The Softest Fur You’ll Ever Pet. Ranking the Fluffiest Cat Breeds


Cats come in a wide variety of breeds, coat types, colors, and fur textures. When it comes to softness, some cats definitely have fur that feels silkier and more plush than others. The softness of a cat’s coat is an endearing trait for many cat owners and can make cats especially enjoyable to pet and cuddle.

In this article, we’ll explore what makes certain cat breeds and individual cats have exceptionally soft fur. We’ll look at breeds that are known for their soft, silky coats, factors like genetics, grooming, diet, and health that impact softness, and how cat owners can evaluate, maintain, and enjoy their cat’s soft coat.

Breeds Known for Soft Fur

Some cat breeds are particularly prized for their gloriously soft and silky fur. Here are some of the top breeds known for their extra fluffy and soft coats:

Persians – This popular breed has long, flowing fur that makes them look like adorable furballs. Their plush, feather-like coat comes in many colors and patterns. Persians require daily grooming to keep their long fur from matting.

Ragdolls – Ragdoll cats are known for their docile personalities and ultra-soft fur. Their semi-long coat doesn’t mat easily. These gentle giants enjoy being held and pampered.

Birmans – Sometimes called the “Sacred Cat of Burma,” Birmans have semi-long, silky fur. Their coats come in seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, red, and cream point patterns. Regular brushing prevents tangles.

Norwegian Forest Cats – This natural breed developed a thick, water-resistant double coat to survive the cold Scandinavian winters. Their long fur has a wooly undercoat and coarse guard hairs on top.

Siberian – Hailing from Russia, the Siberian cat has a triple coat that’s perfect for harsh winters. Their fur is surprising soft and silky despite its thickness.

What Makes Cat Fur Soft

There are several key factors that contribute to soft fur in cats:

The undercoat is the soft, downy layer closest to the skin. All cats have an undercoat, which provides insulation. Breeds with very soft fur tend to have a thicker, plusher undercoat. The undercoat is what gives the fur that fluffy feel when petting. Some examples of breeds with notable undercoats include the Norwegian Forest Cat, Maine Coon, and Persian 1.

The length of the fur also impacts softness. Longhaired breeds like the Persian and Himalayan have fur that is 4+ inches long, allowing for more air to get trapped between hairs. This creates a soft, buoyant texture. Short-haired cats can still have very soft fur, but long hair increases surface area for softness.

Frequent grooming helps remove loose hair and debris that can cause tangles and mats. Bathing is generally not needed for cats, but occasional baths with cat shampoo can enhance softness by stripping away dirt, oil, and dander buildup. Grooming and brushing spreads natural oils along the fur as well. Some breeds like the Persian require daily grooming to maintain their famously soft coats.

Other Factors Impacting Softness

A cat’s soft fur depends on more than just its breed. Several other factors come into play that can affect the texture and feel of a cat’s coat.


A cat’s overall health impacts how soft and silky its fur will be. Illnesses, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, skin conditions and other health issues can cause a cat’s coat to become dry, brittle, matted, or coarse.


A nutritious diet full of proteins, fatty acids and vitamins contributes to a gloriously soft coat. Feed your cat high-quality commercial cat food or a balanced homemade diet to provide all the nutrients they need for luxuriously soft fur.


Genetics play a significant role in determining the softness, length and texture of a cat’s fur. Some cats are blessed with genetics for amazingly soft, silky coats, while others have more coarse or wiry fur.


Environmental factors like climate, humidity and sun exposure can impact the softness of a cat’s coat. Cats who live exclusively indoors tend to have softer fur than outdoor cats.

Testing and Measuring Softness

There are a few different methods used to test and measure the softness of cat fur:

  • Sensory panels – Groups of human testers feel and rate the softness of cat fur samples. This provides subjective softness ratings. Panels may rate softness on scales like 1-10 or using categories like “very soft, moderately soft, slightly soft.” Sensory panels are commonly used in consumer product testing. They rely on human touch and perception of softness.
  • Fiber diameter – Measuring the thickness of individual hairs or fibers provides an objective measurement related to softness. In general, finer fibers with smaller diameters feel softer. Microscopes or laser diffraction instruments can precisely measure cat hair diameter.
  • Friction coefficient – Measuring the friction coefficient of cat fur indicates how easily skin glides across it. Lower friction materials tend to feel softer. Devices can quantitatively measure friction forces as skin touches cat fur.

While sensory panels provide a direct measure of perceived softness, fiber diameter and friction coefficient offer quantitative data on physical properties contributing to a soft feel. Combining human testing and instrumental measurements provides the most complete understanding of cat fur softness.

Owner Experiences

Many owners love to talk about the incredibly soft fur of their cats. According to one enthusiastic owner on Facebook, “My cat has the softest fur ever!!! She’s such a snuggle bug too! She’s either laying right on top of me or under the covers next to my legs!” (Source). Clearly this owner is delighted by the exceptionally soft fur of their feline companion.

The softness and texture of a cat’s fur makes a big difference in the cuddling and snuggling experience for many owners. As one happy Royal Canin customer shared, “My cat has the Softest Fur, Ever!!! I’ve been feeding her Royal Canin Food all of her life. It is Excellent Food for your CAT!!!!” (Source). This owner attributes their cat’s ultra-soft fur to its diet of Royal Canin cat food.

For cat owners who enjoy petting and stroking their cats, soft luxurious fur is a highly desirable trait. The anecdotal experiences shared by these cat owners highlights how much pleasure a cat’s soft coat can bring its human companions.

Caring for Soft Fur

Proper grooming is essential for keeping a cat’s soft fur looking its best. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. Use a slicker brush, comb, or grooming mitt to gently brush in the direction of fur growth. Avoid over-brushing, as this can damage the fur. Brush problem areas like the hindquarters more frequently.

Feeding a high-quality diet supports skin and coat health. Look for foods rich in omega fatty acids from fish, vegetable oils, and other natural sources. Stay well-hydrated by providing fresh, clean water daily. Consider a cat water fountain to encourage drinking.

Long-haired cats require extra grooming attention. Trim fur around the hindquarters if needed to prevent matting and keep the area clean. Regularly check for knots or tangles throughout the coat. Carefully work them out instead of cutting fur. See a groomer for help with deep matts if needed.

Soft fur requires gentle handling. Avoid petting against the grain. Use a soft brush and make grooming relaxing. Monitor cats when playing to prevent damage to the coat. Place scratching posts and cat trees in favorite locations to help direct scratching activity.

Some health conditions like allergies or skin infections can cause dry, brittle fur. Seek veterinary advice if you notice any skin irritation, bald patches, excessive shedding, or deterioration of your cat’s luxurious coat. Address medical issues promptly to restore soft fur.

Downsides of Very Soft Fur

While having a cat with incredibly soft fur can be delightful and fun, there are some downsides to be aware of. Two key challenges that owners note with cats that have extremely soft, long fur are tangles/matting and difficulties keeping the fur clean.

Cats with very fine, long fur like Persians, for example, are prone to getting tangles and mats in their coat. This happens when loose fur gets trapped in the fluffy layers and knots up near the skin (Source 1). Matted fur pulls on the skin, which can be uncomfortable or even painful for the cat. Thus, soft-coated cats require frequent brushing and combing to prevent tangles. If mats still form, an owner may have to carefully cut out the matted fur.

Additionally, long fluffy coats easily trap dirt, dust, and debris. This can lead to the fur looking dingy or matted. Cat owners have to regularly groom the fur to remove shed hair and clean the coat. Soft fur tends to show any small speck of dirt, so frequent bathing is often needed. Even with regular brushing and bathing, super soft fur may still be prone to looking messy (Source 2). The upkeep required can be demanding for owners.

Alternatives to Natural Soft Fur

For those who love the look and feel of soft fur but need a hypoallergenic cat breed, there are some alternatives. Certain cat breeds have a unique coat texture that mimics the softness of plush fur without the allergen-producing undercoat.

The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex breeds have a short, fine, extremely soft coat that feels like velvet or rabbit fur. Their coats consist mostly of guard hairs without much of an undercoat, making them relatively hypoallergenic. However, some people may still react to saliva or dander. Still, the Rex coats provide a smooth, luxurious feel similar to the finest plush fur.

Another option is the Sphynx cat breed, which has very little hair at all. While not as soft and fluffy, their velvety skin has its own appeal for those seeking a hypoallergenic alternative to fur. With proper bathing and skin care, they can be soft to the touch without aggravating allergies.

For those who desire the fluffiest hypoallergenic cat, the LaPerm breed offers a medium-length curly coat reminiscent of a plush lambswool texture. While not completely non-allergenic, their coats produce less Fel d1 allergen than other breeds. Their bouncy curls provide a uniquely soft feel for those seeking fur alternatives.


When it comes to cats with the softest fur, certain breeds like the Persian, Ragdoll, and Turkish Angora consistently rise to the top. Their plush, silky coats result from several factors – genetics, grooming, diet, and activity levels all play a role. While soft fur can be an enjoyable trait for owners, it requires diligent maintenance to prevent matting and tangling. Some cats may even be too soft, leading to issues like fur buildup when grooming. At the end of the day, each cat’s coat is unique. With proper care, regular brushing, and a healthy lifestyle, most cats can achieve their ideal level of softness and sheen. The softness of a cat’s fur ultimately reflects their overall wellbeing.

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