Cat fur comes in a variety of colors and textures. There are hairs that are long, short, dark, multicolored, and even hairless. If you’re looking for a new kitten or cat to join your household, you have almost too many possibilities. The one thing they all have in common is an abundance of cuteness.
Every cat has at least four different types of hair or fur. Depending on the breed of cat and the type of coat, the different layers play varied roles. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at the many layers within the cat fur:
1. Outer coat / Guard fur
Guard fur is the cat fur’s outermost layer. It is what you see on the surface, but oddly, it does not show the cat’s coloration. The outer guard hair is usually the longest layer, and it is slightly coarser than the remainder of the fur. Its purpose is to keep the cat warm in the winter. The guard will help prevent water from immediately soaking the animal.
2. Inner Coat / Down Fur
The coating of down fur serves as the cat’s insulation. The thickness of the down covering is usually determined by the feline’s breed and habitat. Cats from colder climates will have a thicker coating. This fur is thick and velvety, and it stands up slightly when your cat gets cold. It permits warm air to circulate beneath the down and near to their skin. Furthermore, this is the fur that your tabby sheds.
Whiskers, which are formed of keratin, are a part of your cat’s fur or hair. Though a cat’s coat and whiskers are both crucial, they serve completely different purposes. The whiskers of a tabby are connected to nerve endings that help them to sense their surroundings. A cat will use these facial hairs to check whether or not it can squeeze through a narrow area.
4. Awn Fur
Awn fur is this layer of fur acts as a bridge between the down and the guard hair. It produces a single coat rather than two layers. The awn fur is typically longer and thinner than the down, but shorter and thicker than the guard. This is also where your cat’s coloration and pattern may be seen, as the coating of fur makes it visible.
Now we can discuss the main fur types, as there are multiple sorts of cat hair in this area as well.
5. Long-haired fur
The colors and patterns might vary greatly, and this cat will need to be brushed frequently to prevent matting. Depending on the breed, long fur can grow to be 1.5 to 5 inches long. In addition, your long-haired tabby sheds more and coughs out more hairballs.
The Maine Coon cat is a popular breed in this fur group.
6. Short-haired fur
The most common type of cat fur is no other than a short-haired cat. The cat fur does not grow past 1.5 inches and they require little care. They don’t require much grooming and have less furball distress. In addition, there are considerably more breeds of short-haired cats than long-haired cats.
A hairless cat does not mean that the cat has no hair. Instead, they are an extremely short-haired species with the equivalent of a man’s short buzz cut. The fur has a velvety texture to it and is quite soft. On the other hand, they require a lot of upkeep. Because they lack fur to absorb the natural oils from their skin, they must be bathed frequently.
8. Curly / Wired
Crimped or curled cat fur is uncommon, but it does exist. It began as an aberration in a few breeds, but because it became desirable, it was later bred that way. Because curled cat hair is considered long fur, it sheds and needs to be brushed just like any other long-haired cat.
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