whiskers are linked to each aspect of the cat’s body containing the most nerves. Some of these include the muzzle and nose.
It ensures the cat can attain feedback from its environment. By sending vibrations from the whisker of the cat to its nerves, it ensures the cat can do the following:
- Determine how close things are
- Determine the materials used in constructing an object
- The object perspective
- If a gap is adequate for the cat to go through
There are whiskers above the eyes of cats as well. It has the same goal of offering feedback from their surroundings. It also aids in catching debris and dust before they have the possibility of getting into the eye of the cat and resulting in an issue or irritation.
Cutting or trimming the cat is not a great idea. They are very vital and will result in your cat feeling confused. This will most likely be the case for a while until the whiskers get back to its usual length.
Patterns And Colors Of Cat Furs
There are a few primary colors which combine to create a range of fantastic color patterns and variations. They include:
- Red or Ginger
Now, let us take a look at the major color patterns:
This is the least difficult kind of coat to point out. This is because it is one color. However, it may come as a surprise that it is not easy to find cats with this color. If the coat of a cat has any other color, irrespective of how tiny, it does not belong in this category.
This is the standard marbled or striped coat. It is the pattern which you would find the most in domestic cats.
These come in a lot of variations. A cat will belong in this category if it has a white base color alongside other color patches. However if:
- It has random spots, the pattern is categorized as a magpie
- It has random spots with color on its tail, and it is categorized as a harlequin.
- For cats with colored backs and heads, it is known as cap and saddle.
- A cat which has color splashes in between the ears alongside a colored tail is known as a van.