Why are cats so soft?

Petting kitten

Different factors like the cat breed, grooming and/or brushing, characteristics of your cat, diets and food, as well as how old your cat is can contribute to how soft their fur is. Outside of these factors, the way a fur of the cat is evolved, also makes it to be very soft and fluffy. A soft and fluffy coat also helps a cat to move around easy both inside and outside.

We understand that after a lovely cuddle session with your cat, you might wonder what it is that makes your cat to be so soft. Therefore, in this article, we have laid out the various aspects that are responsible for your cat’s soft and fluffy fur. Even if you need some advice on making your cat’s fur softer and fluffier, this article will come in handy. We will, namely, give you some suggestions that might benefit the fur of your lovely pet. Do you want to know more? Please read everything there is to know about your cat and their soft fur in this article!


Factors that are responsible for your cat’s soft fur

As already briefly laid out above, there are different factors and components that contribute to the fact that a cat’s fur is very soft and fluffy. These can all be reasons as to why your cat might be have a softer, or a firmer, coat than others. In this section we will focus on different internal factors that cause your cat’s fur to be soft.

  • First, age plays a significant role in how soft the fur of your cat is and will be. Often it is found that younger cats have a softer coat, compared to senior cats. This is most likely caused by the fact that they groom themselves less and can have difficulty with eating their food and drinking water. If you do have an older cat, and you want to maintain their soft fur, it is recommended to help them with grooming through regular brushing. Also changing to softer foods and making sure your senior cat drinks enough water can help with maintaining their soft fur.
  • Secondly, grooming helps with creating a soft fur. In doing so, a cat is removing knots or matting and stains. The fur of a cat also has natural oils that are spread out through grooming. This helps with keeping the fur nurtured and soft. It is often seen that once a cat is happy, they will groom more frequently and thus have a softer fur. So, if your cat’s fur is suddenly becoming firmer or harsher, it might be that they are not feeling that well at the moment, which causes them to do less grooming.
  • A third factor that plays a role is food and any diets. It is important that your cat is eating well and sufficient foods. This can be kibble, as long as it consists of mostly unprocessed ingredients. It is also recommended for a cat’s coat to have food that have lots of protein, fat and vitamins. Protein helps with making sure that the skin of a cat is taken good care of. Fat within cat food in turn is important to guarantee a soft and shiny fur. Lastly, vitamins can cover any lacks your cat might have toward their general health. That can also help with any fur and skin improvement. If your cat does have any dietary restrictions, a change in their coat can happen. Changing to raw food or another kibble, can help bring back their soft coat.
  • Various genetical factors also contribute to how soft a cat’s fur is and will be. Longer hair cat breeds tend to have softer hairs, causing them to become fluffier. Shorter hair cat breeds, in contrast, have shorter and firmer hairs. That makes their fur less fluffy and soft. Evolution also plays a role here, which we will talk more about in the section below.

Cat cleaning

Evolution of fur

There are also more genetic and evolutionary factors at play that make your cat’s fur very soft. In example, there simply are various cat breeds that are known to have softer fur than others. This is just based on their nature and genetics, rather than external factors, like age, diets and grooming. In most cases, these specific cat breeds have a thicker undercoat, making them fluffier and softer. In other cases, the mom or dad of your cat is known to have a very soft fur, which was then passed onto your furry friend. If your cat has a firmer undercoat, chances are that their fur is not as soft compared to other cats. There is not much you can do to change this, as it is just in their genetics.

Another reason for cats being soft has to do with the fact that they have a three-layer coat. The first layer of the coat, is the most outside part of the fur. This specific layer is water resistant and therefore holds off any water or rain your cat may encounter. Often, the first layer of the coat is a bit harsher and firmer than the other parts of the cat’s coat. The second layer, also known as awn hair, is already a lot softer than the first layer. Again, this layer also makes sure your cat is protected against any water. It also helps with UV protection.

However, the most important function is that it helps regulate the temperature of your cat. So, whenever your cat is feeling very warm, the hairs of the second layer will spread out, causing your cat to cool down. In contrast, when your cat is cold, the hairs will lay closer together which will help with warming up your cat. Lastly, the third layer of cat’s coat is the undercoat. This part of the coat and fur is the most soft and fluffy. The reason for this being that these hairs are generally a little shorter and fluffier than the hairs of the first layer. Whenever the undercoat of a cat is the fluffiest, most likely during the winter, it will be the softest. Once they start shedding this full undercoat, it is likely that your cat feels a bit less soft.

Lastly, there are also other, evolutional factors that cause a cat to be very soft and have such a soft fur. Starting off, although cats have become to be family pets and will spend a great amount of time indoors, they will often still wander around outside. In doing so, they will perhaps walk through (thorny) bushes, play in and around trees and encounter many other obstacles. Due to their soft fur, they can easily move through these obstacles, as they cannot get a grip on the fur.

Another evolutional factor is that cats tend to enjoy to move around and walk in tight locations. With a soft fur they can do, as no traction arises. Their soft fur will thus help them while moving themselves through tricky spaces. Lastly, a thick and soft fur will prevent your cat from any cuts or other injuries. The thicker and softer the coat, the least likely it is that your cat will get hurt on its skin, as this thick layer will prevent it from happening.

Petting cat

All the reasons why your cat is so soft summed up

As we have discussed in this article, there are various reasons that contribute to why cats are as soft as they are. We will sum them up briefly for you right here:

  1. Age: the older your cat is, the firmer and less soft your cat’s fur will be.
  2. Grooming: if your cat grooms him- or herself well, they will most likely have a soft coat.
  3. Food and diets: good and proper food help with maintaining a soft coat.
  4. Genetical factors: long haired cat breeds tend to have longer and softer hairs, rather than short haired cat breed that have firmer hairs.
  5. Cat breed: certain cat breeds simply have a softer fur than others, which is not much you can do about.
  6. Three-layer coat: due to the three layers of which a cat’s coat consists, a cat has a very soft fur. Both the first and second layer of the coat make sure that your cat will not become wet, whereas the underlayer is fluffier and softer.
  7. Prevent any injuries: the soft coat of a cat helps them with preventing any injuries, as no things can get stuck in their fur.
  8. Move through tight spaces: a soft coat causes a cat to not have any traction, which helps them with moving through tight spaces.

Now that you know everything there is to know about your cat’s soft fur, we are very interested to hear more about your experiences and opinion. How do you help maintain your cat’s soft fur? Or, do you have any other tips and tricks that might help other cat owners with a soft coat? Please let us know in the comments. We are very curious to hear what you guys have to say!

Hoeveel sterren geef jij dit artikel?
[Total: 22 Average: 5]
Onlinecatworld.com Team

Onlinecatworld.com Team

We are a team of cat lovers, doing our best to create and spread information about cats. On Onlinecatworld.com you will read all about different cat breeds, and what makes them so special. You will also find information about grooming and training your cat. Be sure to leave us a reply if you like our article.

Leave a Reply