Gorgeous traditional Siamese cat - I say they have a single coat or at least no down hairs - photo by julicath/Cath (pas vraiment présente) Flickr
There are single and double coated cats. There are also treble coated cats. These cats must have genes from cats that lived in very cold places and anything like a decent environmental temperature must feel very hot for them. The lower layer of fur is the down fur and it is like the sort of material you put in a duvet, extremely soft and fine fur that matts bl**dy easily!
The next layer is awn hairs and then guard hairs. As I understand it this three layer configuration is for a double layered cat but I am ready to be corrected. It doesn't really matter. From my standpoint I see a double coat as a top set of hairs that protect the cat and a bottom layer next to the skin that is sometimes lighter in colour, is shorter in length and which keeps the cat warm.
As for the single coated cat I see the top coat lying flat to the body and the coat is quite thin. With that out of the way and me wide open for criticism I'd like to say why I have decided that single cat coats are better than double coats.
It is all about us again. This has nothing to do with the cat or at least the cat has no preferences whether his or her coat is thick, thin, shaggy or smooth. But we care! We, those of us who care about our cats, like to maintain our cats. And we like it, in our busy lives, if maintenance (which by its very nature is repetitive) is easy and controllable and can be done quickly and successfully in a quick, slick movement.
All our desires about maintaining the coat of cat are met with the single coated variety. You want to check for fleas? Grab the super fine flea comb and gently and enjoyably pass it through the fur, top to bottom of the entire body in one fell swoop and its done. No tangling up in the down hair. No matting. Your cat loves it and there are no damn fleas anyway because a single coated cat is not a cosy enough home for a flea. Fleas like the downy bits, nice and warm and protected.
Maintaining a Norwegian Forest Cat with a thick and effective coat can be hard work. And your cat's attitude doesn't make it any easier. Well some double coated cats won't mind you grooming them. Some may like it. Until you hit a matted bit and zap..stop that!
You really have to groom a long haired cat daily it seems to me. Do that and all is well. And it also seems to me that they should be trained to like it from an early age because if they don't like it it ain't going to happen.
But why do long haired cats with double coats (all long haired cats have at least a double coat) need grooming by us? Isn't that unnatural? Single coated cats can maintain themselves pretty much without our intervention, except for those pesky fleas and mites.
Look, it is so much nicer if you can both please your cat and yourself at the same time and you can achieve that when combing a single coated cat. They love it. You love it, because they love it. And you're doing some work checking for fleas at the same time. It doesn't get any better than that.
See cat hair.
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