Why Does My Cat’s Fur Look Separated?

why does my cat's fur look separated?

Cats are known for their luxurious fur, which is very soft, glossy, and beautiful. However, what happens when this beautiful fur starts to appear disheveled, with individual hairs standing apart from one another? Is it a sign of aging? Is it unhealthy? or is it something I shouldn’t worry about?

It can be alarming to see your cat’s fur looking separated, matted, and tangled. You may wonder why this is happening. The truth is cats’ fur can appear separated due to a lot of reasons.

It may be because of malnutrition, lack of grooming, allergies, or even underlying health issues.

In this article, the answer to the question “Why does my cat’s fur look separated” has been revealed. We have also uncovered some solutions that can help your cat regain his lustrous and healthy coat.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Does Healthy Cat Fur Look Like?

A cat with healthy fur

As a pet owner, it is very important to understand what a healthy cat’s fur looks like. Healthy cat fur possesses a natural shine and gloss. It radiates light when sunlight falls on it. It has a very soft and smooth texture when touched.

A healthy cat fur sheds minimally and it is free from dandruff, bald spots, dander, and tangles.

Due to the ability of cats to self-groom healthy fur should always be free from dirt and debris and it should not also ooze foul odor or smell.

Why Does my Cat’s Fur Look Separated?

Excessive Bathing

Cats shouldn’t be bathed frequently, especially if they only spend time indoors. If you bathe your cat frequently, you’re going her more harm than good by making her fur look dull and unkempt.

According to PetMD, frequent bathing of cats is a common error made by owners. Your cat is fully capable of grooming herself if she’s young and healthy.

Only if she suffers from a health condition, such as a flea allergy, should you bathe her.

Keep in mind that routine bathing might cause your cat’s skin to itch, remove the natural oil from her fur, and make her fur appear dirty.

Weather Conditions

A cat beaten by rain

Environmental Factors such as weather conditions can affect your cat’s fur.

In Humid or chilly weather, your cat’s fur can absorb moisture from the atmosphere and become wet. As it dries, their fur might clump together making it look like it is separated.

If that is the case, you do not have to fret. All your cat needs is brushing, and the clumped hair will become separated again.


Obesity is currently a major issue in the cat population. Almost 60% of household cats in North America are overweight, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Cats are self-groomers, and an unhealthy body weight will surely affect grooming in cats. Overweight cats find it difficult to stoop or lean over to groom all of their body parts.

These particular spots they were not able to access might have accumulated dirt, oils, and loose fur, leading to a disheveled and separated appearance in their fur.

Anxiety or Stressful Situations

When cats are stressed or anxious, they might react to this situation by overgrooming themselves.

This compulsive grooming can result in separated and unkempt fur due to the irregular distribution of natural oils and damage to the hair follicles.

To prevent this from happening, you have to ensure that you give your cat adequate attention so that he doesn’t develop separation anxiety.

You should also ensure that you keep any potential stressors far away from your cat. By doing this, you will reduce the risk of anxiety.

Why Does my Cat’s Fur Look Separated? – Health Related Issues

Certain health issues can cause changes in your cat’s appearance, regardless of breed or age. If you suspect any of these issues, contact your veterinarian promptly.

1. Dental Problems

If your cat experiences dental pain, she may be unable to groom herself normally, resulting in an unkempt hair appearance.

To prevent dental issues in cats, it is recommended that you brush their teeth regularly with cat toothpaste and have professional teeth cleaning done once a year.

2 Skin Infections

Cats can suffer from various types of skin infections, including bacterial and fungal infections, as well as skin parasites, which can cause fur loss and hair separation.

Excessive licking, chewing, and scratching can cause fur loss in cats and may also lead to skin odor, red bumps, and swelling. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with your veterinarian immediately for medication and treatments.

3. Allergies

Cats may exhibit changes in their fur due to allergies. Common feline allergies include fleas, food, mold, pollen, and dust. Allergy symptoms in cats may manifest as skin problems, coughing, hair loss, and sneezing.

A veterinary clinic can perform allergy testing to confirm the diagnosis, and treatment may involve corticosteroids.

4. Arthritis

Arthritis is a common disease in older cats where the joint surfaces become uneven and rough, causing inflammation and pain that limits their everyday activities. It can cause lethargy, difficulty jumping, sleeping more, overgrown claws, less use of scratching posts, and loss of fur due to decreased grooming.

If a cat is experiencing pain in her joints, it can affect her ability to self-groom because she won’t be able to twist and access all parts of her body. When this occurs, the fur on the parts that weren’t groomed is likely to get separated or look unhealthy.

Recommended Treatments for Separation of Furs in Cats

A brown cat sitting

It is important to keep our cat’s fur healthy at all times. If you notice that your cat’s fur is separated. The best thing to do is to consult with your veterinarian for treatment or health guides.

By going to your vet, you will get to know the main reason behind your cat’s separated coat. Your vet will carry out a series of tests and examinations such as blood tests, breath checks, skin samples, and also check for parasites. By doing all these, he will be able to detect the underlying cause of the separated fur.

Your vet will help your cat to remove the parasite if he notices that there is a parasite on her fur. He may also recommend some anti-repellent shampoo that will help keep parasites away from your cat’s fur.

If he notices that the separated fur is caused by anxiety, he may help you call the attention of an animal behaviorist to analyze the cat’s behavior and help her come to her normal self.

If the vet notices that the separated fur is caused by arthritis, he will inform you to help your cat with grooming because with arthritis she won’t be able to groom herself properly.

However, it is still important to note that a cat’s separated fur is not always caused by underlying health issues, it may be caused by anxiety or environmental conditions.

Make your cat’s environment comfortable as as possible by removing any potential stressors around your cat, this will help reduce the risk of anxiety. You should also check the environment for anything that may trigger your cat’s allergies. When you notice anyone, ensure you keep it away from your cat. For allergies, your vet may also recommend a therapeutic shampoo.


In this article, the answer to the question “Why does my cat’s fur look separated?” has been revealed.

There are so many reasons that can make your cat’s fur look separated, some of these reasons are excessive bathing, anxiety, obesity, arthritis, skin infection, etc.

If you notice that your cat’s fur is looking separated, don’t assume your cat is fine, take her to the vet immediately for proper assessment and treatment.


0 Comments Add comment

Leave a comment