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Born to Groom: Your Cat's Tongue & Her Coat

Not only does your cat know how to self-groom, she's also built for the job. Grooming is a trademark characteristic of most cats. They can use some extra help from time to time, but do a great job all by themselves. Plus, they enjoy doing it.

All the right parts. Cats are flexible, strategic and well equipped for grooming. Everything from the rough surface of a cat's tongue to sharp teeth and comb-like claws add up to a finely tuned grooming machine. Cats even lick their paws to use them like wet clothes to wash their face. Even more interesting is their ability to use their front paws to stimulate tiny oil glands on their heads. The oil is a cat's "perfume" and is spread all over the body.

Time for a coat change. Most cats usually shed their coat one time each year. This usually happens during the spring or early summer. Be warned that if your cat lives in a constantly warm, well lit home, shedding could continue year round. If your cat is losing hair rapidly, see your veterinarian to make sure a medical condition isn't the cause.

Try not to interrupt your cat while she's grooming. It's important business in your cat's view, and she enjoys it so let her make the most of it.


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