Although your adorable kitty probably has her own, painstaking grooming routine and will spend many hours each day taking care of herself, as her parent you too need to be responsible for making sure she is well groomed at all times. Grooming often isn’t at the top of any cat owner’s list of priorities and many people think of anything beyond basic brushing as unnecessary and just a fanciful way to spoil and pamper their pet. While grooming is a great way to spend time with your cat and enhance the bond between you, it is also something that is hugely beneficial for her health and well-being.
How does grooming benefit my cat’s health?
Even some experienced owners are surprised when they learn that there are a range of different benefits associated with pet grooming. There are various different elements to the grooming process, each offering its own advantages for your cat’s well-being.
Brushing your cat
Probably the most obvious aspect of grooming, brushing is something that should be done with surprising regularity – if you have a long-haired feline, we are talking every day. This is because brushing helps to remove dirt, skin and loose hair that accumulates during the day, as well as detangling matted areas that can trap heat and cause problems like skin infections and pain.
Other benefits of regular brushing include:
- A reduction in the number of hairballs your cat will experience since the majority of loose hair is removed before it can be swallowed.
- Stimulation of the natural oils in your cat’s coat so that her hair is moisturized, healthy and shiny.
- An opportunity to perform a physical examination of your kitty so that any abnormalities come to light. These might include skin problems, the presence of external parasites such as ticks or fleas, or unusual lumps or bumps. If any of the aforementioned are evident, we recommend that you seek the advice of your veterinarian.
Cleaning your feline’s ears
Your cat has very sensitive ears and relatively long ear canals. This can make it easy for dirt, debris and any foreign bodies to become trapped inside, but much harder to get anything that shouldn’t be there, out. There is also a particular type of parasite that can affect your cat’s ears, unsurprisingly known as ear mites! They live off of the fluid and skin and cause intense itching.
You can gently clean your cat’s ears using a damp wash cloth, wiping the outside only. Never force anything into the ear canal as this could cause damage. If there is any foul odor, her ears seem red or swollen, or you suspect the presence of mites, speak to your veterinarian.
Trimming your cat’s nails
Cats can have extremely sharp claws, and if they aren’t trimmed regularly they can cause damage to you and your property. However, extra-long and sharp nails can also cause problems for your kitty as they can grow around into her skin and cause infection. Older cats will also benefit from regular trims to help ease any arthritis in their paws as well as joint pain.
Brushing your feline’s teeth
Brushing your cat’s teeth should be a daily event. While she is unlikely to suffer from dental cavities like humans do, your furry friend is at very real risk of developing periodontal disease. In fact, around 70% of felines will have some degree of dental disease by the time they reach the age of 3. It is important to do everything that you can to help her avoid periodontal disease since it can cause pain and infection and has been linked to widespread health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer.
If you would like more information about the importance of grooming your cat, our friendly and dedicated veterinary team are on hand to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact our veterinary hospital in Andalusia, AL.