Cats are obsessive groomers, they spend between 15 and 50 percent of their day licking and caressing their fur and skin. Cats groom not just for appearances, but also to keep themselves cool during the day: their saliva acts as a natural air conditioner and grooming can make cats more comfortable on a sunny day.
If your cat spends such a huge portion of their life grooming, then why is it important for you to step in and give them a good brushing yourself? Here are a few of the reasons why you should continue to play stylist with your feline, even as they are hard at work keeping themselves clean.
Your Cat Can't Reach Everything
Areas of the body your cat has difficulty grooming themselves include the belly, shoulders, back, and even their genitals. While cats are certainly flexible, issues such as weight, age, or health factors can compromise their ability to truly stay clean.
Use a slicker brush to groom your cat. The thin, curved bristles are designed to draw up the sticky undercoat of your cat's fur without pulling, allowing you to gently remove matted and stubborn fur successfully.
If your cat is long-haired, follow each brushing with a shedding comb to remove any loose hairs. Not only will your cat thank you for the thorough grooming, you'll have less hair in your house.
Brushing Creates Bonding
Cats are certainly selective in their cuddling and socialization, so brushing your feline friend allows you to become part of a ritual they hold dear. You will bond with your cat in new ways while your cat gets used to being handled, petted, and spoiled.
Don't be surprised if your cat begins scampering to you when you break out the grooming brush: your feline companion will purr and rub your hand or leg with their head to let you know they welcoming a grooming session.
You Can Examine Your Cat for Injury
Brushing is one way you can examine your cat. Regular grooming will reveal any scratches, missing patches of fur, lesions, rashes, or sensitive spots that you should talk to your vet about.
Your cat will let you know if brushing hurts: they will try to pull away, may attempt to bite when you reach a tender area, or may even yowl or growl in response to your touch. If your cat begins acting strangely during brushing and you see no sign of injury or irritation on their skin, then call your veterinarian to schedule a checkup to make sure your cat is all right.
Your Cat Is Healthier
In addition to regular veterinary checkups and a healthy diet, grooming can help your cat lead a healthier, happier life. Grooming your cat helps prevent hairballs because it removes the loose fur your cat would otherwise ingest during their normal self-cleaning. Furthermore, adding teeth and nail care to your cat's normal grooming routine helps keep their claws and mouths healthy as well.
Brushing a cat's teeth can be difficult so you may want to schedule regular tooth care and nail trimming appointments with your veterinarian if your feline resists this additional care.
While cats are skilled self-cleaners, you should still be involved in their regular grooming. You can purchase a cat brush or comb from your local pet supply store, or refer to your veterinarian for a recommendation based on your cat's coat and overall health.
Here at Panda Animal Clinic, our team of veterinary experts cares about the health of your furry companion. Call our office in Hialeah, Florida to schedule an appointment for your pet with our veterinarian today.