Do you ever look at your clothes and find your cat’s hair littered all over? It is a bittersweet feeling, reminding you fondly of their adorable yet notorious ways. Cat hair can be found all around the house on your couch, carpets, counters, and sometimes in your food.
Pet parents know how hyperactive cats can be. The peppy, zesty runs during the day go without saying. In addition, late-night zoomies across your home are a daily occurrence. This makes it common for cat hair to fly and float around, settling in unexposed areas and crevices.
What are Cat Hair and Cat Fur?
Both cat hair and fur are found externally on most cats, except the hairless ones. These terms are often used synonymously, but are they the same?
Cat hair is used to describe a single strand or a few strands. On the other hand, a collective or ball of hair is referred to as cat fur. Cat hair is usually found on your clothes and furniture, while cat fur can be found on carpets and upholstery.
Cat fur can be tricky to deal with. Knowing how reckless cats can be, they tend to swallow them whole, leaving the furball stuck in their throats and causing discomfort. Sphynx and other hairless breeds are easier to deal with in such cases.
With many terms used to refer to cat hair, ‘coat’ can also be added to the list now. This term, too, means a cat’s fur or hair.
Types of Cat Hair
Endearing indeed, but dealing with cat hair can be a tedious task. So, before diving into how to deal with it, let’s learn about the different types of cat hair.
Also called Vibrissae, these are found on the cat’s face. Most of us will be familiar with this category of cat hair. These are long, tactual hairs popping out of the cheeks and around the nose. It is also found around the eyes and feet in some breeds.
Not only do they add their existing charm, but they provide smelling abilities and help in navigating through unknown spaces.
2. Down Hair
It is the smooth, fluffy hair that leaves us wanting to pet them more. Commonly called the undercoat, this offers warmth to the cat. It acts as a protective layer to the skin underneath. Additionally, it helps adjust to the weather and seasonal changes.
It is a type of insulation found in most breeds. However, some species like the Javanese do not have a layer of down hair.
3. Guard Hair
As the name suggests, this layer of hair protects the cat from getting wet. These hairs stick out past the awn hair. They form a rough outer coat of the body. These help in keeping any dampness away, ensuring dryness.
Not only this, but the guard hair also determines the actual color of the cat. So if you see one of those quirky orange cats around, it’s probably because of their orange guard hair.
4. Awn Hair
Awn hairs form the primary layer of a cat coat or fur. Though it is highly subjective depending upon the breed, it is known for being rougher than the down hair or undercoat. Most of the visible cat fur is awn hair.
It is a secondary layer with dark tips. These bristly hairs act as a protective layer for the down hairs, insulating the cat.
The word ‘Vellus’ means fine hair found on the body. So, the fine scantily spread, tiny hair in cats is called Vellus.
Vellus can also be found on human skin and is often referred to as baby-fine.
As pet parents, feeding and walking your cat is not all about pet care. Going the extra mile and learning more about their body makes it a wholesome experience. It also makes your cats feel safe and happy. Considering the various hair types on a cat’s body makes it easier to work on how to deal with it.
Types of Collected Cat Hair (Fur)
Cat fur is a chunk of cat hair that can be found easily anywhere you look in the house. The common types of cat fur are as follows.
The cat fur in such cats does not go beyond 1.5 inches, approximately. Short and sweet, this makes maintaining and grooming the cats easier and lesser chances of finding balls of fur all over the place.
Prepare yourself for endless chunks of fur balls. Growing up to about 5 inches, these cats can leave behind cat hair while on a stroll too. However, this is nothing compared to the majesty and allure they exude.
Curly hair depends hugely on genetics and breed. Specific genetic mutations cause curly fur to form. But it isn’t easy to spot one, like other common types in the neighborhood. The length may vary, but the beautiful curls stand out.
Most people have contrasting opinions on having hairless pets such as cats. While some seem like clean-shaven moles, others find them equally lovable. Either way, they, too, are a category. Sphynx is a common type of hairless cat.
Determining this will help you know your cat’s anatomy better. You will also be able to groom and take care of your kitty accordingly. Many pet parents find it easier to take the proper steps and discontinue habits detrimental to their cat’s hair hygiene.
Common Breeds Based on Hair Type
Cat fur is one of the most distinctive features of a cat. Most breeds are identified based on the fur patterns and type they have. Some of the commonly found ones are enlisted below.
Type of Hair Coat
|Curly||● Cornish Rex Cats
● Devon Rex Cats
● Selkirk Rex Cats
|Short-haired||● Abyssinian Cats
● American Shorthair Cats
● Siamese Cats
|Long-haired||● American Bobtail Cats
● Persian Cats
● Himalayan Cats
Importance of Knowing Cat Hair Type
Now that you know about the type of hair and fur your cat has, taking care of and tending to your cat becomes easier for many reasons. Some benefits of knowing your cat’s hair type are mentioned below.
1. Better grooming
Knowing the many types of cat hair is key to grooming your pet accordingly. Long-haired cats require regular trimming and tending compared to short-haired or hairless cats. A good quality brush like the Coastal Pet Safari cat slicker brush makes grooming easier. Its self-cleaning feature makes the entire process smooth and fun.
2. Reduced risk of fleas
Fleas are a menace for settling in the fur. Removing them is difficult and often requires the right kind of shampoo and pet care material. Knowing the hair type helps check for fleas or ticks and get rid of them early on.
3. Monitoring shedding
Depending on the type of cat hair, you can keep a check on the amount of shedding around the house. Finding cat hair all over the house is common. However, you can anticipate the amount and type of shedding based on hair type. Keep a watchful eye on the density of the shedding too.
4. Overall health check
Hair-specific grooming and monitoring help identify any visible bumps on your cat’s body. This and the amount of shedding can be indicators of oncoming health issues. Be it bald spots or red lumps; all are indicators. Detecting it early on can save any medical complications in the future.
5. Keep furballs at bay
Constantly finding furballs surprises in your cereal or laundry basket? Well, thank your cat for that. The type of cat hair depends hugely on the breed. Considering the breed in your house, you are bound to find furballs or hairballs everywhere. The number of furballs can be reduced if not eliminated.
6. Look good, feel good
Keeping yourself presentable gives a sense of confidence and joy, no matter who. Let your cat experience that too. Knowing their hair type and its essential attributes works wonders in taking care of their appearance. The strut of a cat with shiny and bright fur exudes beauty.
Read Into What Your Cat’s Hair Has to Say
Your cat’s hair is a mirror of its health and hygiene. Cats hide their illnesses and often find it challenging to communicate discomfort. In such cases, their fur coat shows some visible changes, which may indicate some health issues.
Some practical facts to bear in mind regarding this are as follows.
Cats self-groom without needing the help of extensive hair care tools.
Greasy hair can signify bladder infections or diabetes.
Your cat’s distinct, pungent odor can be due to greasy hair.
Unkempt hair can indicate your cat’s under the weather or minor sickness in some cases.
If your cat is self-grooming excessively, it can be a skin condition or stress.
Look for hairy, red spots or bare skin exposed that may be found upon inspecting and ruffling through their hair or fur coat thoroughly.
Look for balding or hair thinning.
Ring-like lesions are indicators of ringworms.
In addition to the above, specific food allergies can cause skin redness or sores. Specific environmental allergens, too, can cause rashes on your cat’s skin.
Loss of hair can also be alarming. Common reasons for cat losing their hair are as follows.
Reasons for Hair Loss
Indicators or Common Conditions
Bare skin spots
Knowing this is a proactive way to identify any diseases in advance. From basic allergies to any complex health conditions, it acts as a preventive step. So, schedule a visit to the vet, where you put a pin on the exact issue.
Tips to take care of your cat’s hair
A clean and tidy cat is a happy cat. So, pay close attention and invest your time caring for your cat’s fluffy coat. Here are some tips to help you with that.
1. Regular brushing
Brushing your cat’s hair regularly helps remove skin flakes, dirt, and fleas. It also helps improve blood circulation. The sense of satisfaction that washes over your kitty after that is priceless. Once or twice a week is recommended on average. However, it also depends on the cat breed and type.
2. Bathing your cat
Taking a bath for humans or pets is essential for overall bodily hygiene. Bathing and washing your cat’s hair helps remove any germs, dust, or muck from outdoor activities. Though cats self-groom using their teeth and tongue, giving an elaborate bath helps cleanse them thoroughly.
3. Cleaning the hairs around their paws and feet
Cat hair grows around the cat’s paws and feet. So, pay heed to this too. Trim and tidy the cat hair around their paws and toes. Nails, too, form a part of this. Overgrown hair around these regions may cause the accumulation of mud and filth. In addition, untrimmed nails may lead to your cats hurting themselves in the grooming process.
Getting rid of matted hair coat
Matted hair or fur refers to tangled or knotted fur. It happens in your cat’s ordinary course of activities, usually in long-haired cats. Matted hair is very common and can occur when shedding hair gets stuck. Pry them apart when found, or use bristly combs to remove these. Prevent any discomfort that it may cause.
Using the right kind of hair care products
Many cat fur care products are available, be it combs or shampoos. Choose the right product depending on your cat’s skin sensitivity and hair type. Even in the case of medication, give your cat prescribed medicines only. Thus, visit the vet for appropriate recommendations.
With the inter-mixing of various breeds, unprecedented hybrid cat breeds are common. However, knowing your cat’s hair and giving it the undivided attention, it deserves should be given priority. It is as essential as providing your cat the right food or ensuring daily playtime.
Protect your cat’s hair with the right kind of products. Keep your cat’s surroundings and home clean to ensure a conducive environment for their holistic growth. Give your cats the healthy life they deserve.