Cat Hair and Cat Fur: What is the Distinction?

Cat fur and cat hair are sometimes used interchangeably, however is there a basic distinction between them? Learn extra to seek out out!

Fur vs. Hair

Cat Fur vs. Cat Hair

All mammals have hair. People, pigs, elephants, cats, canines, apes, and even whales have hair. Every strand has a special goal, so it follows that it additionally has a special appear and feel relying on the mammal.

Phrases like “hairballs” describe the fur cats ingest and hack up; people affectionately discuss with their cats as furballs or furbabies. The reality is, there aren’t any important variations between hair and fur.

The time period fur is normally used for mammals with very thick physique hair. People have sporadic physique hair, therefore just isn’t known as fur. With cats, the physique hair is usually known as fur. With some “hairless” cat breeds, such because the Sphynx, the just about invisible strands are sometimes known as “hair.”

To make the excellence simpler, you possibly can consider “hair” as a person strand and the “fur” because the collective. For instance, cat hair is what you discover in your black sweatshirt. There could be lots of them, however they don’t seem to be massed collectively like in a cat’s physique. When grooming, you may say you “brush the fur” or “comb the hair.”

To make naming issues extra sophisticated, the general look of a cat’s fur is known as “coat.” You will notice this time period used mainly in breed necessities, however additionally, you will see “hair” talked about, as in long-haired cats or short-haired cats.

Whether or not you name it hair, fur, or coat, it should nonetheless be appropriate. Use the time period that works finest for you.

Forms of Hairs Present in Cats

Types of Hairs Found in Cats

Cat hair comes from the dermis (below the pores and skin). The construction of the hair will depend on its location within the physique. If a muscle is subsequent to the hair root, slightly below the pores and skin, it’s prone to temperature adjustments. When the climate is chilly or a cat is scared, the muscle groups contract and causes the hair to face. Cats could have one to 3 kinds of hair of their coats, therefore the time period double and triple coats. There are additionally hairs present in different elements of the physique.


Whiskers are the lengthy, thick, tactile hairs originating from the edges of the muzzle, above the eyes, and the hind legs. These hairs are very delicate and play an important half in a cat’s means to measure openings and assist them navigate in complete darkness. Whiskers are additionally good indicators of how a cat is feeling.


The undercoat can also be known as the “down.” These are softer and fluffier hairs that assist hold a cat heat. These hairs typically mat with out common brushing.

Awn and Guard

Relying on the cat breed, their awn and guard hairs can fluctuate. However typically, awn hairs are longer than the down however shorter than guard hairs. In some species, the extra delicate awn hairs could be known as the guard hairs. In different breeds just like the Manx, the guard hairs are longer than the awn hairs. The essential factor to recollect is the undercoat is the shortest hair, the awn is intermediate, and the guard is the longest.


These are sporadic, baby-fine hairs, like these discovered on the Sphynx cat. People even have vellus on some elements of the physique.

Modifications in Cat Hair

Changes in Cat Hair

For homeowners of senior cats, you may discover hair shade change all through the years. Generally we count on their hair to be a selected shade however develop in another way. Listed below are some causes for this phenomenon.


In Siamese and Himalayan cat breeds, the coat’s shade can depend upon the pores and skin’s temperature. The pores and skin is cooler on the physique’s extremities—toes, tail, and ears/face—which is the rationale for having white or cream-colored our bodies and darker “factors.” However pores and skin temperature is not the one temperature that issues. The skin temperature can produce the same outcome: some cat coats normally get darker within the winter.


Darkish-coated cats can get their coat colours washed below the solar, like when individuals bleach their hair. In case your cat loves the outside and spends numerous time in your yard, or in the event that they like to hang around in vibrant areas, the colour of their fur may lighten.


Tyrosine is required in melanin manufacturing, the darkish pigment in a cat’s fur. In case your cat’s weight loss program lacks the amino acid tyrosine, it will probably flip your black cat right into a reddish brown. The ebony fur may discolor if there’s a lack of tyrosine in a cat’s weight loss program. Different imbalances, corresponding to copper deficiency and zinc extra, could cause darkish hair to lighten.

Earlier than giving any dietary supplements, seek the advice of your vet as adjustments in hair shade may point out kidney, liver, or thyroid issues.


As felines age, they begin getting grey hair, very similar to people. However except you’ve a black cat, you could not discover the silver hairs sneaking in. The coat of seal-point Siamese and pointed Oriental breeds are additionally recognized to darken with age.

At any time when you’ve doubts about adjustments taking place to your cat, your veterinarian is one of the best particular person to contact.

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