Dear Christopher Cat
Linus, my 2-year-old cat, doesn’t groom himself, so he has dandruff and always seems dirty. Any tips on how I can encourage better hygiene?
Self-grooming is instinctive in us cats, so when we don’t groom ourselves, it’s time to ask the veterinarian to search for a medical reason.
I’m getting old, and my arthritic spine makes my back hurt. It’s physically difficult for me to curl around, so I can’t do a very good job of grooming my lower back.
Overweight cats have the same problem. If Linus is plumper than he should be, his bulk may prevent him from getting to his back end.
We cats also stop grooming when we have kidney problems, thyroid disease or various other internal abnormalities. So it’s important to ask your veterinarian to run some lab work to determine whether Linus has an unrecognized but treatable condition.
Mom gives me a hand with grooming by brushing and combing me daily. A fine-toothed flea comb does a good job of removing my dandruff.
You might also consider giving Linus an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. It may improve the health of his skin and, if his back is tender or his joints stiff, it may ease his discomfort.