Do cats really groom themselves?
In short, no. They lick themselves.
Shedding, hairballs, tangles, mats, dirty hindquarters, eye stains, ingrown claws,
fleas, dandruff and other skin conditions are problems that can't be solved by licking.
Licking leaves saliva and on the cat’s coat. Dead skin cells called ‘dander’, along with saliva and even cat urine contain the protein Fel d 1 which is the allergen that causes a reaction in some humans. Cats get greasy. It is a fact. Natural oils build up over time. Licking does not remove the grease from the cat’s skin and coat. Natural shedding takes place throughout the year. As the hair sheds, the greasiness causes it to stick together in a clump. As hair sheds, it gets stuck to these oils and cannot fall away from the body. This starts out as a small tangle of hair but eventually grows and becomes tighter and thicker as more hair sheds and cannot fall away. This clump of matted hair, if not removed, will become bigger and more uncomfortable for the cat as it tightens, pulling the skin into the matted tangle. If left, the mat will grow into a pelt that covers its body. The cat will then be at risk of developing skin irritation, infection, flea bite dermatitis (a hypersensitivity to flea bites from fleas trapped under matting/pelting). Matting and pelting will hinder a cat’s ability to walk properly and even hamper its ability to urinate and defecate, causing sepsis and eventually death.
I am a certified cat groomer. I have been trained to solve and help prevent these problems. At Pussy Willow Cat Grooming, I use superior quality equipment. I use cat-friendly and safe products. My job, as a professional groomer, is to assess your cat and to discuss with you the best option(s) for your cat, based on temperament, health issues, age and condition of skin and coat.
A full coat groom will start with bathing your kitty in soothing warm water with a degreasing shampoo and then gently hand-drying and combing out the new clean coat so that it is soft and smooth, free of loose undercoat, dead skin and grease. After a thorough grooming, the amount of shedding and hair balls is significantly reduced. Besides skin and coat care, I thoroughly clean eyes, ears and trim nails.
As a professional and conscientious groomer I also keep an eye out for signs of fleas, ear mites and other signs of irregularities and skin problems. Catching these conditions early can help prevent more serious problems that might go otherwise unnoticed.
Bathing your cat regularly will make life cleaner and more manageable for you and your feline and will almost eliminate the need for grooming your cat in between sessions. The right tools, products and techniques can make all the difference for you and your cat. Grooming is not just about looks ~ it is about helping your cat feel good while maintaining a healthy, mat-free coat and skin.