Why Does My Cat’s Fur Look Spiky?

Why Does My Cat's Fur Looks Spiky

Cats are know for their obsessive grooming habits which tends to keep their fur smooth and nice. There are, however, many reasons their fur can get matted, greasy and spiky. 

Why does my cat’s fur look spiky?

A cats fur may look spiky for behavior or health based reasons.

Behavior based reasons why the fur looks spicy:

1. Your cat’s fur may look spiky because she is angry.

One reason your cat’s fur may look spiky is that your cat is angry. Possible causes for this include that your cat is upset with a change such as a move or a new household pet.  

2. Your cat may be scared or nervous.

Just like other animals, cats also feel scared or nervous. She may be feeling scared for many reasons including past trauma, abuse or perhaps just a trip to the vet. Encountering large animals may also be traumatic for your cat.

3. Your cat may be acting defensively.

A spiky and prickly coat may also mean that your cat is focused on defending herself. It shows that your cat is aware of a potential danger and she is preparing to protect herself. This may be triggered for example by a hostile cat. 

4. Your cat may be feeling hostile. 

Aside from the fur on your cat’s body, take special notice to the fur on her tail.  If your cat’s tail becomes bristled and spiky it may be a sign that she is hostile or she senses danger even if the rest of her fur looks flat and normal.  Her spiky tail may be accompanied with an arched back

Health based reasons why the fur looks spiky: 

1. Lack of grooming among senior cats

Older cats tend to groom less due to health conditions like osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. This lack of interest in grooming may result in a greasy and spiky fur. The fur gets spiky because the natural oils are not evenly distributed throughout the fur. 

What to do:

Brush and groom your cat regularly using a flat slicker brush and bathe her using a gentle cat shampoo at least once a month.  If your cat is still young and able to groom herself but has lost interest in it, bring her to the vet as she may have an underlying health condition.

2. Due to conditions like hyperthyroidism, seborrhea or diabetes mellitus 

Certain health issues such as hyperthyroidism, seborrhea and diabetes mellitus may result in spiky fur. Hyperthyroidism may result in changes to your pet’s fur texture as it causes hormone imbalances while seborrhea is a skin condition caused by allergies, parasites and dietary deficiencies but also may be due to genetic factors. Diabetes mellitus, an inability to produce enough insulin to balance glucose levels is another cause resulting in spiky fur among cats. 

What to do:

If you suspect that your cat has an underlying medical condition, bring her to the vet for the proper diagnosis and treatment. 

3. It may have something to do with your cat’s diet 

Cats need protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats in their daily diet to have a healthy body and fur.  If you have been feeding your cat with generic, low-fat and poor-quality food it may result in a less than perfect looking fur.  Check your vet for recommendations on premium brand cat food. Cat experts also recommend supplementing your cat’s diet with fatty acids found in salmon oil and other fish oils.  

Recommended cat food for healthy skin and coat:

Image: istockphoto.com / Steevy84