Myth: Bears Have Soft Furs (5 Reasons Why!)

I’ve seen bears on wildlife TV channels looking all cute with their fur bodies. This got me wondering how it feels to touch or hold them.

Would you love to know more about the bear’s fur?

Here’s what I found out!

Bears do not have soft fur. 

Their fur is different from the way it appears in videos. It is rough, dirty looking, and stiff.

This is due to dirt, leaves, tree sap, and old food particles that fall on their body while they hunt and eat. 

No matter how cute a bear appears, it is not cuddly, unless it has been cleaned.

Interestingly, some bear species have soft fur. Would you like to know which one does? Continue reading to find out.

Table of Contents

Is Polar Bear Fur Soft?

Polar Bear Soft & Coarse Fur

The answer is it depends. The polar bear has two layers of fur with different characteristics. 

It has a soft undercoat and a thick and open outer coat known as the guard hairs that cover the undercoat.

This bear species has white fur that helps them camouflage into its environment and this fur serves as protection from extremely low temperatures.

Is Brown Bear Fur Soft?

No, brown bears’ fur is not soft. They have long thick fur. 

During winter, brown bears’ fur is thick and long, while in summer it is short and scattered. 

Although brown bears are not always fully brown, their fur color differs depending on the type of brown bear.

Is Black Bear Fur Soft?

Yes, black bears have soft fur which is made up of a dense underfur combined with long, thick guard hairs. 

The soft and dense underfur acts as a resistance to cold, while the long, thick guard hairs serve as a water-repellent for dryness. 

Is Koala Bear Fur Soft?

Koala Bear Coarse Fur

No, koala bears’ fur is not soft. 

They have coarse and wool-like fur which protects them from cold temperatures and also helps to keep them dry.

This bear has a tricky appearance, it looks soft to the eye but is rather thick when touched.

Is Panda Bear (Giant Panda) Fur Soft?

No. Giant pandas’ fur looks soft and smooth in appearance but it’s not!

They have coarse and wool-like fur which helps to keep them warm. Their fur has a little oily texture for quick drying when they are soaked.

Giant pandas can be cute and smooth in appearance but they are not cuddly.

5 Reasons Why Bear’s Fur Are Not Soft

Accumulation of dirt

Bears’ fur is not soft because it is mostly covered with dirt, tree sap, and leaves.

All of these pile up for quite some time contributing to their stuffy fur.


Bears are found in a broad and extremely cold habitat. As such, they need thick fur to stay warm and survive the weather conditions.


Bears have areas on their body with extra looser skin, hence, to protect these soft areas they need thick fur.

The thick fur also helps them to move freely and reduces the chances of getting injured when attacked.


Some bear species such as polar bears leave in arctic regions. 

And their thick white fur helps them camouflage into their environment without changing color like the chameleon. 


Two brown bears fighting each other in the riverside.

Bears also use their thick fur for defense purposes. 

When defending themselves, they fluff up their fur and stand on their hind legs to look big and intimidate their opponent.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion,  bears commonly have stiff and coarse fur. 

Koalas, pandas, and brown bears have thick wool-like fur. On the other hand,  polar and black bears have a combination of soft fur and thick guard hairs.

Dirt that piles up on their fur, insulation, protection, and self-defense are some of the reasons why they do not have soft fur.

Now, you are aware that bears do not have soft fur, wouldn’t you like to know If they hunt their prey at night or during the day?

Read our article “Are Bears Nocturnal or Diurnal” to know more.