Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?
Parents love to see the sight of their little children playing with each other. It makes them happy as most parents see it as a sign that their kids are beginning to bond with each other. This sibling bonding and affection between kids is common among cats, as well. If you own several cats, you may have seen this behavioral trait among your cats. Often, you will be left with a long ‘aww’ expression on your face when you see your cats cozying up to each other. It is a special moment for owners of cats to observe cats grooming or licking each other, but have you ever asked yourself ‘Why do cats groom each other?’ In this article, we will reveal the reasons behind this noble trait among cats and show you why a bit of feline love is good for your cat. Let’s begin.
Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?
Now let’s take a look at the exact reasons why cats groom each other.
- Form Social Emotions Or Bond.
Cats enjoy licking each other to create a stronger bond or emotions among them, and while doing so, a lot of trust and affection is developed between them. They consider one another as part of a close-knit family.
- Mark Or Protect Their Territories
Cats grooming each other serves as a territorial warning to other animals or pets that “kitten Y’’ belongs to a cohesive and stronger family. Often, a scent affiliated with grooming is very strong to the extent that an adult cat or mother might shun her kitten. This situation happens if her baby’s scent is not sufficiently changed. Most often, it is a signal that the emotion between the kitten and her mother can be destroyed if the right territorial or scent markings are not built properly.
- Welcome New Members
Cats groom each other as a way of welcoming a new member or cat into the household. Often, if the matured or older cats take a keen interest in the newbie and start to lick and smell them, it makes the newcomer feels accepted and duly protected.
- Reaffirm Their Dominance
Most often, the stronger cat in the family will lick his fellow weaker cats as a form of fortifying and strengthening his authority in the household. You might observe the submissive cat seeking allogrooming by nearing the authoritative cat, manipulating his or her neck, or revealing the upper part of the head. Allogrooming is a social licking or grooming that occurs among animals belonging to the same group or species.
- Relaxation and to Divert Pent- Up Energy
Grooming also offers cats the opportunity to hold back excessive aggression and direct their emotions to a healthy habit. When cats groom each other, it makes them composed and collected.
Is Too Much Grooming a Bad Thing for Your Cat?
Often excessive or over the top grooming conduct in specific parts of the cat’s body signifies a medical condition like an infection, skin problem, allergies or presence of fleas. Often, too much grooming among your cats can also be a signal that your cats need urgent medical attention. For instance, a male adult cat who constantly licks or grooms the penis may be suffering from a severe form of urinary obstruction and this is might be fatal. Therefore, we recommend you consult your Vet immediately as this condition can be deadly.
Moreover, frequent licking or use of grooming tools can cause redness and irritation of the skin. If your Vet rules out any medical problems, then you may have to see a pet behavioral specialist as this may be a behavioral problem. Often, the cat can become very aggressive towards other cats or pets. Hence a cat suffering from a behavioral condition must be thoroughly observed to prevent any injury to him or the other pets.
Is Inadequate Grooming a Problem?
Now, we know too much grooming can signify a medical emergency, but what about if your cat suddenly loses interest in grooming himself or licking other cats. Cats licking each other frequently or self – licking will enhance a cat’s look. However, if he falls sick, he might abruptly stop grooming himself or other cats. When he halts cleaning himself, it could be an indication of either dental issues or arthritis. Additionally, a cat who is abandoned by his mother at an early stage might not have the know-how to groom or lick themselves. Here are early signs to observe when you notice your cat has lost interest in grooming.
- Bad smell
- Food crumbs or components on your cat’s face after eating
- An oily coat
- Cat urine stain on your cat’s paws.
To motivate a cat to start licking or grooming, commence with brushing him every day. Brushing will invigorate his skin and improve the circulation of blood in his body. Once your cat begins to groom, encourage him, and don’t interfere. It is vital for their health, so let them enjoy doing it.
Why Cats Fight After Grooming Each Other?
Even humans who are in love relationships often end up quarreling or fighting. So, this problem exists everywhere. Yes, cats love grooming but most cats get to a level where the licking becomes excessive, boring, and tiring. Cats fight, hiss, growl, and slap each other when they are pissed off irrespective of the level of grooming or bonding that exists between them.
Why Your Cats Keep Biting One Another in the Process of Grooming?
To cats, grooming signifies their dominance over their fellow or weaker cats. Hence, the cat performing the licking desires to control and impose him or herself over the fragile ones. However, it is different if it involves two cats who have formed a strong and passionate bond with each other over the years. It is highly probable that the two cats are disentangling one another’s fur and also to comfort each other. So, in such a situation, it is more about the two cats showing affection to each other instead of hurting the other. Ironically in a commanding situation, the dominant cat wants to establish his authority rather than harm the feeble ones.
Do Cats Groom Dogs?
You may have wondered why your cat gets cozy with your dog. Well, dogs belong to the bigger cat household or family. Once there is a strong bond between them, cats will often lick or groom dogs. Interestingly, cats can also become intimate with other animals such as raccoons.
In summary, cats are one of the easy-going pets you can have around your home. Caring for cats is not demanding and time consuming like other pets. Experts are of the view that they use almost half of their day grooming and they do this not just to clean their shiny skin but it’s a useful habit with many health benefits. Cats also spend the majority of their day self – pleasing, having their won ‘’me-time’’ and showing up to get a meal. As such, taking time out to regularly groom or play with the cat in a calm environment will make him feel treasured and a valuable member of your home. This feeling will also motivate your cat to play with you and show you that he also considers you a part of his family. So now that we know why cats groom each other, there is a thing or two we can learn from our friends on how to show love to the people around us, thus let’s go out and show some pussy-cat love.