Cat Grooming from A to Z: Best Recommendations
10 min read
Want your cat to stay healthy and happy at all times? If so, learning more about cat grooming is a must. In fact, not many people realize that we should help our feline friends to maintain grooming habits as much as we do ourselves. Frequent brushing, bathing, and nail care are some of the most essential things our cats should get from us day after day.
And this is where most cat owners face problems. How often should you brush your cat? And what shampoo to use during bathing? What hairbrush will be suitable for your cat’s fur length? To give you the answers to these and other questions, we’ve gathered a full set of grooming tips for cat owners. Check them out to learn all you need.
A comprehensive guide to your cat’s grooming
Nutrition affects the skin and fur of a cat but proper grooming is also required.
Although cats seem to require low maintenance, it’s not entirely so. In fact, the condition of your cat’s fur, skin, nails, and teeth are the best indicators of its wellbeing and health. For the most part, it’s your cat’s daily nutrition that greatly affects the texture of the cat’s fur and the condition of its teeth and skin. But frequent grooming and care are also an important consideration.
Your cat’s coat should always be clean and free from any knots or tangles and there are lots of other things you should keep in mind to ensure that your pet is healthy and well-groomed.
What are these things? Let’s find out.
Why proper grooming and regular checkups are important
Ontime grooming can prevent problems with fur and skin.
Cats can greatly benefit from proper grooming. If you want your cat to be healthy from head to tail, the first thing you should do is to develop the right grooming routine to suit your cat’s needs.
Besides, you shouldn’t ignore the need for regular veterinary checkups which should be conducted every six months or at least once a year. During these checkups, your vet doctor will explain how your cat is best to be groomed and taken care of. Everything here depends on the specific needs of your pet as well as its breed and other factors.
In addition, you might want to check your cat over on your own during each grooming session or at least once a week. You can also do it when your cat hops over your lap for a bit of scratch or at any other suitable moment during your life together.
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Why is it necessary? Simply put, it will let you identify any health problems before it’s too late so make sure you do frequent checks by yourself.
Be watchful to such problems as:
- Bumps or lumps
- Uncommon swelling
- Hair loss
- Stiffness or pain, etc.
All these things can be dangerous signs that might indicate serious health problems.
Grooming schedule: How often should you groom your cat?
The brushing and grooming routine should be regular to make sure your cat feels good and doesn't have to face any problems with fur.
Most cats require frequent brushing that you should perform on a regular basis to remove any knots or tangles in your cat’s fur. What’s more, it will let you keep your cat’s furry coat free from any debris or dirt. And finally, regular brushing of your cat will let your kitty enjoy long and silky hair without tangles or other problems. And even if your cat has short hair, regular brushing is still an important factor contributing to your pet’s wellbeing and happy life.
How often should you do it? If your cat has long hair, you might need to take care of its grooming on a daily basis. Among other benefits, it will help to reduce the amount of hairballs your cat might swallow when grooming itself with a tongue.
Moreover, everyday brushing of your cat’s coat will help you to prevent or at least minimize the problem of shedding. In any case, it’s important to ensure that your cat’s coat is free from clumps or other imperfections. Among other benefits, it will give you greater chances to detect any problems on the sensitive parts of your kitty’s body.
Brushing tips for cat owners
With a few tips and tricks, you can turn the cat grooming sessions into more comfortable or even fun procedures for both parties. Just make sure you do everything slowly and accurately. If your cat doesn’t show obedience when you approach it with a brush, don’t force it but start the grooming session at some other time of the day.
Tips for cats with long fur:
- If your pet is a long-haired type, you might need to brush it over day after day.
- Start from legs and belly and remove any unwanted tangles you encounter on your way.
- After that, use a softer brush and move it up and down your cat’s body.
- Finish the procedure by brushing the tail gently and gradually.
Tips for short-haired cats:
- If your cat has short-haired fur, you may brush it only one time per week. There is no need for more frequent brushing sessions.
- Begin the procedure with a hard comb and start to brush the cat from head to tail.
- After a while, switch to a softer brush and remove any unwanted hair from the cat’s fur.
- Also, be sure you move gently when you’re brushing your cat’s belly.
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- Try to ensure you develop the grooming schedule as early as possible when your cat is still young. This will allow your kitty to get used to it.
- Start the procedure with the back of the comb to let your kitty get used to it.
- Use the right combs and brushes depending on how long the cat’s fur is. Also, try to make your cat more comfortable with the procedure by using different brushes at different times. First, use softer combs and then move on to metal ones to achieve better results.
Finally, make sure your cat doesn’t feel any discomfort and use some toys or treats to keep it interested in grooming. You may also give it some tasty foods after you‘re done.
Bathing your cat correctly
The use of self-grooming instruments by the cat is not enough - there should be regular bathing procedures.
Of course, cats have self-grooming instruments of their own – teeth and tongues. However, as a rule, these self-cleaning tools aren’t sufficient. Sometimes our feline friends need a bit of help from their owners and bathing is the best way to keep your cat’s coat clean at all times.
Cleaning your cat’s coat regularly is just as important as brushing it. When cats get dirty or when they end up getting in something smelly, it’s always necessary to give them a proper bath. Try to ensure you keep in mind the next considerations when bathing your pet:
1. Keep the required tools at hand
To make sure the cleaning procedure goes smoothly, you need to do some preparatory work before giving your cat a good wash. The tools you’ll need to include the next things:
- Shampoo for cats
- Several cloths or towels
- Brush (for cats with longer fur)
- Some kind of container to rinse your cat properly
- Anti-slipping material like a cloth to put in the bathing tub.
2. Bathe your cat regularly
As a rule, older and healthier cats are skilled groomers of their own. That’s why the frequency of bathing in your particular case would depend on such factors as:
- Your cat’s age
- It's a way of life
- Existing health issues
If your cat suffers from allergic reactions, frequent bathing would be a must. If its health doesn’t require any medical attention, you may bathe it not very often or only when there is such need.
3. Use the right shampoo
Some types of such shampoos are also intended for dealing with the most prevalent cat’s problems like shedding, fleas or other issues. That’s exactly why one of them can become the best choice for your cat’s bathing session. At long last, you can always ask your vet doctor which shampoo is suitable for your cat specifically.
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However, you should never use shampoos for humans to remove dirt from your cat’s coat. They are simply not suitable for cat’s fur and even baby shampoos aren’t a good idea for this purpose. A pet-friendly shampoo with a conditioner would be a much better choice. The most important rule is to use a shampoo that is developed for cats in particular.
Tips for effective bathing of your cat
- Identify how often your cat needs to be bathed and how effectively it can clean itself on its own.
- Check the water temperature in advance.
- Talk to your cat during bathing to let it calm down.
- Make sure you leave it in a warm enough place to dry.
- Gather the necessary bathing tools in advance and prepare everything you’ll need beforehand to ensure that your cat spends as little time in the water as possible.
- Brush your cat’s fur a little before giving it a bath to remove debris and dirt.
- Do everything accurately, gently and patiently.
Detecting problems with ears, nose, and eyes
Check over your cat’s ears, nose and eyes as frequently as you can. It’s better to do it during each grooming session to detect any problems and deal with them timely. Debris in the eyes, bleeding or too much wax in the ears could become the major sources of inflammation. Any redness may also be a worrisome symptom. If these or other problems occur, make sure you consult the vet specialist ASAP.
Dental care: Breathing, gums, and teeth
A completely healthy cat usually has clean teeth and its breath is never smelly. If, however, there are any problems in the mouth of your cat, it might be necessary to do a vet checkup. A negative sign is a bad odor coming from your cat’s mouth. To avoid such problems, make sure you brush your cat’s teeth regularly and use only cat-friendly toothpaste for this purpose.
Well-groomed paws: What should you know about nail care?
Cutting your cat’s nails is an important procedure because it protects your cat from possible injuries and at the same time, doesn’t allow it to damage furniture.
But does your cat run away when you approach it with clippers? Follow the next tips to make your cat calm down during the nail clipping session:
- Handle your cat’s paws with care and do everything gently.
- When you are looking for a nail clipping device, choose a high-quality one and make sure it is of the right size.
- Be attentive to any unfavorable signs in your cat’s behavior like folding back or showing too much resistance. Wait until your cat feels more comfortable and relaxed again.
- Keep in mind that nail clippers for cats and dogs aren’t identical so be sure to choose the ones that are suitable for cats in particular.
- Start the trimming routine when your kitty is still young to let your pet get used to the process.
Note: You can always ask your vet doctor on how to approach your cat with nail clippers in the easiest way and how to cut its nails accurately without causing any harm to your cat’s paws.
Skin issues: How grooming can help
You can easily evaluate your cat’s state of health if you look at the condition of its fur and skin. If your kitty scratches itself too often, it might be high time to visit a vet doctor. Wounds, unhealthy lifestyle and parasites – all these things may also be a sign of improper grooming and they may negatively influence your cat’s skin condition and general health.
To prevent these problems, make sure you take good care of your cat’s nutrition and maintain proper grooming routine. This way, you won’t need to see the veterinarian too often and your cat will hardly develop any serious skin problems.
A grooming session can be truly enjoyable and even fun for the cat and you.
If all these things seem too difficult, don’t worry – cat grooming sessions can be rather enjoyable for both you and your kitty as long as you use the right approach and do everything with pleasure. Remember that a clean and tidy cat is a happy one so make sure you trim its nails regularly, brush its coat every day, check if its ears and eyes are in order and give it a wash every so often.
If you pay enough attention to your cat’s grooming, it will eventually pay back and you’ll soon realize that taking care of your cat’s health is not very difficult. That’s not to mention that with good care and proper grooming, the need for frequent vet checkups will be reduced to a minimum.
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