Why Has Your Cat Stopped Grooming Itself?

Cats usually spend a lot of time grooming themselves. If your cat used to do this but has suddenly changed its grooming habits or even stopped them completely, then you may be worried. Why isn't your cat looking after itself at the moment?

Your Cat Has a Medical Problem

Sometimes, cats stop grooming themselves effectively because they have some kind of health issue. A physical issue may make grooming painful or difficult; a mental problem may make your cat forget to look after itself.

So, for example, if your cat has injured a leg, then it may not clean around that area because it hurts. It may not want to touch the leg, and lifting it up to groom around it may be painful.

Arthritis and rheumatism can also have this effect. These conditions can also affect your pet's overall mobility so that it can't reach around all of its body easily.

Dental problems can also affect a cat's grooming habits. If your pet has a sore mouth because it has teeth or gum problems, then it may be less likely to want to groom. Moving its head and cleaning its fur may hurt too much.

In some cases, older cats stop grooming themselves because of senility issues. Like humans, some cats lose mental acuity as they age. This can make them seem to forget to groom or to lose the ability to do it effectively.  

Your Cat Has a Weight Problem

If your cat is on the tubby side, then its weight may affect its ability to keep itself clean. A healthy cat can reach around all its body to clean everywhere.

However, overweight cats can't always do this effectively. They can reach some parts of their bodies but not others.

Often, a fat cat's stomach gets in the way of grooming. You pet may not be able to get around its tummy to reach more inaccessible areas. It can't bend its body into the positions it needs to groom itself all over.

Cats that can't or won't groom can develop problems, so this needs to be sorted. For example, if a cat's fur mats badly, they'll have painful areas that could get infected.

If your cat isn't grooming itself as well as it used to, then it's a good idea to take it to your vet for a checkup. Your vet can treat your pet if it is ill or injured and help you change its diet if it is overweight. If your vet's surgery has a pet grooming service, then you can also book your cat in for a session to give it a helping hand.