What is a word to describe how a cat looks when it's groomed?

My husband described it as nappy, which I don't think would be the correct word. To give an image of what I am trying to describe, think of a medium-haired cat that licked its fur and looks messy, with wet fur sticking up a bit.

It's a weird request and may be too specific, but I hope there's some kind of answer to what I am asking.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/345649/…. "Bedraggled", from that answer, might work here.
    – Tevildo
    Nov 17 at 8:42
  • Nappy is reasonable though maybe not the best choice; Merriam-Webster says "having a hairy, fuzzy, or downy surface", with examples referring to old sweaters as well as to fabrics with a nap (velvet etc). Sadly Googling nappy cat just gets cat diapers, so maybe more research is needed.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 17 at 9:29
  • 1
    Do you have a picture of a cat in such a state? That might help.
    – alphabet
    Nov 17 at 15:13
  • 1
    "Groomed" usually means "made to look pretty", so if the cat is making itself messy it isn't really "grooming" itself. Nov 17 at 16:41
  • 1
    I was going to say 'sleek' until I realised you don't mean 'groomed'. Perhaps 'spiky'. Nov 17 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


The places where the fur sticks up would be cowlicks. The adjective cowlicked sees occasional usage, and would appropriately describe the state of the cat's fur.

  • Hah ha, so the cat knows it sticks out and tries to wet it back? Nov 17 at 20:16
  • 1
    Surely catlicked would be more sensible.
    – alphabet
    Nov 18 at 4:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.