Do you ever brush your cat just to see that they groom themselves again right after? Do you know why they do this? In this article, we will explain why.
To begin with, cats are very clean animals that spends a lot of time grooming themselves during the day. You can, however, brush them to bond with them and keep them nicely groomed.
Cats are very meticulous when they groom themselves. Because they are so flexible, they are able to lick almost every part of their body.
Contrary to what one might think, cats do not randomly lick themselves when they groom themselves. Instead, they have a very precise method. They start by grooming their head. To do this, they moisten their paws with their tongue and wipe their head, then they start to groom their face and the back of their ears in the same way. After, they lick their front legs, their shoulders, their belly and their flanks. They finish with their genital area.
Why should you brush your cat?
Even though cats are very meticulous with their grooming, we can still help them. This can be done by brushing. In fact, cats should be brushed from time to time, especially if you have a long-haired cat. Brushing removes excess hair as well as any knots that may be present. It can also prevent your pet from having digestive tract problems such as vomiting or constipation caused by hairballs. It also allows you to check your cat for fleas, ticks or other parasites.
But even after we brush our cats, our little hairball lick themselves all over again. Why do they do this?
Cats groom themselves to stay clean
Cats are naturally clean animals. When they are kittens, their mothers teach them how to clean themselves. They groom themselves to clean their coat, remove excess hair, and get rid of dust and parasites embedded in their fur. With their teeth, they can undo knots that have formed. Hygiene is very important for cats!
To put their hairs back in the right direction
If your cat licks themselves after you brush them, it might be to tidy up and clean themselves their own way. For example, it might be to put their hairs back in the right direction. It's best to avoid petting or brushing him backwards.
However, even if you do avoid brushing your cat in the opposite direction of the hair, your cat might still lick themselves to position their hairs exactly as they like it.
To put back their smell
Just as cats lick themselves to make their hair lay down as they like it, they lick themselves to put their smell back on themselves. When you pet or brush your cat, you are putting your smell on your cat. Their instinct is to lick themselves in order to remove your scent and to let their fur soak up their own. However, don't let this offend you. It's instinctive!
To regulate their temperature
Licking allows cats to regulate their temperature. The temperature of their tongues warm them up. Cats do not have sweat glands and therefore do not perspire to regulate their body temperature. When they lick themselves, they deposit saliva on their skin. When the saliva dries, it creates a sort of evaporation phenomenon. This "evaporation" can help them to cool themselves.
For their health
Cats also lick themselves for their health. While grooming, cats release a substance that they spread over their body with their tongues. This substance help waterproof your four-legged friend's coat.
In addition, when grooming, cats take in vitamin D. This is beneficial for the health of their bones and teeth. It also promotes good blood circulation.
Now that you know why your cat systematically licks themselves after your brushing sessions, you shouldn't be offended!
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