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Just for Kids: Grooming Your Cat

By: Virginia Wells

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You want your cat to be healthy on the outside as well as on the inside. This means that you will have to spend some time grooming her. Grooming your cat will make her feel loved; cats love the attention and they love to be groomed.

Cats are naturally clean animals, so your cat may not need much grooming, particularly if she has short hair. If she has long hair, though, she'll need to be groomed more often, usually once a day.

You should start grooming your cat soon after you bring her home, whether she's a kitten or a grown cat. Soon she will get used to being handled and will look forward to spending time with you.

Brushing

Routine brushing and combing removes dead hair and dirt and prevents matting. It also gives your pet a healthy and shiny coat.

Some cats don't need much brushing at all. A good brushing once or twice a week is enough. But some cats with long hair and bushy tails need to be brushed every day to keep the coat free of tangles. Remember to comb gently from front-to-back and talk gently to your cat. Use a good-quality brush and comb.

Longhaired cats should be groomed from 10 to 30 minutes a day. If you don't do this, your kitty's fur may become matted. Then you'll have to pay your veterinarian or a professional groomer to get them out.

Daily brushing helps to keep your cat from shedding. This reduces the amount of hairballs and helps keep the furniture nice and clean.

As you brush, be on the lookout for skin problems like lumps or rashes. If you find any problems, tell your parents.

Cleaning Your Cats Eyes

If your cat has large eyes and a short nose, he may have a lot of tearing. These sometimes turn brown and stain the area below the eyes. It might feel a little gooey, too. You need to wash the area to keep it clean and to keep your cat comfortable.

Use a soft washcloth or a cotton square dipped in lukewarm water. Have one of your parents hold your cat's head while you wipe the damp cloth gently across the lower eyelid. Be careful not to rub the eyeball. The moisture from the washcloth should soften the eye matter. Then go back and wipe again. Make sure you use a fresh section of the washcloth each time.

Bathing Your Cat

Your cat may keep himself clean enough himself. But there may be times when you need to give him a real bath. This can be tricky because cats usually don't like water. Read the article on bathing your cat to learn how to give your kitty a bath.

Your cat is part of the family, so it's important that you give her everything she needs to be happy and healthy. As you groom her, she will probably start purring. That is the best sign that you are doing a good job.

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