Welcome To Our New Series of Frequently Asked Questions
Number Two - What is Cat Fur?
Your cat’s fur is actually made up of two different types of hair in two different layers. The bottom layer is made up of down hair (also known as undercoat or ground hair) while the top layer is made up of guard hair.
Down hair is usually wavy or curly without straight portions or sharp points. These type of hairs are usually shorter, flatter, curlier, and more numerous than those in the top layer.
The main function of down hair is to regulate the temperature of your cat. As your cat gets older the down hair grows thicker making temperature regulation more stable. The down hair maintains a layer of dry air next to the skin and repels water, thus providing thermal insulation.
Guard hair is usually longer, coarser, and consists of nearly straight shafts of hair that stick out through the down hair layer. The topmost ends of the guard hairs provide the visible layer of your cat’s coat. All the markings and colours of your kitty are made up from the guard hair.
This hair is also adapted to repel water and block sunlight, protecting the undercoat and skin from external factors such as rain and ultraviolet radiation.
As you have probably noticed, sometimes your cat will erect their guard hairs when they are irritated or angry!
As you can see, cat fur is actually very different from human hair so it is important you use a shampoo especially designed for cats such as Pure C to make sure the fur is protected.