Why Are Cats So Soft? Here Are 5 Fascinating Reasons!

Discover the captivating softness of cats and unravel the mysteries behind it. Explore the enigmatic nature of their fur and the reasons why they are so irresistibly soft.

The Science Behind Cat Fur

Why are cats so soft? The answer lies in the unique structure of their fur. Cat fur is made of a top layer, known as guard hairs, and a bottom layer, known as the undercoat.

Why Are Cats So Soft

The guard hairs are stiff and straight, providing protection against moisture and dirt, and give cats their characteristic appearance. The undercoat is made up of fine, downy hairs that are densely packed together. These hairs are incredibly soft and provide insulation, keeping cats warm in cold weather.

The softness of cat fur can also be attributed to the presence of a protein called keratin. Keratin is a key component of hair and nails in humans and animals. In cats, keratin helps to give their fur its soft texture and strength.

Cats also produce natural oils from their skin that help to keep their fur soft and smooth. These oils, known as sebum, help to lubricate the fur, preventing it from becoming dry or brittle.

Overall, the softness of cat fur is a result of the unique combination of the structure of their fur, the presence of keratin, and the natural oils produced by their skin. It is this combination that gives cats their irresistibly soft and luxurious fur.

why are cats so soft

Why Are Cats So Soft?

A cat’s soft fur is as mysterious as its personality. But far from a secret, the following are some of the reasons why their fur can put expensive silk to shame:

1. Your cat has a double coat.

One of the common reasons why cats are soft is their double coat. Most cats have double coats, which consist of an undercoat or down hair and a topcoat, and these tend to be the softest cats.

The undercoat of a cat has a fluffier and shorter profile, which is very soft to the touch. This extra layer of fur keeps a feline warm during the cold season.

On the other hand, the topcoat is much longer and towers over the undercoat. This is responsible for keeping your cat safe from UV rays, moisture, and other outdoor elements.

Meanwhile, other cats have the so-called ‘triple coat’. Aside from the top and undercoat, there’s a middle coat that enhances a feline’s thermoregulation abilities. These also tend to be the softest cats.

2. Your cat is well-nourished.

A soft and fluffy coat is a sign that your cat is well-nourished. It’s because the cat’s coat health reflects the quality of its diet.

In comparison, a poorly nourished cat will have a dull, thin, and coarse coat. This condition will make your kitty prone to skin problems as its coat isn’t as efficient in protecting them from harsh elements.

Reasons why cats are soft

So if you want your cat to be one of the softest cats, you should invest in pet food that matches its needs. You can also consult your cat’s veterinarian for recommendations.

3. Your cat is well-groomed.

Aside from a proper diet, regular grooming will also keep your feline’s coat soft and fluffy. This includes regular bathing, brushing, and checking for potential infections.

Home grooming works for cats, but you should still bring your pet to a professional groomer once in a while. This is to check for spots that you missed, much so if you have a long-haired breed.

4. It’s intended for skin protection.

As much as a cat’s soft fur is the joy of its owner, this fluffy feature is actually made for protection. As mentioned, it shields your pet’s vulnerable skin against dust, dirt, water, chemicals, and allergens.

Aside from that, your cat’s coat will protect it against harsh weather. It’s like their jacket during winter, which explains why some cats can walk on the snow without shivering.

why are cats so soft

A cat’s coat is also helpful in shielding its skin from abrasions, scratches, and cuts. This makes perfect sense as cats love squeezing their bodies in tight spaces and exploring the neighborhood.

5. It’s in their genes.

While the structure of cat fur plays a significant role in determining its softness, genetics also play a crucial role. The genes that cats inherit from their parents determine the type of fur they will have, including its texture and softness.

Certain breeds of cats are known for being the softest cats due to specific genetic traits. For example, the Maine Coon breed is known for its long, silky fur, while the British Shorthair breed has a dense and plush coat. These genetic variations contribute to the softness and texture of their fur.

Genetics also influence other factors related to fur softness, such as color and pattern. The genes responsible for fur color and pattern can affect the texture and feel of the fur as well. For example, cats with certain color variations, such as the Siamese breed, tend to have softer fur.

Nowadays, many cat breeders focus on producing cats with an extra soft coat. This is to meet the demand of pet owners who are looking for a pet with silky and aesthetic fur

How to take care of your cat’s soft fur

Proper care is crucial to ensure that your cat’s soft fur will remain healthy. Here are a few of my recommendations as a cat owner:

  • Practice daily brushing. Even if you’re not bathing your cat, it’s important to brush its coat daily. This will help maintain the softness of its fur while preventing tangles and dirt accumulation.
  • Manage your cat’s weight. One thing that cat owners don’t know is that excess weight can negatively impact a cat’s coat. It’s because an overweight kitty will find it hard to groom around its body, leading to an unkempt and coarse look.
  • Don’t bathe too often. As much as you want to keep your cat’s coat soft, you should never bathe it too often. Once every 2 to 3 months is enough because bathing too often will strip away your feline’s natural skin oils.
  • Use dry shampoo sparingly. Dry shampoo is a great way to clean your cat’s coat without full baths. However, you should only use it twice in a row after which your kitty needs to be bathed fully.
  • Keep the cat indoors. If possible, you should keep your cat indoors to prevent its coat from catching dirt.
  • Treat skin problems. Unhealthy skin will lead to an equally unhealthy coat. So if your cat has skin problems, you should address them as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I worry if my cat’s fur isn’t soft?

Overall, you shouldn’t worry if your cat’s coat isn’t as soft as the others. Each cat breed has varying coat texture and it’s normal for some to have a coarser or rougher feel.

However, if your cat’s soft fur suddenly turns rough, it might be best to consult its veterinarian. Your kitty might be suffering from a health problem that requires immediate attention.

Overall, a cat’s coat should be smooth, shiny, and not brittle. Any sudden changes should be taken seriously to prevent further damage to your cat’s coat.

Why are cats so cuddly?

Cats love snuggles because it keeps them warm and safe. This is also the reason why felines sleep together, whether it’s in the domesticated setting or in the wild.

Felines usually sleep closely to keep themselves safe from predators in the wild. But even after domestication, cats retain this preference and you can even train your kitten to like cuddles.

Why are cats so cuddly?

Aside from that, humans can’t resist cuddling a cat because of its soft coat. However, you should know that not all cat breeds are fond of tight hugs.

What is are the softest cats?

If you’re looking for a soft cat to cuddle with, you’ll never go wrong with a Ragdoll. This long-haired kitty is affectionate and always craves hugs.

Aside from that, the likes of Maine Coon, Scottish Fold, Persian, Birman, Turkish Angora, and Japanese Bobtail have fluffy coats.

However, you should know that soft coats often come at a high price. It’s difficult to groom compared to short-haired breeds.

Are fluffy cats rare?

Fluffy cats aren’t extremely rare, but they aren’t the most either. Most of these furballs are pedigreed cats and come at a high price tag from breeders.

Overall, there are 71 cat breeds recognized under The International Cat Association or TICA. Of this number, fluffy cats constitute less than a quarter.

Can cats make themselves softer?

Cats have the ability to somewhat make their coats softer through grooming. Their saliva has enzymes that work similarly to antibiotics, allowing them to clean their coats off.

Also, an average cat spends up to 50% of its time each day grooming its body. With this, it’s no wonder that they remain clean and odor-free even without bathing.


Why are cats so soft? The fluffy coats of felines are genetic wonders that also serve an important role in keeping their skin safe from irritants.

Just remember that for a kitty’s coat to be soft, you also need to do your part as the owner. It’s important to observe proper grooming, a healthy diet, and regular vet checks.

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