We all love to be pampered, and the same goes for your cat. But it’s not only a nice treat that felines enjoy, it’s actually very good for their health and wellbeing too. Plus, that extra bit of quality time together helps to strengthen your relationship and gives you an opportunity to check your cat for any other signs or symptoms that may indicate disease or injury.
Just as we would exfoliate for the benefits it gives our skin, grooming your cat stimulates its circulation and can help improve muscle tone. The brushing motion, with long strokes in particular, distributes the natural oil (known as sebum) that cats produce from glands associated with every hair follicle, and this sebum helps to maintain good skin and a healthy coat. Regular brushing will also free any trapped dirt and minimise tangles or matted areas. Matts are a particular problem in long haired cats or cats which are not flexible because of injury or age as they can’t easily reach to groom themselves, resulting in matts over their lower back. Significant matts create a shield which actually prevents a cat from grooming themself; the skin under the matt is starved of fresh air, so this can lead to dirt building up and the matts becoming a haven for fleas. Another important benefit of frequent grooming is that it helps to reduce the number of hairballs your cat may digest by removing loose hairs – the more that are brushed away the less they are likely to swallow when grooming themselves.
It’s not just your furry friend who will gain from regular grooming; brushing will cut down the amount of hair and dander around the home, and of course we all know how nice it is to have a carpet and sofa that isn’t constantly covered in cat hairs! It’s also thought to have benefits for allergy sufferers too. Several studies also link owners that have frequent physical interaction with their pets to lower blood pressure and stress levels, which means it’s perhaps just as good for us as it is for our cats.
Grooming should be incorporated as part of your regular routine and doesn’t have to be a lengthy process; even a quick 5 minutes can bring the same benefits and will leave you with one satisfied feline. For long haired cats, it’s recommended to do this every day while three times a week should be sufficient for shorter haired breeds. With health benefits all round, it’s definitely something that’s worth prioritising so be sure to fit into your schedule and your cat will thank you for it.