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Cat Grooming - Do We Ask Too Much Of Our Cats?

26 15:35:21

Cat Grooming - Do We Ask Too Much Of Our Cats?

As I sit here writing this, I look over to find my cat performing grooming acrobatics. All you cat owners know what I’m talking about – the oh-so-amusing manoeuvre where they lick their own necks.  And I start to wonder if the common thought about cats is really true…. Do cats really groom themselves?

As an animal lover, trainer and groomer, I have met thousands of people who have told me about the multitude of problems they have with their cats. Many of these problems seem to contradict the theory that cats do groom themselves. Take for example, the huge problem of matting in medium to long haired cats. While my cat gets a 10/10 for hilarious and somewhat remarkable licking manoeuvres, I never once have seen my cat take a comb to a knot. Another very common inconvenience of cat ownership is the lovely furry coating we find on our clothes, our lounge, our beds and lets face it pretty much everywhere! And let’s not forget the “thank you” present we find next to our bed in the morning – as we wake up to the squish of a furball under our feet. Now let’s add fleas, greasy hair, smelly cats, overheating cats, cats that wee on their underbelly, scratched up furniture, litter paws and above all we must not forget the lovely poo bum that elegantly goes from the litter pan to our pillow. One can only start to feel that perhaps we have it all wrong…perhaps our cats aren’t doing the greatest job of ‘grooming’ themselves.

To add to all this we all know someone who can’t come to our house anymore because they are allergic to our cats. The major cat allergen, called Fel d 1, is actually found in cat saliva. So that brilliant method of ‘self-grooming’, that is, covering the fur in cat saliva, is probably not helping those people. With saliva-covered fur encompassing my furniture and a saliva-covered cat that just loves to sit on my allergic friend’s lap, I can see why my friend might not like coming to my house so much.

With the epidemic of ‘smelly cats’ running around our homes, I’m starting to feel that promoting our cats to the role of “head cleaner” was simply an act of laziness. I give all the cats out there a HUGE scratch on the ear for making it this far. Now, it would only make sense that while, I do appreciate my cat having a real ‘go’ at grooming herself, we do the responsible thing and hire someone more qualified for the job. Regular visits to a professional cat groomer is the only thing left that makes sense, it is the only thing that can truly prevent and fix the multitude of fur-related problems we face.

Now, I know you are ever-so-keen to get your kitty straight to the nearest salon but…be warned. If you have ever asked your dog groomer to have a go at grooming your cat then you were probably met with a look of disgust or perhaps you were laughed out of the shop altogether. A combination of little education in the areas of cat grooming, combined with the vicious rumours of cats taking off people’s arms at the mere thought of a bath, has left the world with little game to take on the challenge. So, when looking for a cat groomer you will need to do your research. I can’t stress enough that it is important not to just hire the first person who says yes! A groomer who leaves a wet cat to dry in a cage for example will often make the problem of belly matting a thousand times worse. While it may take some time to find the right groomer for you, your cat, your furniture and your allergic friend will be ever so thankful. Regular visits to a professional cat groomer are a vital part of your cat’s wellbeing. A hair-free, flea-free home, and a cat free from knots, dandruff and pooey-bum syndrome, are all in a paws reach.

Tiffany Baker -Certified Feline Master Groomer

For more information on how grooming can help you and your cat visit:

Also see:

Pet Groomers   How To Groom A Cat