While cats are well-known for their rigorous self-grooming habits, there are some very good reasons why pet owners should get involved with the process first-hand.
Cat grooming helps remove loose hair and soil, improves their circulation, and is a major part of your cat’s health and overall wellbeing.
It can also help in the discovery of issues that may need extra attention. Grooming your cat gives you the chance to inspect your kitty for mites, fleas or ticks, and gives you the opportunity to look for bumps, lumps or injuries.
When cats groom themselves, which they love to do, it can also lead to rare, but more serious issues, such as the formation of hairballs which can result in a hacking cough or even intestinal blockage. Helping them by removing that loose hair can save your kitty complications that may lead to a visit to the vet.
Where to check your cat while grooming
When grooming your cat, you want to check their claws, coat, skin and eyes. You will want to make sure there is no matting in their fur, their claws are retracting as normal and that their eyes do not have excessive discharge. This could be a sign of an eye infection. Checking their skin will also give you the opportunity to check for fleas or ticks.
Aside from the more obvious places to check while cat grooming, you will also want to pay attention to the teeth, gums and nose. These areas are great indicators of your cat’s health.
When examining your cat’s teeth, you’ll want to look for yellowing, which is plaque, or dark shading which could be tartar. Look for any cracked or broken teeth. Last, note the colour of the gums. Gums should be vibrant pink in colour, and not red or a pale pink.
You’ll also want to observe whether their nose is wet (good), or dry and warm (bad). Dry and warm means your kitty is sick or dehydrated.
Tips for Bathing a Cat
When it comes to bathing, unless you or someone in your home has cat allergies, there is usually no reason to give your cat a bath. This is because unlike dogs, cats typically do not tolerate bathing. However, if your cat has long hair, you can help reduce the need for a bath by simply trimming the hair underneath your cat. This will help eliminate soiling via dragging hair low to the ground.
Tips for Grooming Long-Haired Cats
When it comes to long-haired cats, you will need some tools of the trade. Start with a wide-toothed comb, a grooming pad and a hair detangling spray for cats. There are also a variety of cat grooming tools to choose from that will make your life easier. And you’ll want to make things as easy as possible since grooming long-haired cats should be done every day.
First, lay down your grooming pad to catch falling hair or soil. Next, use the detangling spray to get the hair ready for combing. Use the wide-toothed comb to get rid of any loose hair or matting. Pay extra attention to your kitty’s armpits, inner thighs, chest and tummy area. Be gentle because these are sensitive areas on cats.
Be sure to perform the inspections that we covered earlier. Look for any problem areas or areas of concern. Now do one final sweep across your cat’s coat to remove any additional hair.
How to keep your cat happy while grooming
The main thing to remember while grooming your cat is keeping him happy, stress-free and relaxed while doing so. If your cat seems to be in distress or beginning to act restless while grooming, you should let him go and try again later.
You can always help keep your cat calm during this time by stroking and petting him before and during grooming. Talk to your kitty using a soft and calming voice, reassuring him that everything is alright.
If all else fails
Keep in mind, if you are not comfortable grooming your cat or if you find it difficult keeping your cat relaxed long enough to perform a proper grooming, find a local cat groomer and schedule an appointment. These experts are true cat lovers and know exactly how to keep your cat happy and feeling great while getting professionally groomed.
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