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Why Does My Cat’s Fur Look Crimped? (Uncomfortable?)

If your cat’s fur looks crimped you may be wondering why this is and if there could be an issue with your cat…

Why does my cat fur look crimped?

Some cats’ hair looks crimped for several reasons. The most common reasons are a temporary look in a kitten that it will eventually grow out of, old age, or in some extreme cases, it could indicate an issue with its nutrition.

So, now you know. But, why do some cats’ fur change texture as well? How do I know if my cat could be malnutrition? Can I put olive oil on my cat’s fur? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

What does crimped mean?

Why does my cat fur looks crimped?

A lady getting a crimped hairstyle.

Crimped hair or fur is defined as compression into small folds, or ridges, according to this site. Most people will make more sense of it by comparing it to a crimped hairstyle that comes in and out of fashion. This is typically done by a hairdresser using crimping tools (see the image above, for an example).

For cats, it’s the same concept but obviously, they will not get their crimped hair by using a hairdresser, or any tools. However, do not confuse crimped fur for any other fur issue, such as matting (click here to see my best de-matting comb).

Why has my cat’s fur changed its texture?

A cat’s fur can change texture during its life by changes in its natural oils. When this happens it can make their fur get oilier, or easier. Or, even the opposite, less oily. This can be caused by a few factors but one of the common ones is hyperthyroidism which can cause imbalances.

If you have noticed that your cat’s fur has changed texture then it might be worth getting it checked out by your vet to see if it could be this or another problem. Even if it’s just to rule it out as a problem. It’s better to safe than sorry, right?

What does unhealthy cat fur look like?

Unhealthy cat fur sticks out quite a lot, visually. Specifically, if you see that your cat’s skin looks dry, the fur has signs of dander (click here to learn how to get rid of it around your home), matted fur, overly greasy, or signs of patchiness, then these are all examples of unhealthy cat fur that needs attention.

In some cases, you can help the cat yourself with grooming but it’s best to check with your vet first to make sure there are no underlining health issues that can be quickly treated first.

Regarding grooming your cat yourself, to be truthful this is a standard task that should be done anyway unless you have a hairless cat (click here to see how much they cost). This routine can help to eliminate any long-term fur coat issues, such as matting, etc.

Some of the most obvious signs of unhealthy fur include a dry and dull appearance and white flakes that look similar to dandruff. Any patches in your cat’s fur could be a sign that your cat either has a skin condition or is lacking proper nutrition in their diet. Matting and oily patches could also be an indication that something is wrong.

A cat’s fur can tell you a lot about how your cat may be feeling, how they are adapting to their environment, and how adequate their diet is amongst other things. Pay attention to their grooming habits, and if you notice a change, it could be one way your cat communicates that something isn’t right.

Do cats’ coats change as they age?

Cats typically have a consistent fur coat throughout their life. However, when they are kittens they will lose their kitten fur and it may grow darker as they mature. Apart from that, as they become elderly there may be some changes such as it going silvery/white.

However, this varies from cat to cat. But, if you see your cat’s fur crimping, getting matted, clumped up (click here if you notice this), or thinning take it seriously because there is usually a reason for that. Hopefully, it’s nothing to worry about, but it’s worth checking out.

How can I tell if my cat is malnourished?

To tell if a cat is malnourished you have to assess them by their appearance and how they feel. However, how they feel is more telling. To get an idea of what to look for you to need to feel their vertebrae first, you should be able to feel it but it shouldn’t feel too exposed.

If you notice that the vertebrae os undetectable then they could be carrying too much weight. But, if it’s too boney like there is nothing between your hand and the bone it could be malnourished. But, also check how the rest of its body feels, for example, its rib cage.

Again, if the rib cage is too boney then it could be a sign that it is too thin and potentially malnutrition. Obviously, by looking at it you could see this, but by that stage, it is far too late. the idea is to get an early indication so you can take action.

How can I improve my cat’s fur?

Why does my cats fur separate?

A ginger cat getting its fur brushed.

To improve your cat’s fur you try to maintain a regular grooming schedule. But, in addition to this, you can as your vet if they can recommend any supplementation. One common one to ask them for is fish oil supplementation. If they agree this may help your cat fur.

However, don’t expect this to be an overnight fix, it may take some time to see the results. And, when I say sometimes I mean weeks.

Can you put olive oil on cats’ fur?

Olive oil has been used by some cat owners to improve their cat’s fur. But, this is mainly fed to the cat directly rather than putting on the fur. It is worth checking with your vet first before feeding your cat the olive oil to make sure it does not conflict with anything in their diet, etc.

So, if you have ever wondered about olive oil, or heard some rumors about other owners using it, then hopefully this will help to clarify things for you.

How long does it take for a cat to regrow fur?

Cats tend to regrow their fur back in several weeks. To be more specific anywhere from 8-12 weeks. But, like most things, this can vary from cat to cat. Also, it depends on how much fur needs to grow back, if it’s a small area, expect it to be more closer to 8 weeks.

Some cats tend to grow hair a lot faster than others. if you compare this to us humans it is quite comparable, right? Personally, my hair takes forever to grow, whereas my brother can grow his hair much quicker.

Can some kittens outgrow their crimped fur?

Some kittens do have crimped-looking fur, to begin with, but tend to grow it out as they get older. This first coat of fur is often referred to as their baby coat and is outgrown as they turn into an adult cats.

This is similar to human babies. They tend to have their first head of hair, which can be patchy and have a different texture. Then, as they get older, they lose that hair as their next batch of hair comes through.

for example, when my son was born his hair was straight, but as he got older, within months, he replaced that hair with curly hair.

Should you be concerned about the crimped fur?

In some cases crimped looking at fur is not a concern and it can be outgrown. But, in some other cases, it can be an indication of another problem that needs to be resolved. The best thing to do, if you are concerned, is to seek some advice from your vet.

This will, at the least, give you some peace of mind, and allow you to try other ways to deal with it if it is not a real problem.

What Kind Of Cat Has Crimped Hair?

There’s a particular breed of cat that falls under the “Rex” category, and the name implies that they could have crimped or wavy fur. It might be more difficult to find one of these kitties in a shelter, as they are not usually the most common breeds found.

The Selkirk Rex, the Devon Rex, and the Cornish Rex are three cat breeds most well known to showcase distinctive crimped fur. Not all crimping is obvious, especially as some of these cats have shorter fur than others. Some of the crimpings are more prominent on some cat breeds than others as well.

Can Cats Have Wavy Hair?

There are quite a few cat breeds that can be worn with wavy hair; Rex breeds may have more of a wave to their fur pattern than a crimp. Additionally, there are a few other breeds that carry on this genetic feature due to the way they have been bred.

Maine Coons and Ragamuffins, two very recognizable cat breeds, are occasionally born with wavy fur. LaPerm cats and Chantilly-Tiffany kitties can also be found with wavy fur, though these breeds are rare to see.

How Can I Tell If My Cat’s Fur Is Healthy?

A beautiful coat of healthy cat fur is going to have a silky finish with a very soft, even texture as you pet them. Their fur should also be clear from any debris, dust, or flakes. As you pet your kitty, nothing should come off on your hand other than some fur that’s been shed.

Your cat’s skin, though not visible unless you look closely, will also help you determine whether or not your cat’s fur is healthy. A cat’s fur should also have a smooth texture, free of any skin flakes, dryness, or bumps.

Why Is My Cat’s Fur Not Smooth?

There’s the potential that your cat’s fur isn’t smooth due to an underlying skin condition. This could be a result of dermatitis or interference from mites or fleas. You’ll likely notice some discomfort from your kitty should they be experiencing a skin condition.

If you suspect that unhealthy skin is causing their fur to dull and change appearance, consult with your vet to find a safe solution.

How Can I Improve My Cat’s Fur?

A proper grooming routine, flea prevention, and a solid nutritious diet with plenty of water are all key components of keeping your cat’s fur and skin healthy. A cat’s skin contains important oils that need to be worked in their fur to keep it healthy, so be sure you’re regularly brushing your cat to support this need.

Cats often do an excellent job grooming themselves to nurture their skin and fur, but helping your cat out with a brush is always a good idea. Cats don’t need baths unless it’s recommended by a vet, as bathing could make their fur and skin worse.

Lindsey Browlingdon