Categories: fur

How many hairs on a cat?

Second Calculation

My first calculation below was based on what appears to be an accepted number: the number of hair strands per square inch. The widely published figure is around 130,000 but it might fall to 60,000 depending on the part of the body. I have spent the last 15 minutes looking at my cat’s fur and he became a little irritated 🙂 . I now don’t believe that there are 130,000 hair strands per square inch. It is very hard to estimate the number. My gut feeling is that the number is somewhere nearer 10,000 hairs per square inch or less. That would make the overall figure about one tenth of my first calculation, which is 3 million hair strands. My current thinking is that there are about 3 million hairs on a cat (domestic).

Sadly, this is largely guesswork because there is no available science on this. It is left to the layperson. Me or you.

Maine Coon Fire Storm.

First Calculation

An average domestic cat has 30 million hairs. My calculation is based on very loose measurements of my cat. In fact I have not measured him. I have simply decided that his body is about 15 inches long and the circumference of his body is also about 15 inches. The average cat has 130,000 strands of hair per square inch.

My cat’s body is 225 square inches (15 x 15). If you multiply that figure by the number of hair strands per square inch you come to the figure of 30 million if you add in 750,000 hair strands for the tail, head, neck and legs.

I have rounded the figure because it will vary obviously between individual cats. The key piece of information is the number of hair strands per square inch. All you have to do is measure your cat in inches. From that you can work out the area of your cat in square inches and this figure is then multiplied by 130,000.

Now the puzzle is: how many hairs on a Sphynx? It is not zero. Sphynx cats have bum fluff over them but it is sparse. I’d expect the number of hair strands to be a fraction of 30m and add in ten whiskers.

SOME MORE ON FUR:

Long-haired cats and litter box problems

I have read that Persian cats can become involved in litter box aversion and inappropriate elimination more often than other ...
Read More

Jet black Bombay cat has white “eyebrows” due to thin hair above the eyes

People ask, "Why is my cat losing hair above his eyes?" The likely reason why your cat has thinning hair ...
Read More

Birds can use cat fur to build nests

It's the bird nest building season (Feb-Aug) and I have just learned that domestic cats can contribute to the welfare ...
Read More

What is cat fur made of?

The fur coat of a cat is made up of between 3-30 million hair strands. The calculation is difficult to ...
Read More

Is this cat wearing eye makeup to make her eyes look more feline?

This is a strange picture of a cat. Her eyes have what appears to be makeup on the outside edges ...
Read More

Do tabby cats have striped skin?

Do tabby cats have striped skin? The answer is no but it is an interesting question and it is quite ...
Read More

The lion cut: no, it’s not cruel

"The lion cut: no, it's not cruel" - the words of Jackson Galaxy in his book Total Cat Mojo. It ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • I'm up for the challenge. My Sphynx won't sit still. My husband suggests to take a picture and count from there. The problem is the scale of the picture and, of course, the distortion since she's a study in movement. :-)

    • :) Tell me can you see the fine hairs on her skin? Can u photograph it? I have held a Sphynx at a cat show but have never lived with one.

Recent Posts

Is it true that cats hate water?

Domestic cats don't universally hate water and some wild cats like water. It depends on…

33 mins ago

Do cats pick up on negative energy?

The wider question is whether cats pick up on human emotions and body language. Cat…

7 hours ago

The beneficial role of companion animals during coronavirus lockdown

You would expect that the presence of companion animals in a household during the coronavirus…

8 hours ago

Picture of black Maine Coon on black background

Maybe the prettiest Maine Coon you’ll see How big are Maine Coons? This picture shows…

20 hours ago

What do Abyssinian cats look like?

The Abyssinian cat is an athletic looking companion animal. People who breed Abyssinian cats i.e.…

21 hours ago

University of Guelph’s one cat meal a day study ignores the size of the stomach

The domestic cat's stomach is too small for a big, one meal a day mild…

1 day ago