Even though most cats are very good at taking care of themselves, they do need some grooming from time to time. This can be an enjoyable time for both your pet cat and for you as well. Grooming cats also gives you the chance to look for any health issues and skin problems.
What are the best ways to groom cats?
There are 3 general needs that cats have when it comes to grooming:
- Nail trimming
The frequency of brushing your cat’s hair will depend on the length of it. Cats with short hair will only need to be brushed once a week, but, cats with long hair can be brushed every day. For this, you will need a good brush and comb. Your local vet clinic will be able to advise on the best kind for your cat.
It is best to start grooming cats when they are relatively young. This way they can get used to the experience and associated it with something pleasurable. However, if your cat starts getting stressed during the grooming, then it is best to stop and try when he or she calms down. But, in general, cats like to be brushed.
If you notice knots and tangles while brushing, try to hold the hair just below the knot and this will help you to avoid pulling on the hair.
Most cats do a good job at keeping themselves clean. However, from time to time it’s necessary to bathe cats, especially long-haired cats. Your vet will be able to tell you the best kind of cat shampoo to use.
Of course, cats are notorious for not liking to get wet; therefore bath time can be a stressful time for you and your cat. However, there are steps you can take to make the task easier and you may want to ask some to help!
Here’s what to do:
- Brush out any knots and tangles.
- Before you bring your cat into the bathroom, fill the bath with enough warm water to reach just below your cat’s belly.
- Bring in your cat and make sure to provide comfort and reassurance.
- Gently lower your cat into the water.
- Don’t try to submerge your cat or pour water on his or her head. Instead, use a wet flannel or cup to dampen the fur.
- Your cat may not like this, but that is completely normal.
- Gently rub in some shampoo and massage through the fur, taking care to avoid the eyes, face, and ears.
- Rinse thoroughly. You can use a detachable showerhead, but keep this as close as you can to your cat’s body so there is no splashing.
- Wrap your cat in a warm towel and dry the fur as much as you can. Never use a hairdryer to dry your cat.
Bathing your cat every so often can make sure that you keep your cat’s fur in good condition.
It is also good to start clipping your cat’s nails from an early age. You may need to spend a couple of weeks just massaging and gently squeezing your cat’s paws before you start clipping. This will help your cat get used to nail trimming.
Always make sure not to clip away too much of the nail – only clip the white part of the nail. The pink part is the quick and it is just as painful for cats as it is for humans if this part is cut. The ASPCA do not advise declawing cats for the benefit of their owners.
If you are concerned about the best way to trim nails, or any aspect of cat grooming, then you local vet will be able to demonstrate how to do this properly.