Why do cats hate animal fur?

Perhaps it’s just my two (unrelated) Siamese cats, but they absolutely hate dead animal fur. I have a large Alpaca rug, but If I drop them on it they leap off as if it were hot coals. They will literally leap 6 feet over it to get to the other side of it and avoid touching it.

I also have a small rabbit pelt that I’ve found is a great repellent to them sitting on my lounger (and covering it with THEIR fur!)

Why would this be? They sleep with each other all the time, so it’s not fur in general. It’s also not the smell, because if I cover the fur with some fabric, they’ll gladly walk on it. Could it be the texture they hateÑsomehow they thinks it’s a real animal?

I’ve never heard of this behaviour before. One would think they would love the fluffiness and reflected heat.

My cat will, if I leave my parka on the floor, attack and vigorously maul the fur trim around the hood. He leaves all of my other clothes alone. It’s not an answer, but it’s more data for the question. There shouldn’t be any scent involved, it’s an 8 year old commercial coat that’s been dry-cleaned a few times.

WAG here…

It’s probably because their footing is not very secure. The fur is pretty slippery beneath their feet.

My experiences with cats has led me to believe that cats have sensitive feet. This may or may not be true with all cats but my two cats were. Anyway one of my theories involves static electricity as real fur is more prone to it than fake fur.

But I must also ask if your cats were brought up with their mother? Do they have any of the instincts passed on from parentage or are they completely tamed?

Since I got both of them at around 6 months old each, I assume they were brought up by their mothers.

As for the footing issue: they don’t mind walking over a loose stack of newspapers on a chair, say, which immediately starts to slip around, so I don’t think it’s that. Besides, their senses tell them they’re firmly on a firm suface (the floor beneath.)

However, since I’ve heard they also don’t like walking on aluminum foil, I suspect it’s just the texture that feels weird to their paws. I guess only a vet would know.

I think you were onto something in your first post. The texture, the smell (even after the repeated cleanings), and the appearance all tell them there is the hide and hair of a large animal sitting in the middle of the floor, and who knows when it will come to life and swallow them whole?

Or, maybe they know it doesn’t smell the way it should, and they mistrust it.

Well, my hare-brained theory (pun intended) is actually this: that they respect the spirit of the dead animal too much to walk or sit on its earthly remains.

Who knows what they know that we don’t? Maybe a tiny spirit is left behind on animal skins that says “Don’t walk on me!” every time the cats pass by them.

Now Brigitte Bardot, I’ll bet, thinks they say “Don’t wear me!” (Don’t get me started on People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.)

I have a coat that has a raccoon collar. My cat goes nuts when I wear it if he gets within about 3 feet of me he tries to scratch m,y eyes out, the fur off of the coat, and anything else in sight. HE is normally very docile. It isn’t flight for him it’s definitely FIGHT - I always wondered why. And this is like someone else said a commercially processed fur that has been dry cleaned.

Odd. My cat loves fur. Or anything soft and fuzzy for that matter. Given half a chance, she’ll be on my skeepskin blanket, kneading away with all four paws. She does the same thing (if she gets a chance) with my vintage fur collars and capes.

I also had to hide a small ball made of mink fur from her, since she was treating it like her baby and carrying it all around the place.

So, a point of data against cats hating animal fur. I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread, and see what kinds of info get gathered…


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Could it be that we’re all missing the central “Cats are all freakin’ lunatics” aspect of this and every other feline behavioural question?

Cat behavior is based upon, in order:
Territory
Food
Sex
And yes, territory IS more important than food. Without territory there is no supply of food.

tonbo0422 - two cats means a problem with territory, the fur introduces yet another competitor

2trew & mipiace - how many cats do you have? a dog too?

Marduk - good question. that may be the reason

Nightsong - only has one cat so no territorial problems. your cat is displaying kittenlike behavior, kneading teat for more milk

Not. My friend in high school had two cats and her little one used to try to nurse from her big stuffed sheepdog. It was the cutest thing.

Okay I only have one cat but I also have a dog. Maybe my tomcat (who is possesive in our yard against just about anything that moves and regularly kicks butt on the dog) is jealous of the collar on my coat? How funny. Yes, I would say in some ways he is a freakin’ lunatic!

How old was this nursing cat? Kitten? That’s not of territory marking age. Related to the other cat? Does the cat still try to nurse from the dog?

Another question for the others:
Does the cat seem to get used to the fur after a time and attacks only after the fur is cleaned? I’m wondering if after any scent is removed the cat is alarmed at the different smelling intruder.

He was still doing it when he got older, so I don’t know. (He started when she first got him, but the last time I saw her, said cat was three years old, maybe and still doing it.)

I would think that artificial fur would give off more static-don’t artificial fabrics usually conduct more static than natural fibers?

(I’m thinking a synthetic silk-like rayon vs. actual 100 % silk)

That doesn’t support my theory then.

Reason for the cats behavior could be the same as why I don’t like tomatos. They’re yucky.

3 cats here, one that nurses on an acrylic blanket. All of them like to lie on wool blankets, but none of them will go near a sheepskin.

Greetings! New person here and nothing like a cat convo to drag me out of the woodwork.

I have three cats and they all have different reactions to my furs.

The oldest female couldn’t care less.

The younger female is a ‘kneader’. If I have the bison rug down, she’ll walk into the middle of it and knead away, drooling. All other furs she ignores.

The youngest cat, a male, goes absolutely bonkers over fox. I have to keep them away from him otherwise he’d tear them to shreds. It’s not an aggressive reaction, more like catnip X 10. All other furs are ignored, canid and otherwise.