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Do strays groom themselves?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I read somewhere once that strays and feral cats don't groom themselves. Is this true? Marshmallow's coat was a matted, dirty, and full of burrs when we brought him home. Now that he lives with us, he is the most well-groomed cat in the household. He can't get too dirty in the house, but he spends the most time on his personal appearance.
post #2 of 5
Not at all. I have watched the feral kittens start to groom as soon as they are done eating, just as a house cat would.

A sick or depressed cat will stop grooming itself, I'm thinking you brought Marshmallow home just in the nick of time.
post #3 of 5
Dusty was matted too when she first adopted us. We figured she had been homeless for several months. She's never had a mat since.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information! I've wondered about that since I read it.
post #5 of 5
I Can't speak from much experience with feral and stray cats, but the behavior to self-groom using tongue and paws on the fur is hard wired in. Aya just started doing it spontaneously a few weeks after I rescued her off the street. Since she had been with me since 4w/o she couldn't have picked that behavior up from mom.

I have notice that cats tend to groom more when they are comfortable. She won't do it when their stressed or scared, unless its the kind of OCD lick your fur off thing. If the cat is unsocialized it is probably stressed when people are around nosing into its business, and you won't see it groom much.
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