Cats are fascinating creatures, and their behaviour never ceases to amaze us. One particular cat behaviour that many of us have observed is their response to petting. After we pet our furry feline friends, some of them display a unique reaction of immediately cleaning themselves.
Have you ever wondered why cats do this?
Cats are territorial animals that have scent glands all over their bodies. From the tip of the nose to the base of their tail, these glands secrete pheromones that help cats claim their space, ward off other cats, and communicate with other felines. When you pet your cat, you are transferring some of your scent onto her, and the cat cleans herself to get rid of your smell and restore her own. Cats have a natural grooming instinct, and they are instinctively driven to keep their coats clean and free from unfamiliar scents.
2. They Don’t Want to Be Dirty
Cats are also fastidious creatures that dislike feeling dirty or greasy. When you pet your cat, you may transfer oils and dirt from your hands onto her fur, and these substances can make her coat feel greasy or unclean. By licking and grooming herself, the cat removes these substances, keeping her fur shiny, soft and healthy. Grooming is also a coping mechanism for cats, and it helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
Cleaning after being petted may also indicate that your cat is feeling satisfied and content. Petting and affectionate interactions with humans can create a calming effect on cats. By grooming herself after being petted, the cat may be prolonging the pleasant experience and expressing her contentment.
4. Fur Alignment
Another reason why cats clean themselves after being petted is to restore the natural alignment of their fur. Petting can disturb the natural alignment of the fur, and the cat responds by licking and smoothing it out. Straightening out their fur helps cats to maintain the insulating properties of their coat, which keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Finally, cleaning after being petted may be a sign of affection from the cat. Cats are social animals that bond with their owners through various behaviours, such as head-butting, purring, and rubbing against their legs. Licking and grooming themselves may be a way for the cat to show her appreciation for the attention and love she receives from her owners.
Cats clean themselves after being petted for various reasons. From maintaining their cleanliness to marking their territory and expressing their satisfaction, grooming is an essential behaviour in a cat’s daily routine. So, the next time your furry friend starts cleaning herself after you pet her, you know it’s just her natural instincts and a sign that you have indeed made her happy.
Understanding these cute and endearing behaviours of our feline friends helps us connect better with them and strengthens our bond.