You go to pet your furry feline friend, walk off for awhile, and come back to discover your beloved is methodically scrubbing off all your tender lovin’ care.
What’s up with that?
Well, it’s nothing personal. Your cat’s seemingly OCD need to groom itself is just part of its nature. And as such, they’ve got all the tools they need built into them. Cats are naturally endowed with a barbed, rough-textured tongue with which to lick, forepaws that can be moistened with saliva and used as an all-natural washcloth, and teeth with which to dig out tougher debris.
And they develop this personal hygiene habit early on. Mama cats begin licking their kittens right after birth. It’s not only to clean them; the licking helps stimulate the release of urine and feces, rouses the kittens to suckle, and most significantly – provides comfort.
So it’s not surprising that adult cats spend around a third – sometimes as much as half – of their waking hours – licking, grooming, and cleaning themselves. It not only keeps them pristine – it’s feel good fun. Fur real.
P.S. Next time your cat proceeds to vigorously clean its coat after a petting session, remember that your cat’s superior sense of smell allows it to read an immense amount of olfactory information about you, where you hands have been and even what mood you’re currently in. So far from taking offense, think of it as a sharing and bonding experience.
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