Why cats like to clean themselves

At the cleanliness of domestic cats, some people could take a role model. In the summer they brush even more frequently and more intensively than in cold weather.

Not because they are dirtier, but because catwashing has many other useful functions. While lions and other big cats actually only do “cat washing” and only lick their front paws, pet cats are true purity fanatics. They spend around three and a half hours daily and about 30% of their waking life on their beauty care. Using the small horny check mark on her tongue, they catch loose hair, burdock and parasites. The constant licking, tugging and plucking on the fur stimulates the blood circulation of the skin and stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete fat, which keeps the fur coat supple and waterproof. In addition, each cat gets its very specific scent, through which they recognize conspecifics from afar.

Cleaning instead of sweating

Their coat consists of undercoat and covering hair, which is divided into guide and awn hairs. The Leithaare arrange themselves individually circular around the wool hairs. These are the hairs that a cat can resist. The awn hairs growing in clumps are shorter and thicker, and the direction of growth is such that water can drain off well. The depending on the breed between one and five inches long undercoat is the actual heat protection. The conductive hairs are straightened up by muscles on the hairballs when cold, and the air is heated between the layers of fur through the body. In the summer heat, cleaning helps to keep the body temperature constant at 38-39 ° C. Since cats have few sweat glands on the chin and on the bales, they distribute as much saliva over their fur when licking. Because the resulting evaporative cooling provides cooling. At the same time, they also absorb vitamin D, which is produced by sun exposure in the skin or in the coat.
Cleaning, by the way, makes you thirsty. Of course, since the water of the natural “air conditioning” is not automatically refilled, the babies have to drink a lot at high temperatures. As observed by field observations, they use regularly at this pond, sometimes at that pond. If your free-wheeling cat does not find enough “gas stations” in your area, or if your apartment cat enjoys long sunbaths on the balcony, then on hot days you should pay more than usual to always find fresh water.

“Shower off” with wet hands

Although the cleaning instinct is already innate to kittens, they must go through their mother’s strict cleaning school during the first weeks of life. After six weeks, they are fit enough to ensure even “order and cleanliness”. Nevertheless, older or thick cats with the tongue do not need to go everywhere, and even long-haired cats need regular help with a comb and brush so that their fur is not felted or dead hair combed out. At high temperatures but also shorthair cats enjoy your care. Brush your kitty over the coat with lightly moistened hands or damp leather. This cools and saves all-around licking.


If you see more scales in your cat, you should check the sleeping place. If too many dander are found here, you should go to the vet. In fact, the skin particles that shed off during cell renewal are usually so small that they do not stand out or are removed by the cat when cleaning. Increased dandruff can e.g. indicate a skin irritation, a skin disease or flea infestation. Since cats can not even wash their ears, you should check them regularly. Black-brown crusts in the auricle are an indication of ear mites. Since they can be transferred by mutual cleaning from cat to cat, you should also visit the veterinarian immediately.

Stress signal and voltage reduction

If your cat suddenly gets a lot of stuff and gets bald, sore or even injured body parts, it can be a parasite’s fault. It can also be an indication of stress. Even with reduced grooming you should become aware. If an earlier social animal no longer wants to be cleaned by other cats or no longer “purring” other cats, stress or illness may also be behind it. However, cleaning can also serve to reduce stress. For example, if a cat is watching a prey animal through the window, but has no way of satisfying her hunting instincts, she may instead be busy cleaning herself. Because through this so-called skip action, it breaks down the inner tension, much as we scratch our heads out of embarrassment.

Often cats also clean immediately after they have cuddled with the owner. Cat researchers have different explanations for this. While some believe that the animals just want to put their fur back in order and restore their own odor, others suspect the opposite: they just want to “enjoy” the smell left behind by their human on their fur , Actually, no question who is right here. Or not?

Tip

Shorthair cats usually cope well with personal hygiene. But if your cat forgot one or the other spot, you can help a little by plucking easily where she should clean herself.

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By the way, it’s not the hair, but the saliva that some people are allergic to. More precisely taken the proteins in it. Since the composition of the spit depends on the hormones and varies from breed to breed, one does not have to be allergic to any cat. An allergist can test whether the animal causes an allergy by a saliva sample of the cat and a blood sample from humans. The strongest allergen does not produce neutered hangovers. As free-range cats bring home a lot of pollen, they are more allergen than pure cats.

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