When cats groom themselves, you have to wonder why this process seems more graceful than when a dog attempts to do the same. Which also begs the question, why do cats seem to groom themselves, and their people too, more often than not? Cats can spend anywhere from 15-50% of their time grooming themselves each day. But when does the feline grooming process border on excessive?
Cats groom themselves for several reasons, the most obvious being to get and keep clean. You’ll find them grooming after they’ve eaten, visited the litter box, or brought you a nice mouse. Cats use their tongues and their saliva to get the job done. Crazy cat fact: Did you also know that their saliva is also used to help regulate their body temperature?
Cats will also groom themselves to relax in a stressful situation. Grooming can act as a self-soothing behavior or even a displacement behavior. The only time to be concerned about whether or not the grooming is bordering on excessive is if your cat has removed patches of fur or the grooming behavior is a big shift away from their normal behavior.
Cats aren’t entirely selfish. Despite some of their natural tendencies, they are actually quite loving and giving! When female cats give birth, they groom their kittens to move their bodily functions along, like breathing, in addition to cleaning them. This is also a way to transfer their scent to their babies, groom hard-to-reach areas, and to teach their babies how to groom themselves. If only teenagers caught on as quickly!
Cats can show affection to humansthrough grooming. It’s not quite like being knighted by the Queen of England, but your cat is bestowing you with a great honor by licking or grooming you. But why do cats lick you? When cats lick you, they are transferring their scent and telling you in their special way that they love you. Don’t take it too personally if your cat doesn’t lick you. Some cats aren’t into licking and may show affection by butting you with their head or kneading you with their paws. Licking also doesn’t always imply kitty love and affection. If you just finished a tuna fish sandwich, chances are your kitty loooves the way your skin tastes.
Just because your cat can and will groom themselves, doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little human help. Brush your cat a few times a week and bathe when necessary (at your own risk). Remember they love you and are grateful for your help, despite their noisy protestations.
If you’ve started the bath and your cat has locked themselves in their Kitty Kasa, we can’t help you there. But if you have any other questions about our products give us a shout out!