Coat is the nature and quality of a mammal’s pelage. It is important to the animal fancy in the judging of the animal, particularly at conformation dog shows, cat shows and horse shows. It may also be used as a standard to evaluate the quality of care and management used by the animal handler, such as in horse showmanship.
The pelage of a show animal may be divided into different types of hair, fur or wool with a texture ranging from downy to spiky. In addition, the animal may be single-coated or may have a number of coats, such as an undercoat and a topcoat (made up of guard hairs (also called an outer coat or, sometimes, overcoat). The state of the coat is considered an indication of the animal’s breeding and health. source