The Importance of Grooming Your Cat
Date Posted:28 August 2017
Cats just love being scratched and stroked. Get them in just the right spot and you will have them in bliss, and you’ll have made a friend forever. Scratching and stroking is not only about making your cat feel good, though. It can also be very important for their health and well-being. There are several reasons why grooming your cat might be more important than you think.
Hairballs occur because your cat unintentionally ingests hair as it cleans itself. Most of the time, the hairs will end up passing through their digestive system naturally, but that is not always the case. If the hair is not processed then it will begin to accumulate in the stomach as hair balls. These will eventually need to be removed, which is something that happens naturally. This means coughing it up, which can be very unpleasant for your cat and in severe cases, can cause complications.
Just stroking your cat will help to remove lose hair, preventing it from being ingested by your cat. For an even more thorough job at removing lose hair, specially made combs and brushes are available. As well as helping to prevent hairballs from accumulating, this will also help prevent too much hair from being left around the home. Plus, of course, it’s a great way to help make your kitty feel happy. Learn more about preventing hairballs in cats.
Hidden away under their fur, parasites may be feeding off your pet unnoticed. Ticks, fleas and other parasites can become problematic if they are allowed to become too numerous, so it is best to stop any infestation as soon as possible. Grooming your cat will make it easier for you to detect any parasites as soon as possible, allowing you to get much needed treatment.
Cats with long hair are prone to matting. This causes strands of hair to clump together, causing unsightly lumps in their coat. In addition to being unsightly, these lumps can also become quite uncomfortable and restrict movement. They also increase the chances of your cat getting snagged on something when they are out exploring. In addition, matting on some parts of the body, particular around the armpits, can pull excessively on the skin causing sores and event tears.
Regular combing will help to prevent matting, and help to identify any lumps before they can become problematic. Remember that even small lumps will need to be cut out rather than combed out, so you should have a pair of scissors handy when grooming cats that are prone to matting.
Avoid ear Complications
Wax-build ups, debris, parasitic infections and a range of other things can cause complications with your cat’s ears. When grooming, you should check their ears to see if they are clean and clear, and take action if they are not. Cotton buds can be used to help clear debris from the ear, but you need to be extremely careful not to damage the sensitive inner part of their ears. Instead, it is better to use specially made ear drops which will help to remove dirt and debris gently. If there is a bad smell or if the skin appears inflamed, you should probably take your pet to a vet.
Your cat’s nails are likely to wear down naturally by abrasion when they are walking and running. Sometimes, though they can still grow too long and require trimming. If not trimmed, long nails can get caught on objects and also cause discomfort. A snagged nail can easily become damaged, potentially leading to infections, so it is a good idea to keep them trimmed to a reasonable length.
The pink parts that you will often see inside your cat’s nails are called the quick. This is full of nerve endings, making it extremely painful for your kitty if you cut into it, so make sure that you don’t. If you are unsure, then take your pet to a vet or a professional groomer to help avoid causing them unnecessary distress.
Bathing your cat with a shampoo can be very tricky. The tiger is the only species of cat known to actually like water, and your kitty sat at home is not a tiger. Usually, bathing is not necessary as self-grooming and the grooming you provide are enough. Sometimes, though, they might need a more thorough clean. If their fur comes into contact with something sticky or oily then normal grooming will not be enough. Licking their fur to try and clean it could also cause them to ingest whatever it is on their fur, and this could be troublesome for them. It’s best to make them endure some mild unpleasantness than risk something more serious down the line such as intestinal blockages or poisoning. They may not like you for it, but bathing your kitty could save them a whole lot of pain and discomfort in the not too distant future.
Another aspect of grooming that can be tricky, but occasionally necessary, it teeth cleaning. Cat’s teeth and gums are made from the same things as ours are. As such, they can develop the same complications. Usually, their oral health and hygiene is taken care of by natural processes. Sometimes, though, they need a little help from us. Specially made cat toothbrushes and toothpastes can be purchased from vets and pet stores. If you are really lucky, your cat might like to play and chew on the brush, effectively doing the job for you. Usually, though, they are not so compliant and you have a struggle on your hands. If your pet has bad breath and discoloured teeth, a brushing may be necessary regardless of how much they may protest. If you are having too much difficulty in brushing your pet’s teeth, a vet would have the experience and know-how to get the job done.
In addition to helping take care of some physical issues, grooming can also help your pet’s mental wellness. Cats are social creatures and seek out the attention of other cats, and people. Grooming is a basic wild instinct that is still ingrained in your pet and helps them to form social bonds with individuals in groups, as well as keeping them clean and free of parasites. Grooming your cat will help to make them feel loved, and a part of the family. Groom your cat sparingly and they may become aloof, and behave more like their wild ancestors than a domestic house cat.