Cats Pretty Much Care for Themselves, So…
One of the things cat lovers appreciate most about their choice of pet is that unlike dogs, cats can pretty much care for themselves. Other than supplying a cat with food and water, keeping the litter box clean, and taking her to the vet for regular check-ups, little else is needed to keep your cat healthy and happy.
Well, this might not be entirely true. Depending on your breed of cat, you may need to provide her with a little more in the way of fur care through the seasons. While cats are totally adept at grooming themselves, there are occasions throughout the year when they could use some additional help.
Here are some of the reasons why grooming and shaving your cat through the seasons might benefit your pet.
Why Grooming is Important for a Cat
While short-haired cats can get along relatively well without much extra grooming attention, medium- and long-haired cat breeds are notoriously at risk for developing matted fur, which can be a cause of pain for a cat, and hairballs, which can be kind of painful for humans. As a result, keeping your medium- or long-haired cat well-groomed is not only essential for her overall appearance, but also for her general health and wellbeing.
Besides reducing the risk of the above issues, grooming and/or shaving your cat is the most effective way to rid the coat of shed hair and dead skin while spreading your cat’s natural oils over her body. This is important for the overall health and vitality of her coat, but it can also help reduce a variety of potential problems such as:
- Heat stress
- Ticks and parasites (easier to find when their coat is short)
- Irritation to the skin and paws
In addition, by grooming your cat on a regular basis, you will be more likely to notice any physical changes, like lumps, bumps, or parasites, that might have otherwise gone undetected.
Additional Benefits of Grooming Your Cat Regularly
Your cat’s coat changes over the course the year, so you may need to adjust your grooming strategy with the seasons. For instance, in the summer months, shaving your cat, or at least clipping her hair, will help increase air flow to her body. This will allow her skin to breathe and keep her cooler.
If you live in an area with a cooler climate, then your cat will likely undergo two heavy seasonal shedding cycles per year, one in late spring and another in late fall. During these cycles, much of your cat’s undercoat will fall out in clumps. Grooming your cat during these months will help keep her coat smooth and neat, but also minimize the amount of shed hair that will otherwise be spread around the home.
How Often Should a Cat Be Groomed?
Every cat can benefit from regular brushing, but if your cat has a long, silky, or curly coat, then you should brush her at least once daily to keep her hair from becoming tangled or matted. With long-haired breeds, it is especially important to groom the hair around her eyes and ears, in her armpits, and along the back of her legs combed, trimmed, and clean. Most long-haired cat owners take their pets to the groomers once every 4 to 6 weeks for a more thorough grooming, while shorter-haired breeds may only need to visit once every 8 to 12 weeks.
If you are taking a DIY approach to your cat’s fur care, remember after grooming her coat to check her nails and teeth and provide the appropriate care for each when needed. In doing so, your cat will be clean, healthy, and happy from nose to tail.