|Cats groom for a variety of reasons: cleaning, cooling and parasite removal. Grooming is also a way of managing anxiety. If your cat is in a stand-off with another cat, you may notice that the cats begin grooming themselves. Your cat may also groom a lot after being denied access to something, or if he’s unsure of a situation. Grooming as a self-relieving mechanism is healthy but when taken to the extreme, the cat may groom to the point of creating bald patches. Overgrooming can also have underlying medical causes such as parasites or skin conditions. If your cat is grooming excessively, visit your vet. If kitty gets a clean bill of health then it’s time to look at stress triggers in his environment.
Pam Johnson-Bennett, CABC, is a certified cat behavior consultant and author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior. Her website is www.catbehaviorassociates.com.
September 3rd, 2010