Natural Cat Grooming
When a cat grooms
itself, it uses its tongue, teeth, paws and claws. The catís tongue has a
rough surface, which, combined with saliva, helps to remove dirt from the
fur. Cats are very flexible but there are some areas that they canít reach
with their tongue so the cat will lick its paws and use them as a flannel.
As the coat dries, the cat nibbles the fur to put it back into place.
The back claws act like a comb and get out any larger objects
from the coat. The front paws stimulate oily secretions from the glands
around the head and transfer the to other parts of the body.
Naturally the cat
sheds it coat once a year, in the spring. But this process depends on light
and temperature. In heated homes, indoor cats will shed throughout the year.
You will not notice your cat loosing its fur, but you may notice it on your
clothes and furnishings.
When self-grooming, the cat dislodges loose fur, and some of it
is swallowed. This builds up in to fur balls, which will solidify and form a
pellet in the cats intestine. Most cats bring these up automatically every
few days, but sometimes they can get stuck causing a loss in appetite and
rundown behaviour. In extreme cases a vet will need to remove the fur ball.
The occasional meal of oily fish may help to dislodge any fur balls that get