7 Reasons Why Cats Groom Each Other
7 Reasons Why Cats Groom Each Other
Apart from sleeping, eating and playing, there is one other thing that cats like to do best! That is, cosmetic surgery. If anything, it’s not enough to groom themselves, sometimes they even groom other cats too! How cute and adorable isn’t it?
But surely you have often wondered why my cats groom each other?
Did you know that studies tell you that cats spend 15-50% of their lives grooming themselves? Is it some kind of special communication in the feline world, or is it simply that another cat is meant to help another cat clean itself? Let’s find out together!
Reasons Why Cats Lick Each Other
mom knows best
You will often see the mother cat grooming the kittens well. I guess it’s for obvious reasons like those cute kitties can’t do it on their own yet. As newborns, they have not yet developed grooming skills.
Mother cats groom their kittens for several purposes: first, to keep them clean and remove all unwanted elements from their fur at birth; second, to teach her kittens how to groom themselves; and third, for mother cats to lick the kitten’s fur. head and genitals to stimulate the cat to excrete waste.
You’ll notice that once the kittens get a bit older, they reciprocate and start licking their mother!
cats are givers
While cats love to groom themselves, they also love to groom other cats so that they can express their feelings for the other cat. Often this is their way of expressing their affection for others.
You will soon realize that this is not limited to other cats! Several cat owners shared experiences where their cats would suddenly lick their heads as if they were being groomed too. What the hell did we do to get such cute creatures?
Cats can be very flexible if they want to, but sometimes there are limits to their ability to do so. Despite the enormous flexibility, there are still hard-to-reach parts of the body that cannot be thoroughly cleaned. This is where another cat comes in! Cats often clean each other’s heads, especially their ears. It is very difficult to reach that place!
Now, let’s talk about science.
Fun fact! Did you know that this behavior in cats is called allogeneic grooming? A study done in the 1990s that tried to better understand this behavior in cats resulted in information on allogeneic or social grooming! This is a study conducted at the University of Southampton in the UK and Leiden University in the Netherlands. The study highlights three findings.
They found that when cats groom each other, they typically focus on areas like the head and neck. Earlier, we talked about cats cleaning the hard-to-reach areas of others. This may explain why the findings suggest that cats tend to focus on the head and neck.
blood is thicker than water
If you are the parent of many cats, whether in the same household or not, you may have noticed that mutual grooming usually occurs with cats that belong to the same household. Still, the study suggests that while it usually occurs in cats in the same household, it can also occur in cats that get along well. If you have a friendly breed of cat, you may notice this behavior.
You’ll notice that the usual setup for grooming is as follows: an older cat cleans a younger cat, then the groomer stands while the groomer sits or lies down.
Another interesting result of this study is that allogeneic grooming is not always about calm and peaceful moments of intimacy between cats, there are interactions between cats that involve aggressive behavior. Those who groomed other cats tended to exhibit more aggressive behavior than those who were groomed. Don’t worry if your cat shows some signs of aggression, there are ways to teach your cat to be more friendly.
Remember that all the data presented here is just a compilation of information from the internet, be careful when using it. Always consult an expert before making a decision about the health of your pets.