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Finally, one of my few short videos... of my favorite cheetah, Gabriel, showing his grooming ritual in slow motion.  I dubbed over his Harley Davidson loud deep purrs over the top of the video.

One day I will break the code as to why most all cats love grooming and especially these wild ones.  Cheetahs and leopards just love it.  

Grooming serves many PURRposes.  It basically spreads a cat's scent on its friend to announce to others that might smell it that YOU belong to them and they are proud of you carrying their scent.  It is a bonding ritual as well.  It helps maintain friendships.

In the wild, grooming helps individuals and other members of the coalition or family members to maintain neatness; cleaning bits of debris, blood, guts from a kill.  It combs the fur to maintain its sleek form and untie potential knots.  With the raspy spines that cover their tongues, grooming helps shed fur in summer weather.

I've determined grooming is pleasurable to cats; especially cheetahs and leopards.  ALL of them love grooming and some even get possessive over it, like prey.  It's addictive to them and why I allow them to do it sparingly, even though it hurts like hell.  My best guess is there some stimulation of the Jacobson's organ in some manner.  The Jacobson's organ is located just under the front top pallat of their mouths.  It's normally used to pick up scents for breeding purposes, but I've seen cheetahs sniff something interesting and make the Flehming response in their face.

Flehmen response is where cats spread their lips, open their mouths and gather as much of the scent particles in their mouth by allowing the smell to waft over their Jacobson's organ.  It is how a male cheetah knows if a female is in "heat".  They sniff pee and make their 'funny faces' or Flehmen response.

Some think the taste of your skin is what attracts cats to groom you, but they prefer the hairy bits of your scalp over skin... if given a choice.  They love combing your hair and some are marathon groomers like Gbariel and others who can groom for 15 minutes or more straight.  And Gabriel won't groom women.  Others think it's predatory, like when they break your skin with their sharp spines on their tongue, but even when I've bled from their grooming, they don't react any differently when smelling or tasting it.  I don't even know I'm bleeding becasue it's like a razor burn where just the surface of the skin is cut.

It's guess work for me now but one day I'll have more of a scientific explanation as to why grooming is pleasurable to cats.  Nature has made it so.  In their mind, grooming is very important... and it is.

Please like this video if you like it ;)

Thanks for watching!

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"Bonding With The World--- One Animal At A Time"  Dolph C. Volker

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a euphoric experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation. 

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