Cats love to lick themselves. In fact, adult cats spend up to 50 percent of their waking hours grooming. It’s not necessarily because they want to look good in front of their cat friends. These are some of the reasons veterinarians speculate cats groom so often.
Cats only sweat through their paws, and even that is very little. Your kitty cools off during the summer by licking his fur. When the saliva evaporates it lowers the temperature of your cat’s skin.
Licking spreads natural oils in your cat’s fur evenly throughout the coat. The oils protect against dampness and keep your cat warm.
Your indoor cat probably doesn’t need to worry about this, but outdoor cats need to groom themselves for survival. Licking fur removes scents from a cat’s fur and skin, making it more difficult for potential predators to find a hiding cat.
Grooming keeps claws shorter and sharper for when your cat practices his pouncing.
Scientists believe enzymes in a cat’s saliva produces antibacterial properties. When a cat licks an open wound or a scratch, it might actually help prevent an infection.
Relaxation and Stress Reduction
Regular and routine grooming lets your cat relax and reduce stress.
Just as brushing your hair stimulates blood flow on your scalp, a cat’s textured tongue improves circulation every time it brushes against fur.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
Mama cats lick their babies to keep them clean, encourage them to go to the bathroom and remind them that it’s feeding time. The instinct to groom helps protect kittens until they are old enough to care for themselves.
Bonds of Friendship
Cats groom each other as a way to bond and form friendships. Watch this adorable video about a grown cat instructing a kitten on how to groom its owner.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →