Cats are constantly licking themselves. Does this mean they're clean?
Funky Pet Zones did some digging and this is what we found! The basic reasoning for licking is as follows;
DISCLAIMER: cats need medical attention if the are licking more than normal*.
1). Safety/Protection: In the wild and in ancient times, cat's needed to camouflage their scent so they wouldn't be detected by predators.
2). Cool down: Since cats only sweat from their paws, there is no other way to cool down their body temperature. The wetness from their saliva maintains normal body temperature. Licking also distributes the natural oils on the skin to help protect in hot weather.
3). Stimulates blood flow
4). Sign of affection and mutual Trust
5). Digestion: The enzymes in cat saliva help the digestive process for cats.
6). Deodorize: Cat saliva has some antibacterial properties that help deodorize but don’t prevent infection.
Cats seem to be pretty clean creatures due to all of their licking. However they are licking- NOT cleaning themselves.
So what makes kitties funky?1). Dander: All cats have dander. This dander is not always seen, and is airborne and settles like dust around the house. Do you know what dander really is? It’s a mixture of saliva, dead skin, and urine. No matter how much they lick themselves they are still full of dander.
2). Litter Boxes: Cats and their litter boxes can have carry different Types of bacteria such as toxoplasmosis, salmonella and campylobacter that can easily be transmitted to their human parents and housemates through their paws tracking.
3). Less self grooming: Senior cats often have arthritis and other ailments that prevent them from being as flexible to lick themselves as they did in the early days. Often senior cats are known for smelling differently and they need help being groomed.
Ok, so this means I should be bathing my cat?
Some cats like baths, most do not. Bathing a cat is definitely an event, and is also extremely stressful for cats.
Using unscented products is truly the only way to be fair to your cat's sensitive sense of smell. Many grooming/deodorizing products out there are not only toxic, but strips the natural moisture barrier causing skin issues for your cat. Over bathing also strips the natural moisture barrier.
Pet Potion is a great easy, natural solution! It restores the natural moisture barrier, neutralizes odor, conditions the coat, can be used as a quick spot clean ( butt and paws) and is an effective dander remover. In theory, indoor cats will need to be “bathed” less often than outdoor cats, however in the cases of excessive dander, older age or long butt fur, you can be the judge of how often. Pet Potion is safe to lick and is vet approved.