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Myth BUSTER

This is a quote from a “fact” sheet provided to pre-vet students at an educational facility in SC:
“Cats shed twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. Inside cats tend to shed more often due to artificial heat and light. Grooming can lessen the risk of hairballs. Cats constantly groom themselves [sic] taking in all of the hair that their tongue is removing. Longhaired cats can get tangles and can become severely matted, [sic] if not properly groomed. Cats also benefit from grooming by having the opportunity to be checked for parasites and skin disorders. Cats should see a groomer 2-3 times a year.”

If I were allowed to rewrite this, I would reword it the following way:
Even though seasonal changes can affect shedding cycles, cats shed throughout the year. Shedding is more noticeable with indoor cats due to the fact that the shed hair infiltrates the living environment and creates many problems for cat owners.
Regular professional grooming by a knowledgeable cat groomer will lessen the shedding problems as well as reduce the risk of hairballs.
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not groom themselves. Rather, they lick themselves. Constantly. While doing so, they ingest large amounts of their own hair which later must be regurgitated in the form of a hairball. Hairballs are unpleasant enough, but can also be life threatening when blockage of an intestine occurs. In addition, when cats lick themselves, they are covered in saliva and dander.
Both longhair and shorthair breeds of cat can get tangles in the coat. If not removed in a timely manner, tangles become mats and eventually form a large, hard pelt of matted hair that covers the cat’s body and pulls harshly on its skin, sometimes creating open, infected sores.
Regular professional grooming provides the added benefit of making sure no parasites or skin disorders are present. Should parasites or skin problems be found, early intervention care by a veterinarian can be sought, thus increasing the likelihood of recovery as well as providing immediate relief for the cat. Cats should be groomed at least 8 times per year, on average, with grooming appointments scheduled roughly every 6 weeks.

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