Fur is the hair covering of non- human mammals , particularly those mammals with extensive body hair that is soft and thick. The stiffer bristles on animals such as pigs are not generally referred to as fur.
The term pelage – first known use in English c. 1828 (French, from Middle French, from poil for " hair ", from Old French peilss, from Latin pilus) – is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat. Fur is also used to refer to animal pelts which have been processed into leather with the hair still attached. The words fur or furry are also used, more casually, to refer to hair - like growths or formations, particularly when the subject being referred to exhibits a dense coat of fine, soft "hairs". If layered, rather than grown as a single coat, it may consist of short down hairs, long guard hairs, and in some cases, medium awn hairs. Mammals with reduced amounts of fur are often called " naked ", as with the naked mole- rat , or "hairless", as with hairless dogs.
An animal with commercially valuable fur is known within the fur industry as a furbearer.
The use of fur as clothing or decoration is considered controversial by some people : animal welfare advocates object to the trapping and killing of wildlife , and to the confinement and killing of animals on fur farms.