Cats are wonderful pets, but they can also be a huge pain to keep clean. They are known for their beautiful and luxurious fur, but do cats actually have hair or fur? To answer this question we need to look at the difference between human hair and animal fur.
Human hair is made of keratin, which is a tough protein that makes up about 90% of our body’s total protein content. Animal fur on the other hand is made up of dead cells that form into long chains called “keratinocytes“. Keratin is also found in nails, horns, claws, hoofs and feathers.
With animal fur – there are two types: guard hairs and underfur. Guard hairs provide protection from the elements while underfur provides insulation against heat loss.
Cats also have longer guard hairs than most other animals because they have a layer of dense fur that keeps the inner coat warm. It can keep cats as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit when they are in only 50degrees Fahrenheit weather.
Keeping your Cat’s Fur Clean
Cats are furry creatures of habit and love to keep themselves clean. Their fur is a natural insulator and acts as an essential part of their hunting skills, which means it’s critical for them to stay healthy.
Cats are susceptible to hairballs, which can lead to vomiting and breathing difficulties. One way you can help your kitty avoid this is by brushing them on a regular basis. If you don’t have time for that, make sure they get plenty of toys with catnip or food-stuffed mice so they’re entertained enough to not eat their own fur.
Combing is the best way to keep your cat’s fur clean and healthy. If you have a long-haired breed, make sure you have a slicker brush, comb and lots of patience. Use the slicker brush for brushing out knots, followed by the comb to get rid of loose hair that the slicker brush might have missed. Make sure you give your cat plenty of praise while grooming or they may end up afraid of it in future.
Types of cat fur texture
When you start to notice that your cat is shedding, it’s usually a good idea to get them groomed. But before you take your furry friend in for a haircut, it’s important to know what type of fur they have and the best grooming techniques for their hair texture. Let’s look at the different types of cat fur textures.
- Hairless Cats – You may have heard of hairless cats, but have you seen them in person? These felines come from a variety of cat breeds with a dominant gene that leads to their unique look. The Sphynx for example is a completely hairless breed with a warm peach-like skin tone. They are prone to sunburn and can develop rashes.
- Short-haired Cats – These short-haired cats are the most popular type of pet cat. They have an easy-to-manage coat that requires minimal grooming and shedding is kept to a minimum.
- Medium-Haired Cats – These medium haired felines need some maintenance when it comes to their fur care. As the name implies, they have a “medium” coat that requires frequent grooming and shedding is normal.
- Long-haired Cats – If you love cats with long hair but hate the idea of dealingwith the extensive grooming required, you are not alone. Long haired cats come with all of the challenges that long hair brings to humans.
- Curly-haired Cats – These cats have a very dense coat that is resistant to the elements. Their fur is often wavy or curly and can be prone to matting ifnot frequently brushed.
- Teddy-bear Cats – These are the most popular of all long haired breeds. Their fur is soft and silky, becoming thicker as it goes down their body.
- Down Hair Cats – Despite their name, they don’t actually have down hair. Their fur is incredibly quick growing and very thick with a topcoat that repels water.
- Awn Hair Cats – The Awn hair is very much like the down hair, but has a slightly different texture. It’s an optimal breed for those with allergies because their fur is so hard to get tangled.
- Vibrissae or Whiskers – Some cats have a couple of whiskers that extend from their nose and face. These can be quite thick or thin, but they mostly fall in linewith the rest of their fur
Most Common Cat Fur Problems
Cats are notoriously furry creatures. Their fur, while soft to the touch, can be difficult to manage when it starts getting into your furniture or clothes.
Cats shed their fur on a regular basis and this is natural for them so you should not feel bad if your cat sheds its coat in your house. However, there are some specific problems that arise from cats shedding their coats, namely hairballs and dander which have negative effects on humans with allergies.
Hairballs – Hairballs can be frustrating for both you and your cat. They usually take the form of a thick, sticky paste that forms when your cat swallows its fur while grooming. Hairballs are common when cats shed their coats so the best way to prevent them is to brush your cat regularly.
Dander – If you have allergies, the last thing you want is a cat who sheds constantly. Cat dander is made of tiny scales that are found on their skin, saliva and fur. When these are released into the air they can cause allergic reactions in humans with sensitive immune systems.