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Cat Grooming: Essential Tips & Techniques
Cat Grooming

Cat Grooming: Essential Tips & Techniques

As a cat owner, you must know how felines love to groom themselves, and with all that licking and grooming their fur and coat, you would think your cat has it all under control. Well, you might still want to lend a hand in your cat's grooming to wipe away all the stubborn dirt and grease from their fur and make them look their best. 

For a proper cat haircut, you may want to visit a professional groomer. However, you can bathe, brush, trim claws, and clean your cat’s ears, all of it at home. The article provides insights on best grooming practices to guide you to successful grooming sessions.

The Benefits of Cat Grooming

Grooming is essential in maintaining your feline companion’s skin and coat health. It also serves many other mental and physical benefits:

  • Reduces the hairballs 

  • Stimulates circulation

  • Improves the muscle tone

  • Removes parasites 

  • Provides proper insulation by smoothing down the fur

Don’t Cats Groom Themselves?

Cats usually groom themselves and spend almost half their waking hours cleaning their fur and coats. Your feline’s tongues have many tiny bristles that help brush away dirt and loose fur from their coats. However, cats often swallow strands of hair during self-grooming, so you may need to groom your cat to help reduce the hairballs. 

When You Should Help With Cat Grooming

If you want cat grooming to be a part of your cat’s routine, you must start early because as cats mature, stiffness makes it difficult for them to reach some areas. Also, curiosity in kittens often lands them in situations where they get sticky and dirty, so you may have to lend a hand in cleaning them up. Moreover, cats with long hair can have matted fur, which can be uncomfortable and even painful, so you may have to help your cat detangle their hair. 

How to Groom a Cat?

Grooming a cat depends on the breed of the cat and their hair type. For smooth and successful grooming sessions, make sure you have all the correct equipment and a grooming area. 

Skin and Fur Care

Bathing

Bathing your cat becomes essential when they are filthy or put themselves in something smelly or sticky. Top tips for a successful bathing session:

  • Try to bathe them when they are tired or play with your cat before giving them a bath because then there will not be extreme behavior.

  • Brush their hair before the bath to remove any loose hair.

  • Trim your cat’s nails before bathing for your protection.

  • Place some cotton in their ear to keep the water out.

Brushing

Brushing your cat helps remove dirt and dead hair from their coat as well as skin flakes. It also stimulates blood circulation. Here is how to brush your cat’s hair according to their hair type.

  • For short-haired cats: Use a metal comb and brush all over their body in the direction the coat grows, including the chest and abdomen. Carefully detangle the hair and remove dead hair.

  • For long-haired cats: Long-haired cats require more brushing sessions than short-haired ones because they shed throughout the year. Comb the abdomen and legs first, brush the fur upward toward the head and neck fur toward the chin. Finally, part the tail hair from the middle and gently brush both sides. Also, you can get your cat haircuts to make them look cute. 

Attention to the skin and coat condition

A cat’s skin indicates their overall health, so before brushing, pay special attention to their skin and coat condition. Run your hands along their body to check hidden tangles, wounds, and bumps. 

Parasites, allergies, intensive shedding, and other problems

If your cat is scratching, licking, or chewing excessively, it can be due to skin problems, which can be caused by external parasites, allergies, seasonal changes, or stress. Also, intensive shedding can be due to an underlying health issue and should be examined by your veterinarian. 

Dental Care

Your cat’s dental care is as crucial as skin and fur care. Introducing teeth cleaning can be tricky, but if you start early, you can get your cat like teeth brushing. Start with getting them used to teeth brushing with your finger or cotton swab. After a while, put a little cat's special toothpaste on their lips. Now, introduce a toothbrush designed for cats with soft bristles, massage their gums, and then apply toothpaste to their teeth and brush gently. 

Claws Trimming

During the weekly grooming sessions, make sure to check the cat paws to see if their claws are overgrown and require trimming. Cats may need claws trimming regularly. Here are some tips for careful claw trimming:

  • Gently unsheathe the cat’s claws

  • Clip off only the transparent part of the claw

  • You must avoid clipping the ‘quick’ (sensitive part) because if it is snipped, it will be painful for the cat and may bleed. 

How to Groom a Cat?

To help you get started, here are the top cat grooming tips: 

Start young

Grooming cats from an early age gets them used to being handled and maintained because kittens usually let someone else handle them as mothers groom their young. Although you can start grooming your older cat, it may be difficult if they do not like being touched. Also, if your cat is new to grooming, you will need a little patience to get them used to it.

Don’t forget about the ears

When grooming your cat, you must include ears in the grooming routine and inspect them for any hints of discharge or redness. Use a vet-recommended ear cleaner on a cotton pad to remove all debris from the underside of the ear. If you want to clean the ear canals, follow the instructions on the product and be careful as they are sensitive. 

Regularity

Regular grooming is important for your cat’s hygiene. Brushing your cat’s hair helps prevent hairballs by removing excess hair. It removes dead skin, dirt, and other debris to ensure healthy skin and coat. Brush once a week if your cat is short-haired and twice a week if they are long-haired.

Rewards for good behavior 

Rewarding your cat during grooming sessions may ease the process. Before you start grooming your cat, keep catnip, toys, and treats with you to make the experience more delightful for them. Also, this way, they will associate grooming with rewards and may enjoy the procedure.

Conclusion

Grooming your cat is essential for keeping the cat healthy and happy and helping to foster a bond with you. According to an article by Cat Friendly Homes, whenever you note a change in a feline's hygiene, you must consult your veterinarian to get them checked for the underlying conditions.