August 2008 Issue

The Reasons for Grooming

This fastidious behavior serves many purposes for your cat other than just keeping her coat clean. Here's why else she grooms.

When you have the time, sit down and watch your cat go through her grooming ritual. First the paws, then the sides of the face, behind the ears, the chest. Itís a fascinating process because almost all cats do it the same way. By the time you cat reaches adulthood, she will spend about 30 to 50 percent of her waking time grooming herself, explains Cynthia L. McManis, DVM, board-certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Time will vary among species and individual cats. Longhaired cats will or should spend more time. Overweight cats may spend less time grooming themselves because itís too difficult to reach some places. If your mischievous male gets himself into something messy, he will devote a significant amount of time to cleaning off a particular area.

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