Do cats really need to be groomed?
This is a frequent question for any cat grooming facility, and it’s understandable to be curious. After all, cats are self-cleaning artists. They can take their ruffled coats and turn them into sleek and styled within minutes. Except for persistent hairball issues, many people never think to take their indoor cats to a groomer. However, consistent grooming actually has several upsides – for you and your cat.
Get rid of excess hair and hairballs
Remove that excess fur and dander! Your cat may need some help de-shedding and managing hairballs. Some breeds have a double coat, which can lead to a lot more shedding. Some breeds have ultra-long fur, which can actually become a health issue if left unattended. For these cats, daily brushing is a necessity. Bathing with a special de-shedding shampoo can help remove some of that fur and help control the loss. Cats also have variable coats that get thicker in winter and thinner in summer. Seasonal grooming around these times can help your cat’s new coat come in beautifully.
Some cats are more prone to matted fur than others. My cat, Daphne, gets mats up and down her spine and almost always right between her shoulders. These clumps of fur can be uncomfortable for the cat and even lead to skin irritation. Keeping the mats at bay requires trimming and brushing. Doing this can avoid pulled skin and pain for the cat. Mats need to be managed on a regular basis. And believe me, if you let mats get out of hand they can become a headache for you and your cat.
As mentioned above, improperly groomed fur can lead to skin conditions. Also, some cats just happen to have drier skin than others. Consistent grooming can help manage these skin problems. A special dandruff shampoo that’s gentle on the skin can do wonders! These grooming measures can slough off that dead skin layer.
Sometimes, poor health can also cause dandruff. There could be a simple explanation, like allergies, or a more serious underlying issue like malnutrition. If your cat is consistently groomed and bathed, but still has skin issues, it may be time to seek professional help.
If you have an outdoor cat, you know that felines can be just as grimy as canines! Cats love to roll in the dirt and climb trees. This can also mean coming in contact with other animals, such as skunks. While we hope this doesn’t happen, it can. Regular grooming (especially around mud season!) can help your cat looking, feeling and smelling his best.
Regular brushing can help you and your groomer know your cat’s body better. For example, while brushing your cat you may become aware of issues such as lumps, bumps, scrapes or skin issues. These may even be worthy of alerting your vet. Finding out that your cat has ailments early can help save you both a headache. Personally, I have had this happen twice and while nothing serious ensued, one issue did require a biopsy and minor surgery. I’m glad that I knew my cat’s body well enough to notice the developing lumps.
Regular grooming can be done by you or a groomer. I suggest small daily brushes for you and your cat to do together, and then larger seasonal groomings from a professional.
Rock the Cat Spa owner Cari Thompson is a life-long cat lover. When she's not running the luxury cat spa & hotel, she's playing with her cat, Daphne. She writes weekly blogs on cat behavior, health, and care. To learn more about her, check out the About Me page!