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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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cat grooming ponderings

Don't laugh, but as I watch my cats groom themselves, I was wondering how they decide which body part needs grooming. Sometimes they work for a long time on their tails..sometimes their legs..sometimes their "private parts"..how do they decide which part needs grooming?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 08:37 AM
 
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It does seem almost arbitrary. Mine will clean a little bit here & a little bit there. Maybe they just feel dirty in certain spots.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 07:24 PM
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It is strange!! I love when they do something dumb, like try jumping on the table and completely missing, and then laying their ears back and grooming their chests really quickly like "I didn't just do that!!"
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker
It is strange!! I love when they do something dumb, like try jumping on the table and completely missing, and then laying their ears back and grooming their chests really quickly like "I didn't just do that!!"
Or when they fall of off the back of the couch/window sill/lower branch of the cat tree and they get up really quick and start licking themselves as if to say, "I really didn't want to stay up there anyway. I really just needed to groom myself all of a sudden at this precise moment. My falling is just a coincedence...nothing more, nothing less."

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Renée
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-21-2006, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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So true!! when they fall or do something embarassing, they immediately start grroming themselves!!!! I read somewhere that grooming is a "self-calming behavior" for cats.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2006, 08:58 AM
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I have a theory about this. Cats' time is very scheduled, and they carry tiny PDA's (Paw Digital Assistants), to which they download each day's schedule from the Mysterious Cat Planet via satellite link.

They'll be walking along, doing nothing, and suddenly their PDA alarm goes off and it's time to wash between the toes of their left hind foot, right this minute!

I used to believe in the cat motto: "When in doubt, wash," but now I believe in the Cat Planet. It's the only logical reason for why my cat goes ans just sits in the shower stall for a half hour at a time...it's her secret office.

Ok, seriously, washing is a very non-threatening activity, and a washing cat is not going to attack you. I have a condo full of cats at the shelter that don't relate to people at all (feral mom, brought in at about 3 months old) but who have excellent cat communication skills, and they'll often wash to indicate that they're not a threat to the one who's trying to come in from the porch, or that they're not interested in having a spat (these guys are my favourite shelter cats, I learn a lot from them).

Also, sometimes your fur just gets messed up and you have to fix it, like smoothing your hair after you take off a hat; it just doesn't feel quite right until you arrange it properly.
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