You may see your cat licking its paws or biting itself from time to time. Why do cats clean themselves? Grooming is a trademark feature of most cats that begins right after birth. mothers lick their kittens to clean them, induce urination and sucking, provide comfort, and strengthen their bond. At 4 weeks of age, kittens begin to groom themselves and soon after begin grooming their mother and littermates. this grooming and mutual grooming (known as grooming) continues into adulthood.
All the right parts
Cats are flexible, strategic, and well-equipped for grooming. Everything from the rough surface of a cat’s tongue to her sharp teeth, comb-like paws, and forepaws add up to a finely tuned grooming machine. A cat can even use her front paws to stimulate tiny oil glands on her head. The oil is a cat’s “perfume” and is spread all over the body.
Reading: Why do cats groom themselves
why do cats groom themselves?
Cats groom themselves not only to keep themselves clean, but also for other health reasons:
- to regulate body temperature
- to keep their coat clean and soft by distributing natural oils to the skin
- to stimulate circulation
- to cool down through the evaporation of saliva
- to eliminate parasites, infections and allergies
- to prevent hairballs (click here for more information on how to treat hairball problems in cats)
- displacement behavior – if your cat feels embarrassed, anxious, or like she’s in conflict, she can lick herself to calm down.
Does your cat seem to be licking, biting or nibbling at itself incessantly? keep in mind that most cats spend 30 to 50 percent of the day grooming themselves. But if you start noticing obsessive brushing, hair loss, or skin lesions, it may be time to visit the vet.
Compulsive grooming may be the result of a medical condition. it could indicate a neurological disorder, an infestation of fleas, parasites or a psychological disorder. stress often causes cats to develop compulsive disorders such as excessive brushing early in life. Events such as moving, home renovations, a new pet or family member, separation anxiety, and lack of stimulation can trigger these behaviors. And because grooming soothes and calms your cat, she’ll want to do it whenever she’s faced with a conflict. if the behavior is not addressed, it can result in self-inflicted injury. For example, psychogenic alopecia, or hair removal, is a common condition that includes thinning hair, baldness, and skin infections.
Regular grooming will help your cat look good and feel good, but if she gets sick, she may stop grooming. this could be a sign of arthritis, pain, or dental problems. Cats that are separated from their mothers too soon may also not know how to groom themselves properly.
Watch for these warning signs of poor grooming:
- coarse or greasy hair
- small clumps of hair on body or tail
- stains on legs from urine or residue
- missing smelling
- food particles on the face or chest after meals
To encourage your cat to start brushing, start brushing daily. brushing stimulates skin and blood circulation, and rids you of fleas and ticks. when he starts to preen, try not to interrupt her. it’s important to your cat, so let her get the most out of it.