Cats are one of the cleanest pets to have, here is why!

A photo of a cat grooming itself
Cats are really clean animals and spends hours a day grooming.

When most people are thinking about getting a pet the cleanliness of the animal can be questioned. Not everybody is happy with that doggy smell or the smell of urine you get with some pet rodents.

This is where owning a cat as a pet can be the perfect solution. Cats are one of the cleanest house pets that you can have. They spend many of their waking hours grooming themselves!

Cats are clean and here is why.

It is thought that cats spend around  50{fcfd0acd12322060b34d46992510b83e8fc1fe033e8dfcd7aa5d0cb23e0cf6d4} of their waking time grooming themselves. An average, healthy cat spends around 8 hours of the day awake. So that is an incredible 4 hours of cleaning itself every single day.

A cats tongue is the perfect cleaning tool.

A photo of a cats tongue showing barbs
Cats tongues are the perfect cleaning tool

The cats tongue is perfect for cleaning itself. If you have ever had a cat lick you then you would have noticed it is barbed. These little barbs on a cats tongue serve some important purposes:

  • The barbs help to remove all dirt and debris from the cats fur.
  • Along with dirt it is the perfect tool for removing fleas and ticks that may have climbed aboard.
  • A cats tongue barbs help to speed up the recovery of any open wounds it may get from fighting.
  • Just like dogs, cats actually use their tongue to regulate their temperature.
  • The barbed tongue stimulates blood flow and circulation in the cats skin when grooming.

So these are the reasons why a cats tongue is so effective at cleaning. A common myth though is that a cats saliva has antiseptic properties. This is just a myth and has been proven to be false. It is not recommended that you let your cat lick any open wound you have!

Do litter boxes make cats dirty?

A cat using a litter box
Cats generally clean themselves after going to the toilet.

There is no doubt that cats litter boxes have some nasty stuff inside them. The fact that you cat stands in the boxes and gets the contents on its feet can be a problem.

However you should find that a healthy cat will clean its own paws after going to the toilet.  Cats do not like being dirty, they are clean animals and will clean whenever they need to.

With our cats we trained them to go to the toilet outside even though they are generally house cats. We have a litter box just in case but they prefer to go outside to do their businesss. Sometimes this may not be an option for some owners if they do not have a cat flap on their door.

The best way to keep a cat that uses a litter box clean is to regularly clean the box. As soon as your cat has done its business scoop it out and dispose of it. Make sure to change the litter often to stop a build up of nasty bacteria and smells.

Do you need to bath or shower a cat?

You will find giving your cat a bath or shower is a difficult job. Cats seem to hate getting wet or at least ours do anyway!

The only time you should give your cat a bath is if it is heavily coated in dirt and is struggling to clean itself. Otherwise your cat should be more than capable of cleaning itself.

You should avoid washing your cat with shampoo too often. Just like humans this can remove oils from the skin and hair which will leave the cat with dry skin conditions.

The only area of a cat that you may need to give a clean every now and again is in the inner ear. Cats do struggle to clean in there sometimes. If you notice that your cat constantly scratches its ear or if there is a smell from them it may be time. If you do not feel confident doing this consult your vet.

What does it mean if your cat is not grooming itself?

Cats should self regulate their grooming and cleaning. They know how much they need to clean and as such they should be clean and odour free all of the time.

However sometimes when cats have illnesses or are not feeling very well, they may under or over groom. If you find that your cat is not clean and smell then it may be time to go to the vet clinic.

This is also the case with over grooming. If you notice that your cat is cleaning so much that it is giving itself bald spots you should take it to see a vet practitioner.

A photo of a cat cleaning
Your cat should be regularly cleaning itself

This is the best way that you can help keep your cat clean.

Cats like to mark their territory so that others cats know to keep away. Much in the same way that gangs of people spray the gang name onto brick walls near their turf!

We learnt this one the hard way with our first feline friends! Unfortunately we waited a while  to get them spayed and neutered.

Our male cat would walk around the house with and spray its scent all over the place. If you have ever smelt cat urine that has been sprayed you will know how bad it is.

At the time we did not realise that our cats needed spaying and neutering. It was not until a trip to the vets that we found out and swiftly booked them in for the procedure.

As soon as our make cat had recovered they spraying on our furniture and house stopped.

My final thoughts in cat cleanliness.

It is of my opinion that cats are the cleanest of pets that I have ever owned. They are such a low maintenance pet to own. When compared to our dog who will roll in any bad smelling thing it can find.

Due to their grooming and cleaning cats are one of the best pets to get if you are not into cleaning your pets. Or if you are not keen on all the smells and odours that come with other pets!

 

 

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