Cat Care: Three Hygiene Things You Absolutely Need To Know

When it comes to cats, some pet owners believe that they don't necessarily need to worry about feline hygiene. After all, cats groom themselves by licking and biting tufts of fur. As any cat owner knows, their pets spend a lot of time caring for their coat and making sure it is free of any dirt and debris. For some cats, it genuinely feels like a source of pride! However, while it is true that, unlike dogs, cats do not require constant cat grooming at home and bathing, it's not entirely true that they cannot benefit from some help every once in awhile in the hygiene department. Cat maintenance is less work compared to dogs, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be cared for at all. Here are three cat hygiene tips that you should know to help your furry friend be more hygienic!

Hairballs Can Be Serious

While every cat gets the occasional hairball, these bundles of cat fur can wreak havoc on a cat's digestive system. These indigestible hairballs can cause a wide range of symptoms, including constipation, vomiting, and even loss of appetite. In the absolute worst-case scenario, your cat might need surgery to extract the hairball. Of course, you want your pet to have as few hairballs as possible! To achieve this, it's often helpful to help your cat groom. Hairballs happen due to matted, tangled hair. Your cat's tongue is rough. As it licks and gnaws at the fur, a clump of it gets caught, and your cat has to swallow it. By brushing your cat's hair with some regularity (or if you notice that they have lots of knots in it), you can remove these tangles and ensure that your feline friend doesn't have any hairball issues!

You Can (And Should) Bathe Your Cat If There's A Good Reason

People frequently assume that since cats take care of their hygiene that there isn't much reason to bathe them ever. Plus, cats are notorious for fighting baths, which doesn't help matters much. Cats do need baths, especially when they have been out in the mud, potentially exposed to fleas, or when they have come into contact with harmful chemicals (think pesticides on the grass or weeds). Therefore, you should always have some cat shampoo and a way to bathe your feline companion if necessary. Assuming that a cat can always clean themselves could result in problems for your pet!

You Can Reduce Pet Allergies Through Bathing

If you or one of the people in your household suffers from pet allergies, then bathing your cat can help significantly. By washing your feline friend, you reduce the allergy-aggravating cat dander that will almost always cause issues. A bath once every week or two should be enough to reduce allergies. While they won't be completely gone, a quick rinse will help you or your loved one enjoy the company of the cat more!

Cat Hygiene: Mostly Done By The Cat, But Assistance Does Help

For the most part, cats are fantastic at keeping themselves clean. They do an excellent job at it! However, there are a few reasons why you might want to step in and help them out. If your pet is suffering from hairballs, has too much dirt, or if you have allergies, then you may wish to consider bathing them and brushing their fur! Dirty cats are susceptible to diseases, so keep your cat clean and happy!

Can hygiene wipes for humans be used on cats?

Yes, you can use hygiene wipes on your cat provided that it's unscented and mild. Avoid using alcohol wipes and other scented wipes on your pets as they tend to lick their paws and fur and several chemicals from the wipes can make your pets sick.

How often should you wash your cat?

To keep your cat's coat from being matted and dirty, it is recommended that you bathe and dry them properly every 4 to 6 weeks. Cats usually don't need to bathe more than once a month, but factors like its environment, coat length and type, activity level, and health issues, can affect the frequency of how often you should bathe them.

Do cats need baths?

Cats are great at grooming themselves so there really is no need to bath them. However, there are some circumstances that make bathing them necessary. If they become smelly, have stubborn dirt, or if you notice external parasites on your cat's coat, you may want to give them a nice and proper bath to keep them clean and pest-free. Bathing them every now and then can also help keep their coat from getting pelted and matted.

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Written by Leo Roux

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