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Of all the different cat coats of all breeds, the tabby coat is the most popular. I was recently looking at a tabby cat and wondering if tabby cats have hair or fur. After some research, here is the answer I found.
So, do tabby cats have hair or fur? Tabby cats can have both hair and fur. Cat fur refers to the overall collective coat of the cat. Cat hair refers to individual strands of hair that the cat can shed. Cat hair or cat fur can be used interchangeably to describe a cat. In the end, it depends on the amount of hair being referenced.
Whether you refer to a cat as having hair, fur, or even coat, all of these terms are technically correct. Let’s take a look at the different hair lengths and descriptions for cats with the tabby coat pattern.
Do tabby cats have long or short hair?
Most people think of tabby cats as just the shorthaired domestic breed. However, tabby cats can be both short-haired and long-haired. Because tabby refers to the coat pattern, you can actually find the pattern on different breeds of cats.
When describing a tabby cat, most people are referring to a domestic shorthaired hat. This is the most popular of all cat breeds found in homes. In general, the tabby coat pattern is much easier to see on the body of short-haired cats. The pattern is a little less obvious on longhaired cats, but it’s definitely there.
There are 4 distinct patterns you can find on longhaired and shorthaired tabby cats:
The mackerel pattern is what most of us see when we refer to tabby cats. It’s a combination of zebra stripes that run vertically down the cat’s body. There is a stripe running down the center of the cat’s back that resembles the body structure of a mackerel; hence the name. Mackerel tabby cats can also have long hair.
Spotted tabby cats look like a cheetah. There are striped patterns running down the legs and down to the paws. There are also short compact stripes running along the tail. The belly and back have small areas of mottled stripes. Spots come in all shapes and sizes too. Some cats may have larger spots mixed with smaller spots and vice versa.
Ticked tabby cats are very difficult to identify. On the surface, they appear to have no pattern, but closer examination reveals that their face and tail can help you see it. These cats have agouti hair that alternates with other colors. It can be dark and light hairs that eventually form a pattern. As with all tabby cats, the M pattern is also visible on the forehead.
Finally, there is the spotted tabby cat pattern. This is what most cat lovers call the “classic” tabby. It’s a combination of swirls that appear as spots on the cat. The twists appear to be longer, and they also appear at different angles and lengths. There really is no consistency in the patterns, making it easy to distinguish them from other tabby patterns. The spot is caused by a genetic mutation.
Difference between long-haired and short-haired cats
Although the majority of tabby cats have short hair, they can also have long hair. This helps in understanding the differences between the two coat lengths. The biggest difference between longhaired and shorthaired cats is how they shed and groom.
Long-haired tabby cats tend to shed much less hair than short-haired cats. At the same time, they have a much harder time grooming themselves due to the tangles and curls caused by mats. There are specific grooming brushes that are perfect for long-haired cats.
Short-haired cats shed significantly more, but have fewer grooming issues. Tabby cats are notorious for over-grooming themselves, so their coat still looks well-groomed even if you don’t groom it for them. Keeping the house clean is much more difficult with short-haired cats. Plan to vacuum and sweep regularly to keep the house pristine.
In general, you should expect to groom a short haired cat once a week. Long-haired cats will need several grooming sessions per week, especially with the double coat. Cats with a much thicker coat will need almost daily grooming. The more you groom your cat, the less excessive shedding will be.
Can short-haired cats get hairballs?
Hairballs are very common in long-haired cats, but yes, short-haired cats can get hairballs too. Because short-haired cats shed a lot of hair, it’s easy for these loose hairs to get stuck in the cat’s mouth. Most domestic tabby cats have short hair, so occasional hairballs are possible.
To help reduce hairballs, it is recommended that you help your cat groom themselves even if they have short hair. There are many grooming mitts, brushes and shampoos available to help with the process. Bathing your cat once in a while can also help reduce hairballs.
I know from experience that my tabby gets hairballs from hair stuck in wet food. If your tabby has a feeding bowl, it’s a good idea to clean it periodically as loose hair will seep into it.
Can short haired cats have long hair?
Short-haired cats do not have the capacity to become long-haired cats. It has to do with genetics. There are cats that have a combination of short hair and long hair. We consider these to be medium-haired cats.
Tabby cats can be short-haired, medium-haired, or long-haired. While shorthaired cats cannot be longhaired, it is possible to almost turn your cat into a shorthaired variety. Just give them frequent haircuts to keep their coat to a reasonable level. Double and triple coated cats will benefit the most as it helps attack the flesh more effectively. It will also prevent them from getting hairballs while grooming.
Dealing with Cat Fur Problems
Whether your tabby cat has long, short or medium hair, he is bound to encounter problems with his fur. It is important to remember that the texture of cat fur can change over time. This is related to the cat’s diet, the quality of hair grooming, hair loss and other factors.
Sometimes the cat’s fur can become oily or greasy. Hormonal imbalances are also a factor in what happens. If your cat’s fur is starting to look unhealthy, there are things you can do to help resolve these issues.
- Treat the skins
- Changing your cat’s diet
- Keep cats indoors
- Using a humidifier in dry conditions
Flea treatment is especially difficult for cats that have very thick coats. Whether it’s a short-haired tabby cat or a long-haired type, it’s a good idea to give him a haircut once in a while. Then apply flea drops or a flea collar to help get rid of them.
Changing your cat’s diet can help her coat look thicker and healthier. There are many cat food options on the market that specifically address the cat’s coat. These foods also help fight hairball production.
Ultimately, keeping a cat indoors will be the best solution for him. Outdoor cats tend to have drier skin from the sun. This can make their fur very harsh. Dry skin can also cause cats to itch frequently, making them very uncomfortable.
Whether your tabby cat is indoors or outdoors, consider getting a humidifier to help you through the harsh conditions.
Clean up after your short-haired tabby cat
Because most tabby cats are short-haired, you’re going to have to deal with tons of shedding issues. Cleaning up after your tabby cat is important. It helps reduce potential hairballs, dirty furniture, allergies and more in the home.
The best way to clean up after your cat is to vacuum regularly. Many pet owners will use robot vacuums specifically for this task. Many of them are pet-friendly and regularly clean the surrounding areas of the house.
Another good strategy for dealing with cat hair is to use a damp paper towel to wipe down the floors. Swiffer mops and other electric mops work great for cat hair that ends up on tile or hardwood floors.
For cats that shed a lot, it may be helpful to get a mat specifically designed to catch loose hair. This will help prevent fine hairs from spreading around the room. The material of your furniture can also have a big impact on how hair accumulates. Leather furniture does not retain cat hair as much as polyester or cotton products.