Groom a Cat? Until I started working in a vet clinic, I though cats groomed themselves. It turns out that felines get groomed just as often as canines do. Cat owners are as adamant about keeping their fur-friends looking and feeling great as much as any other pet owner. Check out these awesome accessories for cat lovers.
Grooming is about more than just keeping your cat looking good. Grooming your cat on a regular basis will help you to keep an eye on their overall health including their skin and coat. Add these essential grooming tools for the best results.
Moreover, grooming your cat may assist in preventing feline digestive problems that can develop from hairballs.
Easily Groom A Cat
Groom A Cat – Step #1: Get Your Cat Relaxed And Used To Being Handled
Your feline will not be happy if you just snatch her up one day and commence to grooming. If you have not groomed your cat before the outcome is likely to be unpleasant for the both of you.
Instead, slowly accustom the cat to the process of grooming. You want your pet to remember grooming sessions in a positive way. With time, she will become accustomed to the process, and will likely come to enjoy it.
Schedule a time when the cat is relaxed and content – after exercise or eating, perhaps. Then start with short grooming sessions of maybe 5 to 10 minutes. Pet and praise her as you are grooming. If the cat begins to show signs that it is irritated by the whole process, then stop for now. You can try it again later.
Groom A Cat – Step #2: Remove The Mats – Carefully!
This is not as easy as it sounds. You want to be careful not to pull her skin, or you may get bit or scratched. If you can find a helper to keep the cat distracted while you clip or comb the mats away, the easier the job will be.
Start by getting a fine-toothed comb and placing it between the mat and the skin. As quickly as you are able, use scissors to clip off the mat. You may consider grooming in a room with the door shut, so she has nowhere to go.
If the cat becomes agitated and starts hissing and growling you should take a break and try again when she is in a calm state.
If the mat is small and not too tight, you may be able to comb it away. Start at the ends, and use a brush. Make sure to hold the skin firmly, so it does not get pulled, or you may now have a cat that hates grooming.
Groom A Cat – Step #3: Trim The Nails
Every pet is different in their tolerance level of having their feet touched. You will need to assess your cat’s tolerance and plan the nail trim accordingly.
Start by gently pressing on the top of the foot and pad underneath so the claws extend.
Using a high-quality nail trimmer, cut off the tip of each nail. Be careful not to nick the quick (vein) or it will bleed and your cat will not be happy. If you do accidentally cut into this pink area, you can apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
Groom A Cat – Step #4: Bathe Your Cat
Always use a mild shampoo that is safe when you groom a cat. If you place a rubber mat in the sink or tub, your cat will have a more secure footing and will feel more comfortable.
Fill the tub or sink with 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water and gently place your cat in the water. A spray hose is an excellent way to get the cat thoroughly wet. Make sure not to spray water directly into her eyes, nose or ears. A plastic pitcher or cup will work if you do not have a spray hose.
Gently massage in the shampoo starting at the head and working down to the tail. It is important to rinse thoroughly as any residue may cause skin irritation. Dry your cat with a towel, as most cats do not like the blow dryer.
Groom A Cat – Step #5: Brush Your Cat
Regular brushing offers benefits such as removing dead hair and dirt. It can also help reduce the amount of shedding. By brushing two times per week, you can also help prevent mats and tangles. However, do it right, or you’ll end up with a crabby kitty on your hands!
Gently brush in the direction of the hair’s natural grain. Moreover, be extra gentle around the chest and belly. You may even use a toothbrush to brush around the cat’s face.
Groom a cat with short hair: Begin brushing with a metal comb with fine teeth starting at the head and working your way to the tip of the tail. Watch for fleas and ticks. Switch to a soft bristle or rubber brush to help remove any loose hair.
Remember, if your cat seems irritated at any point, stop and resume at a later time. You do not want to associate grooming with being a negative experience.
Groom a cat with long hair: Start with a wide-toothed comb to remove any debris that may be lingering in the cat’s coat. Follow up with a wire or bristle brush to remove the loose hair. If you find any mats, follow the steps above.
Above all, grooming should be an enjoyable, bonding experience for you and your feline. If either of you find the process tedious or unpleasant, you may want to consider a professional groomer (they get paid to endure such unpleasantries).