Do you really need to groom your cat?

Cats groom themselves, right? While it’s true that most cats spend many hours occupied with self-grooming, even the most fastidious of felines can sometimes use a little help. We’re talking about brushing and combing—most healthy indoor cats don’t need to be bathed (unless they get into something dirty, greasy or smelly). The type of coat your cat has and the amount of shedding will dictate how often you’ll need to brush her; in general, long-haired cats will need more frequent grooming than short-haired felines. Some reasons why you should make grooming sessions a regular part of your cat’s routine:

  • Give your cat a hand. While a cat’s coarse tongue with its backward-facing barbs acts as a built-in “comb” it is asking a lot to expect your cat to stay perfectly groomed without a bit of assistance. Brushing removes and prevents mats and tangles, helps to distribute the natural oils throughout the coat, and removes dirt, dander and loose hair. Plus, many older or overweight cats find it difficult to reach some of those out-of-the-way spots and need assistance to look and feel their best.
  • Prevent mats. If you have a long-haired cat, regular grooming is a necessity if you want to avoid painful mats. Once your cat has developed mats, it may require a trip to the groomer to safely remove the mats from your cat’s coat. Keeping on top of the grooming yourself can help you avoid a stressful and expensive trip to the grooming salon.
  • Avoid hairballs. If you don’t take the time to remove all that loose fur, your cat will end up ingesting great quantities of fur when grooming which can ultimately lead to hairballs or even an intestinal obstruction.
  • Reduce shedding. An added bonus is that removing all that excess fur will keep it off your clothes and furniture! Having less cat fur in the environment is also helpful for allergy sufferers.
  • Grooming your cat is a great chance to bond. Most cats find gentle brushing to be a relaxing and pleasant experience. You can also use this time to examine your cat for any lumps, wounds, signs of fleas, or other physical changes.