Cats spend about 30-50% of their time grooming. It is a natural behaviour and it is normal for them. This trademark behaviour begins after birth when the queen licks her kittens to clean up, provide comfort, initiate suckling and urination, and for bonding. At 4 weeks, kittens start self-grooming and later groom their littermates and mothers.
Why do cats groom?
- To clean and smoothen the hair coat.
- To regulate body temperature.
- For cooling through the evaporation of saliva.
- To eliminate infections, parasites, and allergies.
- For prevention of hairballs.
- For pleasure
When should I be concerned?
Excessive grooming is characterized by thinning or missing hair with bald patches and sores on the skin. Most times, it is caused by a stress condition which could be physical, emotional, or environmental. You should rule out any medical condition before settling for stress-induced obsessive grooming.
Also, under-grooming presented with a rough and unkempt hair coat most times suggests an ongoing illness or abnormality which needs to be investigated and managed