Cat fur question

I have a question about cat hair. Hair that is still on the cat, that is.

I have noticed that on the lower part of cats’ rear legs, the hair on top grows toward the foot, while on the bottom, it grows toward, well, the cat.

Why is this? To permit them to ski down a mountain, or what?

I imagine it wears off less this way, or something. Clearly hairs elsewhere are strategically arranged. Hairs on top of the head below the external ears, where the top of the head forms part of the funnel for sound, are sparse and perpendicular to the scalp - it looks like they would interfere less with reflecting sound that way. Hairs on the backs of the front legs are long and get used to help sense how they are holding on to prey.

Oh, cat feet are part of the cat all right. Just play with my cat’s paws sometime. Then run!

First of all, let me thank you for that skiing-cat image. I’m in a lousy mood and it gave me a good belly laugh.

Second: Aerodynamics?

It sounds to me like it might be useful when walking through grass or other ground cover. It would be the lower part of the foot that would make most contact with the plants on a down step, and plants would be brushing the fur up when the cat puts its foot down. When the cat pulls its foot up, most of the contact with plants would be on the front side, and the plants would brush the fur down. Since the fur is already going in that direction on each side, it doesn’t get all mussed up, and would cause a minimum of movement and noise in the plants.

It seems logical enough, but I should confess that this is pure speculation.

This is a startlingly good observation, and for now my bets lie with it!

My cat is asleep next to me, so I asked him WHY this phenomenon.

He opened one eye a slit, yawned, and indicated that if he had the ability, he’d say, “Who cares?”

Life should often be viewed from a cat’s perspective!
~VOW