Many cat owners see how well their furry friends tend to self-grooming. While most cats are clean creatures by nature, it’s a good idea to give your cat regular grooming. It’s a practice that can improve his or her health and help in avoiding common issues that develop from frequent ingestion of fur. Here is how regularly grooming your cat can make a big impact on his/her health.
Why you should groom your cat
When you properly groom a cat, it gives you a closer look at his fur, skin, nails are more. When you’re brushing the coat, this is the time when you can inspect him for any evidence of dry skin, sores, or other skin conditions that can signify underlying health conditions. If your can has a lot of sores or signs that he is biting himself that could indicate anything from allergies or a skin condition to flea or tick infestations. Grooming your cat gives you an up-close and personal look at him and can help you to identify potential problems that may require treatment or the attention of a vet.
Maintaining healthy paws
Humans know that our feet are an important part of the body and they sometimes take a pounding. Cats are no different. They need healthy feet because they depend on them to walk, run, to perform their famous acrobatic tricks, and to scratch. Inspect your cat’s paws to make sure that there are no sores on them and that they are free of stickers, cockleburs, cheatgrass, and other weeds that can cause irritation, sores, and infections. It’s not uncommon for an active cat to lose a claw every now and then so take care to check them out.
Brushing your cat’s fur 3 times a week can help to remove loose fur and other debris. This could help your cat’s overall health by cutting down on the amount of fur that he ingests. Why hairballs are common in felines, they can become problematic. While cats usually cough them up, if they’re too big, they can go down into the digestive tract and lead to health problems if the cat is unable to successfully pass them.
Grooming also gives you the opportunity to carefully inspect your cat’s eyes, ears, and teeth for potential health problems. Some cats are prone to ear mites, especially if they leave the yard and consort with other cats in the neighborhood. In addition to all of this, you can reach some of the parts of your cat’s body that are difficult for him to reach. Grooming can also bring you and your pet closer together. If you’re gentle when you groom him, it will feel soothing and good as you’re removing excess fur. This is a great time for you to bond with your cat. He will get your undivided attention while you’re fussing with him and spending time with him.
How often should you groom your cat?
Long-haired cats require more maintenance than short-haired cats. If your cat spends a lot of time outside then you’ll probably want to groom him a little more often. For short-haired cats, once a week should be plenty. For long-haired cats, you may want to at least give him a good brushing 3 or more times a week to cut down on the number of fur-balls that he produces. It can also help to keep the pet hair off of your furniture if he is an indoor cat. If your cat is a kitten then you’ll want to increase the amount of grooming because most kittens are still learning how to properly groom themselves, and he might need a little extra help in this area. The benefit of starting regular grooming routines with a kitten is that he will get used to it and this could become a lifetime habit that keeps you are your pet as close companions. It will also expose him to human touch more and this will make trips to the veterinarian go more smoothly.
When to consult a veterinarian
You’ll never be as close to your cat physically as when you’re giving him a good makeover with bathing and brushing. As you’re grooming your pet, keep an eye out for common problems that might signal the need to take him in for a check-up. His eyes should be bright and clear. If there is any sign of swelling, redness, or discharge, it’s a red flag that he needs to be seen. Check his ears for buildups of dirt and wax or sores. If it looks like he has been scratching them he may need to get them cleaned by a professional. His nose should be smooth without bumps, sores, or bleeding. If you notice black dust on his skin, this is a sure sign of fleas and he will need to be treated to get rid of them. Flea infestations are common in cats that interact with other animals in the neighborhood. Check his paws for signs of sores or infection. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your beloved pet.
There are a lot of great benefits to grooming your cat on a regular basis. It establishes a routine that you can both look forward to. You both get some hands-on one-on-one time and you can improve your cat’s overall health in the process. It’s best to start when your cat is still a kitten. Some older cats don’t like to be touched and you might need to start out slowly, but most cats who have been properly socialized love the attention that they are getting during the grooming process. Start out with a soft brush and do as much as he will tolerate in one sitting. Use this time to bond with your kitty, and also to look for any potential health concerns.