Why do cats "groom"? essential? Cat grooming has a very deep meaning!?

When you look at your cat, you'll think it's grooming or sleeping, and you spend a lot of time grooming. So why do cats spend so much time grooming? In this article, we'll talk about cat grooming, including why cats groom themselves and when grooming can be a problem. What meaning is hidden in your cat's grooming? ? If you want to know the secret, read on.

Cats love grooming! What is the reason for grooming?

It is said that cats spend about 25% of their waking hours grooming themselves. But why do you groom yourself so much? there's a reason for that
  • cleansing the body
  • thermoregulation
  • relaxing effect
  • become a communication tool
  • I'm losing my mind

There is something like this.

cleansing the body

Unlike humans, cats are animals that do not take baths. However, it is odorless and very clean. A cat's tongue has a lot of rough, thorn-like things (filiform papillae), which are used like a brush to remove unnecessary hair loss. It also stimulates the skin to improve blood flow.

thermoregulation

Humans regulate their body temperature by sweating. On the other hand, cats do not perspire, so they use the heat of vaporization from licking their fur to regulate their body temperature. In winter, it is said that grooming keeps air in the coat and keeps it warm.

relaxing effect

With an enchanted expression, she is licking her whole body... Grooming a cat also has a relaxing effect. Grooming with a rough tongue causes the brain to release serotonin, a mood-stabilizing chemical.

Communication tool

If you have multiple cats, you will often witness cats licking each other. Grooming also serves as a form of communication, and they express affection by licking each other. In addition, I build a relationship of trust by having them lick the parts of my head and neck that I cannot lick myself.

I'm losing my mind

After failing at something, when you're surprised, or when something unexpected happens, you start grooming yourself. is. In humans, scratching your head when you make a mistake or yelling when you're frustrated are displaced behaviors. When the owner licks the whole body after stroking, it is possible that he was actually holding back.

I often groom after eating

If you look closely at cats, it seems that they often groom themselves after meals. This is to remove dirt around the mouth and front legs, and it may be to eliminate the smell after capturing and eating prey. It is said Also, the more satisfying their diet, the more they tend to groom themselves.

Too much grooming? There is also morbid grooming

If your cat is grooming abnormally, it may be mentally disturbed. Hair loss may be bilaterally symmetrical, and some may be drooling, sticky, and bleeding. This is called "psychogenic alopecia" and is caused by excessive grooming in an attempt to calm down due to stress. There are various types of stress that cats feel,
  • New families increased (decreased)
  • The number of new companion animals increased (decreased)
  • moving or redecorating
  • no safe space
  • Lack of exercise
  • Noise such as construction or thunder
  • Change in relationship with owner
  • Excessive interference
  • decreased contact

And so on. Also, there are times when I feel stressed by the Elizabethan collar and clothes that I put on so that I don't lick it excessively. The way to deal with psychogenic alopecia is to find the cause of stress and remove it. It may also be used in combination with supplements, medications, and diet. Skin problems such as allergies and infections may also lead to excessive grooming due to itchiness and discomfort. In this case, treatment will be tailored to each individual.

Senior or sick cats may not groom themselves

Older cats may stop grooming due to joint and mouth pain. Also, due to some disease, there is no physical strength for grooming, and the hair ball may become a sheet. Therefore, if the grooming time is reduced, it may be a sign of some kind of trouble, and early detection and countermeasures are important. If you feel like you've been spending less time grooming your cat lately, try paying more attention to it.

Let's do some brushing too!

Some people may think, "I'm grooming, so I don't have to brush it?", but the answer is NO! is. Brushing helps remove unwanted hair and prevents hairballs from accumulating in the stomach. Excessive hair swallowed by grooming sometimes accumulates in the stomach and intestines, making it difficult to regurgitate or cause intestinal obstruction. If hairballs get stuck in the intestines, it can be removed by laparotomy... Also, brushing can be a tool for communication with the owner. By touching through brushing, you can also detect abnormalities in the body at an early stage. If you are not used to brushing, start with short brushing first. If your cat doesn't mind it, it's a good idea to extend the time little by little. It is best to do this twice a week for short-haired breeds and every day for long-haired breeds.

[Summary] Reasons why cats groom and excessive grooming

Grooming a cat is not only for keeping the body clean, but also for communication and getting rid of anxiety. Excessive grooming can also cause problems. Let's take a closer look at your cat's grooming once again!