Cats are soft because of their unique coat composition and grooming habits. They have two layers of fur – an outer layer of guard hairs and an inner layer of down. The downy fur is exceptionally soft and insulating. It provides a plush texture. Cats also groom themselves meticulously, using their tongues to clean their fur. This grooming process keeps their fur clean, smooth and soft by distributing natural oils. Cats also have sensitive skin with many nerve endings. This makes them very receptive to touch. When petting a cat, their soft fur and sensitive skin create a pleasurable tactile experience.