Looking Good Feeling Great - Grooming for your Cat
It is important to keep your cat looking healthy through regular grooming. It not only makes them feel great, it also helps strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Although cats do groom themselves, they also need a helping hand to stay healthy and happy. Regular grooming ensures your cat’s coat is in top condition, helps to prevent hairballs and is also a good opportunity to check for any skin irritations or signs of fleas. Initially you may have to be patient with your cat until you get into an established weekly routine of grooming.
Grooming regularly not only ensures your cat’s coat is in top condition, it is also a good opportunity to check for any skin irritations or signs of fleas.
For long haired breeds it is recommended that they are brushed daily for 10 – 30 minutes and for short haired 2-3 times a week. Not only will your cat’s coat shed less, this will prevent hairballs from occurring as often and reduce any flea infestations.
Choosing the correct equipment will not only prevent adverse reactions and injury, but will make the experience far easier and more pleasurable for both your cat and you.
Combing & Brushing
For shorthaired breeds use a stiff brush or a narrower tooth comb and for longer haired cats use a wider tooth comb.
Start off at the head and comb down your cat’s body following the direction of the hair, combing small sections at a time.
Gently pull any mats apart being careful not to hurt your cat. Should you come across some troublesome areas try a de-matting comb, slicker or rake or alternatively trim it off with scissors. Then move onto pay special attention to behind the ears, on the rump and under the legs. Comb again with a narrower tooth comb until you feel satisfied that there are no more mats.
Shedding blades and stripping knifes are good for trimming down very thick coats.
Very fine combs are usually referred to as flea combs and this is an essential tool for finding and combing out fleas and their eggs.
Once the coat has been combed, continue your grooming routine by brushing through, again starting at the neck. Regular brushing stimulates the skin and helps distribute the natural oils that produce a healthy shiny coat. Again, there are lots of products available but generally, the harder the brush the more suitable for longer haired breeds.
It is recommended that your cat’s claws are clipped every 2 weeks if they spend a lot of time indoors, otherwise you may find your furniture being used as a scratch post. A scratch post is a good investment for an indoor cat.
Only use cat nail clippers, as other clippers may cause the nail to split.
Holding your cat on your lap, facing away from you, squeeze the toes between your forefinger and thumb carefully clip the claw.
Be sure to avoid the ‘quick’, a blood vessel inside the nail, as this will bleed and can be very painful for your cat. If this does happen apply ‘blood stopper’ to the nail to stop it from bleeding.
If you do not feel confident to trim your cat’s claws, then arrange an appointment at your local grooming parlour or veterinary surgery.
Once you have finished brushing and combing your cat the next step would be to bathe it. Generally speaking, cats do not need to be bathed frequently, but this can often be recommended if some one in the house suffers from pet allergies. Again, only ever use products developed for cats, other shampoos may cause irritation as cats can be very sensitive.
Before starting to bathe your cat, ensure you have everything to hand, such as your shampoo, towel etc.
When bathing your cat place a rubber mat on the bottom of a waist high sink or basin. Gently and slowly rinse your cat in water that’s close to its own body temperature (101.4 degrees)
Apply a small amount of cat shampoo and lather your cat gently, avoiding the eyes and ears. Rinse thoroughly, even a small amount of residue will cause your cat to froth at the mouth when they lick them self. Finally, wrap the towel around them and dry as much as possible or use a pet hairdryer.
Bathing your cat too frequently can cause the coat to soften and reduce its insulating abilities and waterproofing qualities. Try using a scented spray to eliminate undesirable odours or bathing wipes which are a quicker and simpler way to clean cats in between bathing and a lot less stressful for both you and your cat.