Cats are well known for their fastidious natures. But while your feline friend likely spends a large part of their day licking their fur, that doesn’t mean they don’t need some professional grooming help from time to time. If you are online looking up information about cat grooming, we’re glad you found us! 

At Boca Park Animal Hospital, we recognize the need for trustworthy online resources regarding topics like cat grooming. That’s why we decided to share the answers to some of our most frequently asked cat grooming questions.

If your cat needs cat grooming in Las Vegas, NV, call (702) 213-4513 to schedule an appointment! 

How do cats groom themselves?

Cats primarily groom themselves by licking their coats. They have specially designed tongues that are perfectly suited to the job. A cat’s tongue has curved, hollow-tipped spines called papillae, which transfer saliva from the mouth to the fur. The spines also remove loose hair and help cats deal with knots and tangles. Since cats are so flexible, they can groom just about everywhere on their body using their tongues. 

How does proper grooming impact the health and well-being of my cat?

Proper grooming helps cats stay clean. It also helps the skin release natural oils and keeps the coat healthy. When cats cannot groom themselves sufficiently and don’t receive services from a professional groomer, they are susceptible to painful mats and greasy fur. In extreme situations, heavily matted cats experience skin infections and can even suffer from insect infestations. In short, proper grooming is vital to your cat’s overall health and well-being. 

What are some signs and symptoms that my cat is no longer grooming themself properly?

While many problems present with nearly imperceptible symptoms in cats, it’s easy to tell when they are not grooming correctly. 

Signs your cat might not be grooming properly include: 

  • Increased matting of the fur
  • A coat that looks or feels greasy or tacky
  • Clumpy fur
  • Odor
  • Skin sores
  • Food particles stuck on the face or chest after eating

While under-grooming is the most common grooming issue in cats, some groom too much. Because cats spend 30 to 50 percent of their day grooming themselves, it’s harder to tell when one is over-grooming. 

Symptoms of over-grooming in cats include: 

  • Pulling out tufts of fur
  • Bald spots
  • Skin lesions

Your feline friend may also become less active due to the decreased quality of life caused by poor grooming habits. If you ever have any reason to suspect that your cat may be grooming themself too little or too much, call (702) 213-4513 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We also recommend scheduling an appointment if you notice any changes in your cat’s grooming habits. 

Why is it important to consult a veterinarian if my cat has grooming problems?

In many cases, grooming problems indicate a more significant underlying issue. In older pets, it may be something simple like a case of arthritis that limits their range of motion and ability to groom properly. In these cases, managing the underlying problem improves the patient’s quality of life and, in many cases, allows them to start grooming correctly again. 

Common underlying conditions that impact grooming in cats include: 

  • Arthritis
  • Flea or tick infestation
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Periodontal disease
  • Dietary problems

Seeking veterinary care allows us to examine your cat and determine why they aren’t grooming correctly or their coat is in poor condition. Once we understand the problem, we can prescribe an appropriate solution to help your feline friend enjoy a better quality of life. Cats’ skin is very fragile, too, so it’s best to enlist the help of professionals when you think something is wrong. 

What are the benefits of professional cat grooming?

As previously mentioned, cats have delicate skin, so we do not recommend trying to remove knots and mats yourself. Professional groomers have the tools and knowledge to care for your cat’s coat safely. They also know how to minimize cats’ stress and make the grooming process more tolerable. Some cats even come to love professional groomings!

Even if your cat grooms themself regularly, they may still benefit from professional grooming. Long-haired cats are the most prone to mats and hairballs. They also tend to have trouble with residual urine and fecal matter in their fur. And flat-faced breeds, like Persians, may need help cleaning their face and keeping hair out of their eyes. A professional groomer will consider your cat’s unique needs and recommend suitable services. Groomers also know how to spot early signs of skin problems and parasite infestations and will let you know if your feline friend needs medical treatment for issues you might miss on your own. 

Still have questions about cat grooming? The veterinarians at Boca Park Animal Hospital are here to help! Give us a call at (702) 213-4513.