Cats grooming each other is always a heartwarming sight for cat owners. Since it is much more common for cats sharing the same house to chase each other and start a sudden fight, cat owners cannot help wondering, “why do cats groom each other”.
Cats clean their fur every day. They even devote about 15% of their time or almost half of their “wakeful” hours to this activity! But what can you learn from this behavior unique to cats? Find out everything you need to know about grooming cats and why do cats groom each other in our article!
Social behavior: Why do cats groom each other?
There are many answers to the question "why do cats groom each other". When cats groom each other - not just to clean each other's coats, but also as a show of affection. Grooming each other is a way to communicate or cats, just like their tail movements. Your furry friend might even offer you a lick or two on your hair or your hand, for example. However, cats will only do this if they feel completely comfortable around you. And if your cat engages in intensive grooming while sitting on or near your lap, that means: I feel safe in your presence.
Cats sometimes clean the spots they can't reach by grooming each other. These regions are areas such as the head, face, and nose. Mother cats lick newborn kittens so they can breathe better or learn how to clean themselves. For this reason, some studies have concluded that the more dominant cat in the house cleans the other. This is also proof that cats use grooming each other to express themselves, just like ear movements.
Cleaning each other makes cats feel like they are in the same colony, which helps them feel calmer and strengthen bonds with one another. So if you see your cats grooming each other in their multiple cat house, you can take that as a good sign. This means they are gladly bonding.
About Cats Grooming
Cats wash their fur using their rough, sandpaper-like tongue, which has special 'papillae' (tiny little hairs). Regular grooming not only keeps the cat's fur impeccably clean but also makes it waterproof thanks to the sebum of the skin, which spreads on the hair. This instinctive grooming habit results in the cat ingesting a significant amount of fur, which is then regurgitated as a hairball. Interestingly, a cat's grooming ritual provides cat owners and guardians with crucial information about their cat's health and well-being.
A unique smell: the reason behind why do cats groom each other
Cats prefer their scent. If they receive another scent (like yours, for example, when you give them a big hug), they will instinctively try to find their natural scent as quickly as possible. They do this by licking each other from head to toe immediately afterward. This allows them to find their identity. Indeed, a good litter box allows the cat to smell his scent again quickly! So, avoid using strong perfumes and scented lotions that can overwhelm your sensitive feline's senses. And, if you're a caretaker, always wash your hands before home visits and wear neutral-smelling clothes. This way, the cat will be more inclined to curl up in your lap for a well-deserved nap in her cat house indoor.
Cats clean each other sometimes because they want to leave their own scent on the other. This is one of the exciting answers to the question, "why do cats groom each other".
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Cats also groom themselves to remove knots in their fur. Smooth, knotless hair provides optimal protection. In winter, tangles can disrupt this insulating effect, causing your cat to lose body heat. Conversely, the cat's coat provides a cooling effect during the summer months. Cats don't sweat the way we do, nor do they pant like dogs. Cats prefer to lick startled to lower their body temperature. The resulting saliva evaporates on their fur, producing a cooling effect.
You can give cats a helping hand with their grooming regimen by brushing them regularly. Long-haired cats, in particular, welcome any help in removing excess fur.
Cats that feel uncomfortable or nervous may suddenly start licking themselves. For example, when they meet another cat or have been caught doing something stupid. This behavior is intended to distract and keep busy.
Every cat has specific grooming patterns. For example, some of them like to clean their fur immediately after sleeping; some like to groom themselves after eating or using their litter box etc. They also tend to have grooming habits based on their actions, such as licking their face after meals and paws after using their litter box.
If a cat licks certain parts of his body excessively, then he could indicate a health problem. For example, cats that pay disproportionate attention to their genitals could have a urinary tract or bladder problem. Likewise, if they devote more attention to their muzzle than usual, they may have a toothache. Prolonged scratching or excessive grooming in specific areas can also indicate skin or hair problems, such as ticks, fleas, or allergies. Along with excessive grooming, you should also be alert for redness, rashes, sores, and hairless spots, and always consult your veterinarian when you spot these symptoms.
Sometimes stress and boredom can cause excessive grooming and licking. Cats that feel uncomfortable will constantly lick themselves to suppress that feeling, leading to hair loss in certain areas. A happy cat is a relaxed cat. So make sure your cat's basic needs are well met. It's not just excessive grooming that's the problem. Cats sometimes start grooming themselves less often or stop grooming altogether. Some older cats groom less over time simply because it becomes too tiring. Sick cats may also stop grooming. If you notice that your cat has stopped grooming, then it is essential to consult a veterinarian.
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