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Why do cats lick themselves?

Posted on August 21, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Do you know why your cat licks itself?

There’s a few reasons why cats spend so much time grooming themselves:

1) At the base of the cat’s hairs are sebaceous glands, these glands secrete an oil. When the cat licks itself it stimulates the glands to produce this oil. The cat will then move this oil across itself coat with it’s tongue. The oil helps with waterproofing and keeps the coat in a good condition.

2) It helps get rid of dirt and debris in their coat.

3) It can help prevent parasitic infestation.

4) Grooming removes dead and loose hair which would otherwise led to matting.

5) A little layer of saliva can help keep them cool.

6) While cats are predators of mice and birds, they are also a prey animal for larger animals. Cleaning themselves removes the smell of food from them which would otherwise give away their location.

7) It can act a self-soothing mechanism, grooming feels nice to your cat, so can help relieve stress.

Keep an eye on your cat so you know how much it generally spends time grooming itself. if you notice your under/over-grooming itself please take it to vet.

Signs of under-grooming include a matted or greasey coat, a smell, dandruff.

Signs of over-grooming include bald patches, sores and rashes.

 

Categories: pet sitting, health and welfare

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