As a cat person, you’re used to finding cat fur all over your clothes, furniture, and floor. Lint rollers are your best friend, but your cat’s fluff is more than just something you need to clean up. Cat hair is what makes every cat special, and it has several important biological functions. Whether it’s long, short, coarse, or silky, there’s more to your cat’s fur than you might think.
We’ve put together this list of fun facts all about your cat’s fur. Keep reading to learn even more interesting information about your feline best friend!
1. Cats are serious about personal hygiene, and they spend between 15% and 50% of their time grooming themselves.
2. He’s not fat, he’s just fluffy! The fluffiest long-haired cats can end up tipping the scale thanks to their luxurious fur. It’s possible for a long-haired cat’s fur to make up 24% of their total bodyweight.
3. A lot of times, a cat’s breed can dictate their fur color and pattern. For Persians, however, breeders recognize 80 different coat colors and patterns. That’s a lot of variation for one breed of cat!
4. You might occasionally hear someone describe a cat’s color as “blue.” This is actually a cat term for describing a gray-colored cat. Russian Blue cats are a great example.
5. There are several cat breeds that are known for having no fur at all. The Sphynx was the first breed that was specifically developed to be completely hairless.
6. Most people know that calico cats (cats with white, orange, and black) are almost always female. Did you know that most orange cats are male? Read more about them here.
7. A black cat’s fur can rust or fade with age. It’s most often due to a protein deficiency in their diet.
8. Siamese cats are best recognized thanks to their cream-colored coats with darker fur around their ears, face, paws, and tail. They aren’t born with those striking good looks, however. Instead, Siamese kittens are all white and don’t develop their classic coloring until they’re at least a week old.
9. Tuxedo cats are popular for their dapper coat patterns that make them look like they’re always dressed in formal attire. But contrary to popular belief, tuxedo cats are not a breed. It’s actually a coat pattern that can appear in several different breeds and mixed breeds.
10. Have you ever noticed how shiny your cat’s fur is? That pretty sheen is thanks to sweat glands that are attached to each hair follicle. Those glands produce a thick substance that coats the hair and makes it shine.
11. Cats also have tiny muscles called arrector pili attached to each hair follicle. When these muscles contract, the hairs stand straight up. Remember this cat fur fact the next time your cat gets startled and puffs up their fur.
12. Cat fur is actually made from three different types of hair. There are secondary hairs that make up the undercoat, awn hairs that insulate the body, and thick guard hairs that protect the skin.
13. Your cat’s whiskers are a specialized type of hair. They’re thick, tactile hairs that are super sensitive to touch and vibration.
14. Cats don’t only have whiskers on their faces. You’ll also find these thick hairs on the backs of their front legs. They help cats stay sneaky while hunting. Learn more about your cat’s whiskers here.
15. Shedding is an unavoidable part of living with a cat, but it’s different for indoor and outdoor cats. While outdoor cats that are exposed to natural sunlight do most of their shedding in spring and fall, indoor cats shed all year long.
16. Contrary to what most people think, no one is allergic to cat fur. Cat allergies are actually due to proteins secreted by the skin and found in a cat’s saliva. When a cat licks their fur, the proteins spread.
17. While cats can come in dozens of colors and patterns, they’re almost all variations of black and red. White is the exception.
18. Most cats have straight fur, but there are a few breeds known for having curly or wavy hair. The Devon Rex and Cornish Rex are two of the most popular.
19. Your cat’s fluffy fur coat might make them look hot when the temperature goes up, but all that hair actually works to keep them cool. The different layers of fur trap cool air to help regulate body temperature. Shaving a fluffy cat during the summer will actually make them hotter, not cooler.
20. Cats with long hair are more likely to retch up the occasional hairball than cats with short hair. That’s because short hair is easier for a cat’s stomach to digest. If your cat is throwing up hairballs several times a week, however, it’s time to see the vet. Overgrooming is a sign of health problems.
21. Cats typically take care of their own grooming, but it’s still a good idea to brush your cat’s fur on occasion. Brushing removes dirt and dead skin cells and can also improve a cat’s blood circulation.