I still remember the ad for Penzoil a few years ago when the greasy car mechanic talked about the importance of regular oil changes and said the line, “You can pay me now…or pay me later.”
The inference, of course, was that you would pay much more later if you didn’t change your oil as needed. It’s kind of that way with grooming Mr. Puss Puss.
You probably think your cat is doing a pretty good job. You may not thin you have the time or desire to fluff-up and do the grooming equivalent of a lube, oil and filter on your cat’s nails and coat.
Here are five reasons you should do it, anyway:
1. Miracle cure for hair loss. Excessive shedding is almost always pet owner’s #1 complaint. Every hair you cat extracts and swallows, or that you brush, comb, or rub-off (like with a Kong Zoom Groom). will end up in the litter box or trash and not on you or in your house.
2. I want to see and hear my cat coming, not smell her. While most cats are pretty much odor free, intact males or cats with long fur that traps urine and feces can carry a foul smell. Trimming the fur in what’s called a “potty path trim” can keep the cat odor-neutral.
3. Hack attack. When cats methodically groom themselves, they digest a lot of loose, dead hair. It either passes out the back end embedded in feces (and you don’t really see it), or they have a hack-attach and cough up a hairball (more like a hair cigar, tapered at both ends). Better grooming means fewer hairballs.
4. Damage control. I’m against declawing, period; cats need their claws. But that doesn’t mean cats automatically know not to scratch your drapes, furniture, woodwork, etc. Providing adequate scratching surfaces and keeping your cat’s nails trimmed as needed will save you a lot of grief.
5. Allergies. When cats groom themselves, a protein in the urine dries on the hair and skin and becomes part of dander. When cats groom or shed, hairs carry the dander that contains the protein that causes allergies in so many people. I recommend that allergic cat owners wipe their cat down at least once daily with an unscented baby wipe. This helps prevent suffering by the human family member with allergies to cats, and keeps allergens off of the cat as well.