The soft, pettable part of an animal like a cat or a puppy. Usually, the coat exists to protect said animal from the elements, such as the hot sun or the snow.
Whenever I see someone wearing the pelt of an animal, I am reminded of the words of that great sage, Fred Mertz: "...if nature intended that you have a fur coat, you'd have been born with one". Now, I am not by any means a militant member of PETA, but there is just something wasteful about taking an animal, taking the skin and hairs for use as a status symbol, and throwing away the remainder. I wouldn't call someone a murderer if I saw them wearing one, but I would also be more apt to be critical of that person.
For the record, I would love to have a fur coat. Of course, I'd want mine to be permanently attatched and with ocelot markings. Perhaps some day, when we're all posthuman.