Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why Are Cats So Beautiful?

Handsome Kahn!
When it comes to personal hygiene, exotic and domestic cats are the epitome of cleanliness.  They are naturally equipped with everything they need to groom themselves:  a barbed tongue with which to lick, forepaws they moisten with saliva and use as surrogate washcloths, and teeth to dig out tougher debris (so very efficient!!!).  Believe it or not, adult cats may spend as much as half of their waking hours grooming themselves, their relatives and friends.

Cerella stays beautiful by grooming...
and grooming....and...
So why do exotic and domestic cats spend 30-40% of their time grooming themselves?  Well, grooming has many hygienic and psychological benefits.  Grooming helps eliminate parasites (nasty fleas and ticks); helps keeps the cat’s coat clean and smooth (you’ll notice that not one hair is out of place on a cat’s head); helps cool the cat down through evaporation of saliva; stimulates the glands that are attached to the hair roots, which in turn, keeps the fur water-proofed; and grooming helps reduce conflict, frustration, and anxiety.  Okemo will demonstrate how tigers properly groom themselves on a daily basis:

Lovely Lucca!
Mothers begin licking their young right after birth—to clean them, stimulate the release of urine and feces, rouse them to suckle, and provide comfort.  Youngsters usually begin grooming themselves when they are about four weeks old.  At five weeks of age, they begin grooming their littermates, as well as their mothers.  Grooming is a social activity that serves to strengthen the bond between the cats.

Cats are some of the cleanest animals on earth, even though they hate water and avoid it at all costs.  So why do cats, including some exotics, dislike water?  One reason for their displeasure of water is that their fur (although it has a water-resistant top layer) can become waterlogged if the cat gets too wet, which in turn can weigh the cat down. If this happens, the cat could possibly drown from not being able to float.

There are domestic cats that will tolerate bathes; however, you have to turn to their wild cousins to find cats that truly enjoy bathing!

While our tigers groom themselves often, we often see them lounging around in their pools and tubs.  Last weekend, Tacoma decided it would be more fun playing it "cool" in the pool, than sitting around and grooming himself!

Tacoma found a great way to beat the Texas heat!  Lucky tiger!  You can be sure that Tacoma will be featured in Splish Splash, The Sequel, to be released later this summer!

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Article Source & Text From:  ASPCA article titled "Why Cats Groom So Much"


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