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Does my cat need help with grooming?
Cats are beloved by many for their independence in almost everything they do. If you so desire, you can leave almost all aspects of care to your cat – from eating its pet food to grooming its coat. However, as cats get older or suffer from diseases like arthritis, they may need a little help with grooming. Owners should know when they need to step in.
Why can't my cat groom itself?
Cats that have arthritis may have extreme difficulty lifting their legs and bending around to groom the spots they once were able to reach with ease. Sore joints can limit mobility in cats, and the pain might be more than the cat is willing to take just to give its coat a lick.
In other cases, cats may be plagued with diseases or illnesses that are making them so lethargic they no longer groom. Other diseases may make the cat's hair fall out or become matted. If you notice such a change in your cat's physical appearance, call your vet to discuss the root cause. It may need certain pet drugs to recover.
How can I tell when it needs help?
Signs that your cat needs help include any unsightly issues on its fur. Look for tangling, mats and general dirtiness in your cat. Healthy cats will rid their coats of any foreign objects like sticks, leaves or other items, so if your cat does not bother, something may be up.
The appearance of dirt under your cat's eyes may not be a sign of ill health. In white cats, the tears make a stain on the fur because they have a chemical reaction with the air. These rusty stains can be removed with pet products like Angels' Eyes for Cats and Dogs.
What can I do to help?
If you and your veterinarian have pegged down and are treating any health problems that is causing the lack of grooming the cat may be able to start taking care of itself again once the medication kicks in. For now, you can help your cat by giving it baths with pet shampoo like Be Super Clean Shampoo, which will keep its coat free of bacteria while also balancing the pH of the cat's skin. You will also want to brush your cat regularly to remove any mats, tangles or foreign objects in its fur. Try pet supplies like the Resco Pro-Series Combo Brush.