Benefits of Grooming your Cat

Table of Contents

As we explained before, cat grooming helps keep your cats cleaner and healthier. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of grooming your cat. However, let’s do a quick recap.

What Exactly Does Cat Grooming Entail?

Cat grooming entails:

  • Brushing and combing.
  • Bathing.
  • Nail trimming.
  • Ear Cleaning.
  • Brushing teeth.
  • Eye cleaning.
  • Fur trimming.

Read this article if you want to learn how to groom your cat at home.

The Benefits of Grooming your Cat

A happy cat after being groomed
This cat is probably happy because it was just groomed

In addition to keeping your cats looking their best, grooming your cat regularly helps prevent a myriad of issues. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Reduced Hairballs

A close-up shot of a cat grooming itself

Hairballs are a common problem for cats, especially those with long hair. Regular brushing helps to reduce the amount of fur your cat swallows, which can help to reduce the occurrence of hairballs. If your cat is prone to hairballs, you may want to brush them more often.

That said, cat grooming can help prevent hairballs in several ways:

  1. Reduces the amount of loose hair: Hairballs occur when cats swallow loose fur while grooming themselves, which then accumulates in their stomach and forms a ball. Regular grooming can help remove loose hair before it is ingested, reducing the amount of hair in the cat’s stomach.

  2. Prevents matting: Matting can trap loose fur, making it more likely to be ingested and lead to hairballs. Regular grooming can help prevent matting, reducing the risk of hairballs.

  3. Improves digestion: Hairballs can cause digestive issues in cats, leading to discomfort and even vomiting. Regular grooming can help stimulate the cat’s digestive system and promote healthy digestion, reducing the risk of hairballs.

  4. Encourages hydration: Dehydration can make hairballs worse, as it can cause the cat’s digestive system to slow down. Regular grooming can help encourage hydration, as it can stimulate the cat’s thirst and encourage them to drink more water.

How Do Hairballs Form in Cats?

Hairballs form when cats groom themselves. That’s because they lick their fur with their rough tongues, and some of the fur gets stuck in their saliva and swallowed. Over time, this fur accumulates in the cat’s stomach and forms a hairball.

2. Reduced Shedding

Deshedding a cat's coat

Regular brushing and combing can help reduce the amount of fur your cat sheds around the house. This is especially important for cats with long hair, as they tend to shed more than cats with short hair. Brushing your cat regularly helps to remove dead fur and prevents mats and tangles from forming.

Cat grooming can help reduce shedding in several ways:

  1. Removing loose hair: When cats groom themselves, they swallow a lot of loose hair which can lead to hairballs and shedding. Regular brushing and combing can help to remove loose hair before it is ingested, which can reduce shedding.

  2. Preventing matting: When a cat’s hair becomes tangled and matted, it can cause discomfort and irritation, leading to excessive shedding. Regular grooming can help prevent matting and keep a cat’s coat healthy.

  3. Shiny Coat: Cats produce natural oils that help keep their skin and coat healthy. Brushing and combing can help distribute these oils throughout the fur, which can reduce shedding and keep the coat shiny and healthy.

  4. Removing dirt and debris: Dirt and debris can get trapped in a cat’s fur, causing irritation and shedding. Regular grooming can help remove dirt and debris, keeping the coat clean and reducing shedding.

Overall, regular grooming can help keep a cat’s coat healthy, which can lead to less shedding.

3. Early Detection of Health Problems

A cat getting checked by a veterinarian
Credit: Clarkson Village Animal Hospital

Grooming your cat regularly gives you the opportunity to check for any signs of health problems, especially skin problems. You can look for any lumps, bumps, or changes in their skin or coat that may indicate a health issue. This can help you detect any problems early and get your cat the treatment they need.

In addition to checking for skin-related issues, you can also check your cat’s ears, eyes, and teeth for any signs of health issues like infections or mites. By catching these issues early, you can address them before they become more serious and require more extensive treatment.

Improved Skin and Coat Health

Grooming your cat helps to remove dirt, debris, and excess oils from their fur. This helps to keep their skin and coat healthy and free from irritation. It also helps to stimulate the skin and increase blood circulation, which can help to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.

4. Improved Bonding

Grooming your cat is also a great way to bond with them. It allows you to spend quality time with your cat and show them that you care. Many cats enjoy being brushed and combed, so it can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both of you.

Make sure to give your cat a few treats whenever you’re grooming them; it makes the process more enjoyable for them and helps strengthen your bond with them.

5. Easier Vet Visits

Regular grooming can also make vet visits easier. If your cat is used to being handled and groomed, it may be less likely to become stressed or anxious during vet visits. This can make it easier for the vet to examine them and perform any necessary treatments.

6. Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Regular grooming can help reduce a cat’s stress and anxiety by making them more comfortable with being handled and touched. This can help them feel more relaxed and less anxious during vet visits.

Benefits of Grooming your Cat Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap up this topic, let’s answer some common questions.

Do Cats Feel Better After Being Groomed?

Yes, cats can feel better after being groomed, especially if they have been suffering from discomfort or irritation due to mats, tangles, or other skin or coat issues. Grooming can help to relieve these issues, making your cat more comfortable and improving their overall well-being.

What Happens if I Don’t Groom my Cat?

Not grooming your cat regularly can lead to a variety of problems, both for your cat’s health and for your own comfort and hygiene. Here are some of the issues that can arise from not grooming your cat:

  1. Matted fur: Cats with long hair are especially prone to matting, which can cause discomfort, pain, and even skin infections. Without regular grooming, mats can become large and difficult to remove, which may require professional grooming or even shaving under anesthesia.

  2. Skin irritations and infections: Without regular grooming, your cat’s skin may become irritated and inflamed due to the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This can lead to secondary infections, which can be uncomfortable and painful for your cat.

  3. Shedding: Cats that are not groomed regularly can shed more than those that are groomed regularly, which can lead to fur on clothing, furniture, and carpets.

  4. Hairballs: Cats that are not groomed regularly may ingest more loose hair, which can lead to hairballs. These can cause digestive issues and vomiting, which can be uncomfortable for your cat.

  5. Behavioral problems: Cats that are not groomed regularly may become stressed or anxious, which can lead to behavioral issues like aggression or litter box avoidance.

Why Do Cats Like it When you Groom Them?

Cats may enjoy being groomed by their owners for a variety of reasons, including bonding, relaxation, stimulation, attention, and mimicking natural behavior.

Is it OK to Brush a Cat Every day?

Yes, it is generally safe and beneficial to brush a cat every day, especially if the cat has long hair. Regular brushing can help prevent matting, reduce shedding, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat, which can keep their fur healthy and shiny.

If your cat is not used to being brushed daily, it’s a good idea to start slowly and gradually increase the frequency over time. You can also use treats or positive reinforcement to help your cat associate brushing with a positive experience.

Why is it Important to Groom your Cat?

Here are some reasons why it’s important to groom your cat:

  1. Maintaining a healthy coat: Regular grooming helps to keep your cat’s coat healthy, shiny, and free of mats and tangles. This can prevent skin irritation, hot spots, and other skin problems that can be uncomfortable or even painful for your cat.

  2. Reducing shedding: Grooming helps to remove loose hair and prevent mats, which can help reduce the amount of hair your cat sheds. This is especially important for long-haired cats, which are more prone to matting and shedding.

  3. Preventing hairballs: Grooming can help to prevent hairballs by removing loose fur and preventing your cat from ingesting too much hair while grooming themselves.

  4. Improving circulation and mobility: Brushing and massaging your cat’s skin during grooming can help to improve blood circulation and mobility, which is especially important for older cats or those with arthritis.

  5. Strengthening the bond with your cat: Grooming is a great way to spend quality time with your cat and strengthen your bond. Many cats enjoy being groomed and it can be a calming and relaxing experience for both you and your cat.

  6. Early detection of health issues: Regular grooming allows you to check for any signs of health issues such as lumps, bumps, or skin irritations. This can help you catch any health problems early on and seek veterinary care before they become more serious.