As every cat parent knows, cat grooming is a very serious business indeed. Cats spend a great deal of time licking and grooming themselves and other cats. Although in most cases, it simply means that cats really, really like to be clean, excessive grooming can also be a sign of fleas or stress.
Why exactly do cats groom so much and what else should you know about cat grooming? To help you find out why your favourite feline is having yet another bath, we’ve put together a guide to grooming.
A No-Fuss Guide to Cat Grooming
One of the many reasons that people often choose cats over dogs is that they are generally able to keep themselves clean without much help from humans and no icky odours. Cat grooming is a habit that begins at birth, when kittens are cleaned and comforted by their moms.
Why do cats groom so much?
Firstly, cats simply like to stay clean. Grooming is an instinct that cats use to hide their scent from predators. It also helps to clean and heal injuries more quickly. It can provide comfort when stressed, keep the fur and the skin lubricated and healthy, and even make them feel good.
Should you bath cats?
As cats are naturally good at keeping themselves clean, they do not require bathing as dogs do. Cat tongues are designed to maximise the grooming process, allowing them to keep their fur and the skin below healthy and clean. In very rare exceptions, bathing may be needed – this should only be done under your vet’s advice, however.
What happens when cats don’t groom?
In some cases, cats may stop grooming. As cats begin to age and reach their senior years, they may begin to lose the ability and interest to maintain a grooming routine. Sometimes, cats may be sick or injured and unable to groom naturally. If this happens, speak to your vet to get advice on the best way to help your cat stay clean.
Your cat will very likely continue to spend a good chunk of his or her day licking, cleaning claws, and making sure that that fur stays as soft and shiny as usual. If you have a long-haired cat, you can help out a bit by brushing on a regular basis to remove excess hair.
Otherwise, remember that cat grooming is completely natural and something that keeps your cat looking and feeling healthy and happy.