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
- relaxing effect
- become a communication tool
- I'm losing my mind
There is something like this.
cleansing the bodyUnlike 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.
thermoregulationHumans 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 effectWith 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 toolIf 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 eatingIf 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 groomingIf 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.