Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?
If you carefully watch your pet, you can see your cats having a lengthy grooming session. These feline creatures either fall into a deep slumber or groom their body to keep it glossy and tidy! They lick themselves or their fellow cats making loud slurping noises.
It is a natural way to brush their furry coats to prevent fur balls or keep parasites at bay! It is interesting to look at her sinking her teeth into paws to chop off her old claws! Grooming is their way of keeping their body out of the dirt. It is their way of moistening and scrubbing themselves to freshen up.
Reasons Why Cats Groom Each Other
Are you a proud multiple cat owner? Then, you can enjoy your cat’s long social grooming sessions. A recent study of allogrooming behavior of cats done by University of Southampton scientists and University of Leiden, Netherlands, says that all cats lick either the neck or head. If we run our hands through their neck or even give gentle strokes, they love it!
The research concluded that it is because of the motherly affection that they like to cuddle each other or their owner. They do that only to feel secure or comfortable. Usually, mother cats do that; rarely this habit is found in sire cats, though!
They also come up with another finding that dominant animals groom the submissive animals. During this grooming session, the one who grooms other stands, and the groomee sits. Their resting postures differ, and it is adorable to our kitties groom each other.
They don’t groom peacefully, all the times. Sometimes, they express aggressive behavior. This grooming act can bring self-control in the energetic kittens.
How Do They Groom?
Every kitten exhibits a peculiar pattern of grooming. These kittens would lick their back first, then chew their claws to remove them, and finally touch the ears. It would be just the reverse in the case of some other cat. The cats do this to locate parasites, smut, or lose hairballs toss them out. Their rough tongue is very much capable of removing these harmful substances from their body.
When this unwanted stuff reaches her stomach, the acid in cat’s stomach digests them, keeping them away from danger. If you feel your cat has eaten a lot of own hair, rub some ointment in her paws. Next time, when she licks her hands, it will reach the stomach, which is a proper treatment for stomach problems. Their saliva has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and treats wounds faster than the doctor prescribed ointments.
Immediately after giving birth to kittens, mother cats, groom their newborn kittens. Just like a nurse bathes the infant baby to remove unwanted amniotic fluids, mother cats lick their newborns. It is how she cleans her kittens. You can also see her touching her kitten’s stomach and back to get rid of spilled milk while feeding.
They Groom Each Other to Express Affection
Usually, cats are gentle and affectionate. They love being patted or tickled on their heads and neck. Another reason is to help their fellow cats to clean these areas which are otherwise not possible for them. The mother cats give elaborate lectures to teach her kittens how to groom each other.
Even though they are expert groomers, you should take extra care to run a comb through your pet’s body. Otherwise, your pet would stuff down some fur balls that would lead to severe problems in the future. Bathing cats don’t put them into trouble. You can bathe her with a cat shampoo, and dry her body fast. This way, she can be clean and be safe from swallowing own fur.
If your cat is not that fluffy, then comb her two or three times, weekly, If she is a furry, fluffy pet, do it, almost, daily. You should take extra care of the runt or ill cat as she wouldn’t be able to do it, herself.
You can find a steel comb for your kitty in your nearest pet shop. It should have rounded teeth, and they should be placed apart from each other to enable thorough cleaning. Combing your pet removes fleas, dirt, loose fur. Use nail cutters to remove her claws every week. If she doesn’t let you do this, get her to a vet or a professional cat groomer who can help your kitty to develop the habit of discipline in her. Many trainers can help you to domesticate a cat if she is a feral cat.
Advantages of Grooming
There are some other advantages to this habit. It improves blood circulation as well as complexion. When they lick their body, it moistens them and helps the cat to cool their body. It also helps the natural oil reach all parts of their body. When she spends her time grooming herself, take part in it. It would help you improve your bond with your kitty.
Check whether she has cleaned herself properly or you have to remove any fleas from her body. If you have adopted a feral cat, start grooming her, immediately. Your cat would love you grooming and patting her regularly.
You have to take precautions if your cat has ingested too much hair that she can’t expel out of her body, naturally. It is possible that your cat has swallowed too much hair that has formed a thick layer that doesn’t come out through the stools.
In such a case, you have to take her to a vet because too much ingestion of the hairballs causes diarrhea or vomiting sensation in these animals. She might, gradually, lose appetite and stop eating. The main reason is the block of intestinal tracts due to the hairballs.
In short, cats are animals who are experts on grooming. They do it themselves or their fellow cats to show their affection towards them. Usually, the mother cats groom their kittens to be sure that even the weakest in the group is alive.
This process helps these mother cats to remove after birth fluids from her kitten’s body. They have continuous grooming sessions in between their naps.
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