This is a cool picture of water resistant cat fur. The cat appears to be a Bengal and he’s fascinated with water dripping from a facet (tap). The water bounces off his paw while the water which does not rests on the surface.
Because cats groom themselves so fastidiously the fur becomes water resistant because the glands in the skin secrete oils which are deposited on the guard and awn hairs. These top layer hairs protect the down hairs below.
This double layer keeps the cat warm and dry. The top layer is made up of guard and awn hairs, which are the longest hairs. Awn hairs act as a protective layer to the down hairs below.
Down hairs are the undercoat which insulates the cat and protect against heat loss. They also moderate body temperature by protecting against high and low ambient temperatures.
Most domestic cats have this configuration of coat. Some cats have triple coats and some have single coats. The Siamese has a very short coat. I believe this is because of an absence of an undercoat (down hairs).
Winter cats such as the Siberian have thick triple coats. We see many pictures of domestic cats being bathed. Or they have been swimming. They are soaked through. Obviously this breaks down the oils drenching the cat. Bathing cats is not a good idea unless for a specific reason as it (a) removes the protective oils and (b) changes the cat’s scent which can upset other cats in the home.
Associated: Cat hair.
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