Simon’s Cat Logic – How Do Cats Stay So Clean!?
Hello I'm Simon, welcome to Simon's Cat Logic, we'll be finding out from a cat expert
why cats behave the way they do.
Today, we're looking at 'Cleaning'.
Well, I once tried to wash my first cat Shelly. When I was very young I was about
9 years old and I thought she looked a bit dirty so I tried to wash her and
I would never ever do that again.
Cats clean themselves.
[How do cats keep clean?] Cats spend about ten percent of their waking time
grooming they have a reputation for being fastidiously clean and they tend to clean
themselves when they first wake up.
Cats will actually groom in a particular order. If you have you ever watched your cat
grooming, you may notice they always start with the head end, so they will
wash their paws, to then wash their face and then systematically work
through their body before finishing with their tail.
[Did you know?]
A cat's rough tongue enables them to clean themselves efficiently and even to lick an animal bone clean.
They have hooked barbs on their tongues and this is really helpful to help them
keep their coats clean, it stimulates natural oil production which in turn helps with
waterproofing and insulation and also helps to remove the dead fur from their coat.
[Cats that groom together…]
Some cats will clean and groom each other and this is known as a allogrooming
and they tend to do this if they perceive themselves
to be in the social group. As well as reinforcing social bonds mutual grooming is
really useful to get those hard to reach areas, such as behind the ears.
[How can we help our cats?]
It's really useful to get kittens used to grooming from a very young age, so that they
accept this as part of their normal routine.
It's important for kitten's to have positive associations with grooming and
giving them a gentle handling and getting them used to the brush, so that it's
much easier for owners to feel through their coats see if there's any matts at all.
Ideally, to prevent matts from happening, but also to tackle them if needs be.
Especially for older cats that may need that little extra hand with
grooming because they're a bit stiff and struggle to do it themselves
[Too much grooming?]
There is such a thing as actually over grooming in cats, so things to look out
for is if a cat is regular grooming the same every repeatedly over and over
again and to the point that they are actually removing fur from that section,
so they're looking a little bit bald, and some cats may actually break the fur.
Now this can be both a medical problem and or a behaviour problem as well so the
first port of call should always be the vet.
I think of Teddy my black long-haired cat and what he loves to do is go
stalking through the long grass and he comes back covered in these little tiny grass
seeds and so I'm forever combing him with
a little flea comb to get these little grass seeds out which he loves.
He loves the extra attention so I would not be surprised if he goes out in that
field especially to get groomed afterwards.