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Displacement grooming is a subset of displacement activity, where an animal that is stuck between contrasting urges or instincts engages in grooming.

Although I am sure that many animals practice displacement grooming, it is exemplified in the common house cat. A cat's practice of washing itself after an embarrassing or annoying situation is very familiar.

Displacement grooming (especially in cats) is a particularly humorous behavior to me, because it shows a very anthropomorphic self-consciousness, although it is impossible to know if a cat really has the same subjective motivations for displacement grooming as an embarrassed person would.


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