Cats’ grooming habits are normally fastidious – your cat may normally groom himself multiple times each day, but what happens if he stops? If your pet usually rearranges his fur after eating, being petted or even napping, but then stops, it could be an indication that something is wrong.
Even if you don’t see him grooming regularly, a cat with a shiny, well ordered short coat, or a soft, fluffy long one is taking care of his fur in a healthy way. If your cat begins to exhibit signs of a messy coat, looks greasy or dirty or develops mats or tangles, he is not grooming himself effectively. If you notice a change in your cat’s grooming habits, a trip to the vet is in order; he may not be feeling well and the grooming is just a symptom of another problem.
Pain: A cat that is in pain, whether from an injury or arthritis, may have a difficult time with grooming; you’ve seen the gymnastics a cat will do to groom himself, these motions may not be comfortable or possible for a cat in pain.
Mouth trouble: Something as simple as a broken tooth or pain in the mouth can lead to a lack of grooming as well, In this case, you may also see drooling or a reduction in appetite or food consumption too.
Illness: A fatigued cat may not feel well enough to groom; one that is obese may simply no longer be able to reach himself to groom effectively.
How to Help your Cat
A trip to the vet is the right place to start; your cat has stopped grooming for a reason, and often a simple exam is enough to determine why. During an exam, your vat may spot an injury or signs of illness that is causing your pet to cease grooming.
Once the cause is discovered, you can help your pet by following any directions for treatment, giving any needed medicine and gently brushing your pet to help him with grooming as he recovers. When your pet begins to feel well again, you should see his fastidious nature return as his grooming habits improve.
If you’re worried about your cat and have noticed a change, don’t wait. Many conditions that cause a lack of grooming are easily diagnosed and treated, leading to a swift recovery. Call us right away if you are concerned – we’re here when you need us most.