Do Cats Get Really Clean by Licking Themselves?

Cats are naturally meticulous creatures.
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When it comes to cleanliness in the people world, a lot of accessories are needed, from body wash and shampoo to a working shower! Luckily for cats, the process is significantly easier. All that our feline friends need in order to keep squeaky clean are their teeth and tongues.


Although mere licking hardly seems like an effective mode of hygiene, it works swimmingly for cats. Their teeth function as a means to handle persistent dirt, while their spiky tongues efficiently moisten and lick their coats. Lastly, their paws are used as loofahs or cleansing cloths. The entire system is a well-oiled machine.


Cats often spend up to half of their days occupied by grooming, keeping themselves immaculate and fresh. However, some felines can take it a bit too far. Although licking keeps them clean, too much of it can bring upon painful or uncomfortable consequences -- think severe itchiness, open sores and even loss of fur!


As a rule, cats usually don't require human intervention when it comes to bathing. However, exceptions are definitely a possibility, especially if your fluffy pal ventures outside a lot. If your cat accidentally steps into dog mess on the sidewalk, for example, you definitely might want to step in and give her a nice, old-fashioned bath!

Cat Stress

For the most part, cats lick themselves as a means to stay clean. However, in some cases frequent grooming can also point to another problem -- stress! Some common culprits behind kitty stress are lack of attention, the introduction of another household animal, separation anxiety and environmental changes. If you notice your cat is grooming herself a little too frequently, take the time to evaluate what may be going on in her life.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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