Cats do an excellent job of keeping themselves clean — so much so that most pet owners don't need to worry about bathing their cats. However, if you think that means you're off the hook for grooming them, you should think again. Not grooming your cat could lead to some nasty health problems down the line, including the potential threat of losing them. Here's why all cats need to be groomed, regardless of their personal hygiene and fur length.
The Symptom of Hairballs
Has your cat ever had a hairball? Chances are, he or she has. Most cats experience hairballs many times over in their lives. Cats cough up hairballs when they consume too much of their own fur. Since fur can't be easily digested, the body tries to reject it instead, which results in your cat throwing up. Unfortunately, this isn't really a solution in the long-term. Imagine if you had to vomit on a regular basis! No fun, right? In addition to potentially not being an effective way of getting hair out of their bodies, regular vomiting can cause weight loss and dehydration. Exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid over and over can cause tissue damage and irritation. If that weren't enough, a cat who has hairballs regularly could potentially become very ill very fast.
When it Worsens
Hairballs aren't a very effective way of getting rid of hair. While they can clear large clumps, these clumps often break or pull apart while they're coming up, meaning some of the hair stays behind in the stomach or intestines. Over time, it forms another clump with new hair, and the process starts all over again.
Unfortunately, in some instances, a hairball simply isn't enough or the blockage becomes too large to come up as a hairball. In these cases, a permanent blockage can occur in the intestines or bowel. When this happens, your cat won't be able to eat or defecate, depending on where the blockage is. This can quickly kill a cat. Sadly, your cat may not show any significant symptoms other than having less of an appetite or straining in the litter box. Unless you regularly monitor your cat's eating and litter box habits, you might not notice it at all until it's too late.
If you think that your cat could have a blockage right now, it's important to seek help from a vet. Otherwise, prevention is the best medicine. Simply taking your cat in to a pet grooming expert on a regular basis can help to keep this from happening.
Pet groomers take special care to not only brush the top layer of fur, but to make sure to remove any dead hair in the layer of fur underneath, too. This is where cats typically have problems, since standard brushes often don't remove fur from the deeper layer. In short, your cat's topcoat may look great, but without working on the undercoat, the kitty could still get sick.
How often you should get your cat groomed depends upon the cat. Longer fur needs regular care, while shorter fur can go longer between visits. Ask your pet groomer what's best for your kitty, as they have plenty of expertise on the matter.
Hairballs and blockages are a serious problem for many cats all over the world. Start seeing your pet groomer regularly to prevent your cat from going through a life-threatening experience that could put you in fear, debt, and potentially the horror of losing your cat to its own fur.Share
29 May 2018
I have opened my home to foster dogs for the past eight years. Many of the dogs that come into my home are well-behaved companions that just need to find a permanent home. Other dogs, well, let's just say that they are not meant to be left alone anywhere in the house. These dogs suffer from separation anxiety and begin acting out the minute that I leave their sight. These are the dogs that I take to a day care center anytime I have to leave my house. If you have a dog that doesn't do well on his own, this blog will give you several tips for making him more comfortable and eventually put a stop to the behavior.