I think we can all agree that cats are irresistible furballs. It’s one thing that makes them cuddly, but the question is, why are cats so soft?
Someone once told me that a cat’s fluffiness is their way of casting their spell on humans. And I must say, I’m fully entranced.
Cat owners like me also know that felines are ‘liquid’. It’s mind-blowing how their soft bodies can conform to containers or even fit in tight spaces.
But kidding aside, a cat’s soft fur plays an important role in survival and temperature regulation. It’s more than just a cute cover to their bodies, but something that could impact their overall health.
So in case you’re wondering, I’ve discussed below five reasons why many cat breeds are naturally soft. You might be surprised by the reason why your kitty is squishy.
Reasons why cats are 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.
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.
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.
So if you want your cat to have a soft coat, 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.
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.
Lastly, a cat’s soft coat is part of its genes. Genetics dictate how soft a cat’s coat will be, its color, the thickness of the fur, and so on.
Usually, cat breeds that come from places with cold weather have long and thicker fur. In turn, it feels softer and fluffier than felines in warm regions.
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.
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.
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 the softest cat?
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 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.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.