Since cats groom themselves regularly, it's easy for pet parents to believe that cats don't need the regular groomings that dogs usually do. While it's true that cats are fastidious in keeping themselves clean, that doesn't mean that they don't need any help from you. Read on to learn how important grooming can be for cats and why you should consider seeking professional assistance:
Consider Fur Length and Density
The first thing you should consider is what your cat's fur is like. If your cat has very thin and short fur, they may not need to be groomed as often as other cats. However, many cats have longer fur and thicker fur that needs to be removed regularly.
The easiest way for you to know if your cat needs to be groomed is to consider how often and how badly they shed on your clothes and furniture. If your cat is leaving hair everywhere, that's hair that isn't being removed adequately by their self-groomings. This fur could end up in their stomach, which could cause a lot of serious health problems.
The Threat of Gastrointestinal Obstructions
Gastrointestinal obstructions can be caused by eaten hair. If your cat has ever coughed up a hairball, this was their body's attempt to clear an obstruction before it becomes severe. However, not all cats are so lucky.
If hair accumulates in the gut, it can completely cut off the passage of food and waste exiting the body. As a result, your cat will be unable to eat or defecate, which can quickly lead to starvation and illness. Even short-haired cats can develop this problem, so it's wise to groom your cat regularly.
Seek Professional Help
Pet parents often want to do what's right for their cats and take it upon themselves to groom them. Unfortunately, there are a few potential problems with this idea.
First of all, standard brushes don't do a good job of loosening and removing dead fur from cats. They will simply move it around, or glide over it without pulling on it at all.
Secondly, pet-specific grooming tools that are designed to loosen and remove fur from the undercoat can be dangerous in the wrong hands. If you don't have adequate training, you could easily pull out too much of your cat's fur, leading to baldness and pain.
It's a good idea to take your cat to a professional groomer for help. If you'd like, you can attend a class with them to learn how to groom them safely at home yourself. In any case, professional assistance is invaluable.
Pet fur can cause a myriad of problems for cats, so it's a good idea to have your cat groomed regularly. Whatever your cat's fur is like, don't make the assumption that your cat can stomach it. Contact a company like Loving Care Animal Hospital for more information and assistance.