for the first three weeks is done by the mother
cat. After that the kittens
will begin self-grooming, or autogrooming. The fully developed grooming sequence
is as follows:
The kitten will lick its lips.
The side of one paw
is repeatedly licked until wet.
The wet paw is rubbed over the head, ear,
eye, cheek and chin.
The other paw is treated in the same way, and rubbed over
the other side of its head.
Lick front legs and shoulders.
Lick hind legs.
from base to tip.
Bellow is a listing of why grooming is so important to the cat:
The removal of foreign particles helps to keep its coat free
from dirt and grease.
Smoothing the coats surface will help to improve the
insulation properties. If the coat is ruffled it can be a hazard in very cold
Felines can suffer from the effects of high temperatures in
the summer months, and will use panting as a means of keeping cool, but this
on its own is not enough. Cats do not have sweat glands all over their
bodies as we do, so they will lick their coats
to deposit as much saliva as possible. The saliva evaporates, cooling the
the animal, in the same way that our sweat evaporates on our skin.
A cat acquires the essential vitamin D through licking its
fur after exposing itself to the sun.
Cats will nearly always start to groom themselves after
being handled. This is partly because the coat has been disturbed, but
mainly it is to strengthen its own odour. Because the world of smell is so
important to felines, too much human scent on its fur is a disturbing
distraction and has to be weakened.
The grooming after being handled also helps a cat to gain
information about the handler.
Self-grooming also stimulates the glands at the base of each
hair. The secretions of these glands will keep the fur weatherproofed.
The cat will stop to nibble out any tangles encountered, and
will also nibble its feet and claws
removing dirt particles. Cats that are moulting or with long fur can accumulate
hairs inside their alimentary tracts causing them to form
hair balls. Usually cats will vomit up these without causing any
trouble to themselves, but it is possible for a fur ball to grow too large,
becoming a serious hazard, that's why it is important for owners to groom their
cats (Especially long-haired breeds) on a regular basis.
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