The Ultimate Guide to Cat Grooming
Cats are adorable companions and most of the time; they appear very clean, probably because they use natural mechanisms to groom themselves but don’t allow those cute purrs to deceive you. Grooming your cat from top to toe once in a while is very much recommended, not just to keep the pet clean but also for the benefit of the pet owner.
Perform routine inspection on your cat whenever you are petting it, particularly, the ears, nose, claws, mouth, coat and other relevant parts of the body. That way, it would be easy to detect any anomaly and know the right time to groom your furry companion. Apparently, most cats hate bathing because of the water involved but there are several other means to go about grooming your cat without necessarily pouring water on them. Keep reading to get all the information you need on the ultimate guide to cat grooming but first, how important is it to groom your cat?
The Importance Of Cat Grooming
As aforementioned, cats are self groomers, obsessive ones at that. They spend a lot of time every day, licking their body clean which makes them feel good. However, this is not all your cat needs to stay healthy and no matter how flexible a cat is, there are places it can’t reach while self-grooming on its own. This is why it is important to help them groom some more by using specific tools to clean them.
Removing dirt and debris out of your feline friend’s coat makes them more comfortable, as well as prevents further matting. Grooming also helps replenish their skin and coat by getting rid of foreign bodies that may cause skin diseases or any form of damage.
Also, during the shedding season, grooming your cat becomes very important to keep the house clean, as well as provide the most comfort for your cat. Grooming requirements are usually more for long-haired and medium-haired cats because they shed more hair. Thus, it is generally recommended to groom long-haired and medium-haired cats at least once a day while the short-haired cats can go a week or more before grooming. Overall, it is important to groom your cat if you want your house to be free of hairballs and your pet to live a healthy life.
Cat Grooming Tools
While cats have a natural tendency to clean themselves, they require assistance once in a while and with these tools, you can help your feline companion to live a happy and healthy life.
- Wet cat wipes
Because cats don’t really require a complete bath, wet wipes for cats are designed to keep them fresh and clean. The wipes are pre-moistened and laced with Hawaiian Awapuhi extract, aloe vera and vitamin E to generally nourish the coat while wiping off dirt, saliva residue and dander from the body. Use wet cat wipes as an alternative to bathing with water.
- Mat Removing Comb
Though your cat will mostly remove mats from its fur while self-grooming, it will surely miss some spots. Besides, even though they stretch a lot, cats can’t reach some parts of their body which is why you need to help them with the mat removing comb. The mat removing comb is required to remove all tangled hair on your cat’s coat.
- Massage Glove
If your cat doesn’t like brushes, a massage glove can be an alternative. The glove feels like natural grooming to cats as it reminds them of being licked as a kitten. It also provides an avenue to bond with your pet while brushing through their coat.
- Pet Nail Clippers
Nail clippers for pets are recommended to trim down the claws of your cat every now and then. Amazingly, these clippers have a quick sensor safety guard which ensures you don’t clip sensitive nerves by accident while grooming your cat. By using nail clippers, you cut down on the scratches you might get from your cat, as well as save the cat from hurting itself.
It is not recommended to use human shampoo on cats as they might not be compatible with their coat. Depending on your cat’s needs, there are a lot of options to pick from when choosing the best shampoo for your cat. There are shampoos for cats with allergies, dandruff, fleas and itchy coat.
Cats love the feel of being wrapped in a clean towel after a bath. A bath towel is essential as a grooming tool for your cat, to keep it dry and happy after a bath.
- Cat Grooming Post/Arch
Cats are generally obsessed with grooming and don’t wait around for their owners to do it. Besides, you may not always be available to brush them, thus, the grooming post or arch becomes necessary. These grooming tools are in the form of a standing brush that can just be placed where the cat can easily have access. It rubs its body against the rubber or boar bristles and in the process, loose hair falls off, the cat gets a massage as well and you are saved from wrist aches that could follow the exercise of grooming your cat.
- Waterless Cat Shampoo
Your cat can get a bath without getting wet. Safe and very effective, a waterless cat bath keeps your cat fresh and smelling good.
- The FURminator
Arguably the best grooming tool if shedding is the problem, the FURmintator works on your cat’s coat to remove loose hair without hurting it. When done on a regular basis, the FURminator reduces shedding by up to 90%, saving you the trouble of dealing with hair on your furniture and all over the house.
- Cat Dental Kit
Their teeth may appear white and clean but oral hygiene needs to be encouraged in cats. Your cat’s teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week. Additionally, a professional should perform dental cleaning on your cat at least once a year.
How To Groom A Cat
From brushing to bathing or cutting the nails, grooming your cat from head to toe is not always fun and requires patience. Check out these tips that may come in handy during your cat’s next grooming session. First of all, it’s always good to catch them young, start grooming when they’re young. This way, your cat will grow up to accept grooming as a daily routine.
Try a variety of combs and brushes, better to start with soft ones to make your cat comfortable with brushing. Also, choose a brush that is appropriate for the length of your cat’s coat for better results. Cats with medium or long hair can’t use the same brush or comb with short-haired cats. Thus, even if you start with a soft brush for your cat, you can work your way to a harder one for the best result.
Before grooming your cat, make sure you are in a quiet room devoid of distractions like kids or other animals running around. Begin the process by gently stroking to get your cat in the mood, they love being stroked. Subsequently, use the back of the brush first before turning to the bristles.
Human toothbrushes play a huge role in grooming your cat but definitely not to brush the teeth. Instead, it can be used to reach areas that regular grooming brushes can enter, for instance, the spots around the ears. Additionally, nail clippers can be used to trim down the nails. Treats and positive rewards at the end of each grooming session will make your cat look forward to the next one. This will get your feline friend to associate grooming with treats.
How To Give Your Cat A Water Bath
If cats could talk, they would probably tell pet owners to stop submerging them in water in the name of baths. These feline fellows generally dislike bathing and that is why other means of grooming are encouraged. Nevertheless, while they clean themselves with tongue and teeth most of the time, bathing becomes necessary when your cat’s coat touches something dirty or sticky.
To ensure a stress-free bath, gather the right supplies before you start. If you are giving your cat a water bath, a cleansing and deodorizing shampoo made with natural ingredients is the best. Other options to choose from include flea control shampoo, conditioning shampoo and hair-shedding shampoo. Do not use your personal shampoo to wash your cat or you may end up with a cat with dry and unpleasant skin. Notably, flea and tick control shampoo for dogs are different and when used on cats, it may pose serious danger to the animal.
When you have gathered the supplies for bathing your cat, begin by brushing off any dirt on the fur before putting it in a bath or sink filled with warm water. Rub cat shampoo on the body or just the area you wish to wash and rub gently. Do not apply shampoo or pour water on the head but other parts of the body can be washed with water. After lathering the shampoo to your satisfaction, use a jug to pour warm water to rinse the cat and apply conditioner if you are using it. Wash the conditioner off thoroughly to prevent your cat from swallowing the residue the next time it licks itself. To wash the head, a wet towel can be used to wipe off any dirt.
When the bath is over, place your cat on a towel and use it to rub them dry. A hairdryer might not be a wise option to dry your cat because the noise can be upsetting to the animal.
In cases where your cat dislikes bathing, consult a professional to do it or occasionally use cat bath wipes as an alternative. Look out for wipes with natural ingredients to avoid allergies on your cat and don’t use the cat wipes too often as it might cause dry skin on the cat.
- Get all the bathing supplies ready before pouring water on your cat. That way, they spend less time in the water.
- Ensure the water is warm, not cold, not hot either.
- You can gently talk to your cat while giving it a bath – this keeps it calm.
- Don’t use a hairdryer unless your cat is comfortable around it.
- Keep your cat warm after a bath.
- Start bathing your cat from kitten stage to allow it to get used to the water bath.
- Exercise patience while bathing your cat because it’s never an easy task but totally worth it in the end.
Benefits Of Cat Grooming
Both cat and pet owners have a lot to benefit from cat grooming some of which are listed below.
- To get rid of the sharp claws
Your cat’s claws, especially the sharp points, should be trimmed off once in a while. With the sharp claws gone, you can easily bond with your cat without fear of getting a scratch. It also cuts down on damage to your furniture when the cat is playing around the house. Your cat also benefits from grooming because if the sharp ends are cut off, it saves the animal from having sore, broken claws, which can be caused by a sharp tip getting caught somewhere.
- Fewer mats
Cat grooming reduces the amount of tangled hair on your cat and through the process of brushing the fur, natural oils are released. Your cat is not only mat-free after grooming, but it also walks away with a moisturized fur.
- Reduced shedding
Using a FURminnator and other grooming tools and methods can go a long way in cutting down on hair shedding around the house. A well-groomed cat doesn’t shed much hair as the coat is healthy and well taken care of. It also saves the owner the stress of vacuuming cat hair off the floor and furniture.
- Makes it easy to spot skin parasites or diseases
When grooming your cat, pay attention to the coat and the cat’s reaction to certain things. This might reveal things that are hidden under the cat’s coat. Fleas, ticks and other parasites are not easily seen as they are tiny in nature but cat grooming often brings them to the fore.