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Why Do Cats Groom Themselves & Do They Need Our Help?

You must know that cats groom themselves for half of their life time. Experts estimate that cats spend 15% of their time on cleaning themselves, but as they sleep about 15 hours a day, it seems like an activity they are doing non-stop. The cat’s shiny fur coat is not only pride but also a healthy habit with many advantages. If you look at a cat during their grooming, you will see how it treats itself with bath and massage. Sometimes they bite their old nails to help the new ones to come out. After that, they lick their paws. What are the secrets of their successful grooming and keeping their health?

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Why Do Cats Groom Themselves?

When a cat washes its lower layer of hair, not only that it cleans itself, but it is also the way it regulates its body temperature. Sweat glands on their faces, anal area and the pads of the feet are not cooling them enough, but when cats are licking their fur, the evaporation protects them during the heat. Its neatly groomed fur protects it from the cold in the winter. By licking their wounds the cats reduce the risk of infection because of the antibacterial content of its saliva. Grooming helps the cats to cope with stress, stimulate their circulation and muscle tone. After all, just like people, cats groom themselves as they enjoy pampering.

Typical Cat’s Grooming

Each cat has a favorite ritual, some start from the nose or ears, and then go to the tail, some will begin to lick their paws first and then polish their chest. They will touch every part of their body as far as they can reach with their tongue. Their tongue is more like a sponge, and it functions as a comb that brushes away the dust, parasites, excessive hair from the fur and dead skin. All this mess that cats ingest decomposed with an acid present in the stomach.

Why Cats Lick Each Other?

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After delivery, mother cats groom their young so they can start to breathe easily and remove the placenta from their fur. This grooming will last during the first weeks when she is teaching them how they should do that by themselves. Cats groom each other so that they can express protection or love. Some areas, such as ears or top of the head are difficult to reach with the tongue and that’s why they will rely on another cat to clean the area.

How Can You Help Your Cat’s Health with Grooming?

Even though cats groom themselves a lot, they shed a significant amount of hair that is why we need to brush their fur daily in order to avoid nodes and to make their fur soft and smooth. Cats with short hair should be brushed several times a week. Otherwise they will have a hairball. Cats that are old, sick or dark and they cannot reach all the places need to be brushed every day. If your cat is dirty, wash it with warm water and the shampoo for cats (shampoos for people dry the cat’s skin), and then rinse and dry.

The Right Tools for Grooming Cats

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Photo Credits: Warren Photographic

The tools we are using to groom our cats need to be made of steel with rounded points. You need combs for fleas and a brush to remove dirt. After brushing put lavender oil on their skin and fur. If the cat has a short fur groom her every few days, if your cat has long hair or it is unable to take care of itself groom it every day. Its nails need to be cut every two weeks with the right nail clipper. If your cat does not want to cooperate, take it to the vet. Grooming in a professional salon is also an option but it can be expensive, and your cat will need time to adjust to the new environment.

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Featured image credits: Max Pixel

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