Your cat is an independent perfectionist.
Devoting nearly half his waking hours to preening himself, he takes great pride in maintaining his appearance – and doing so on his own. It’s a lifelong commitment to taking care of himself, as your feline allocates countless hours to using his rough tongue for combing loose fur and dirt from his coat.
Still, it doesn’t hurt for owners to provide a helping hand and assist with their cats’ daily grooming routines. In particular, long-haired cats require help with preventing and removing tangles and mats from their coats, but even a short-haired feline can benefit from an owner’s grooming touch.
When you take the time to groom your feline friend with regularity, you offer a host of potential improvements to his longterm health and well-being. Brushing enables you to check for skin abnormalities and parasites, distribute your cat’s natural oil which helps promote coat health, and enhance your human-feline bond.
Here’s what you need to know about how you can aid your cat’s grooming endeavors and, in turn, bolster his longterm well-being:
Grooming Your Cat
Whether purebred or mixed breed, a key to good grooming lies in the length of a cat’s coat. Felines with short coats need very little grooming, dense-coated cats may require monthly grooming sessions, semi-long-haired felines should be combed more regularly, and cats with long, flowing coats may need to be brushed at least every other day.
Your cat’s coat represents the biggest grooming hurdle and can fall prey to shedding, a greasy consistency, and mats. Remember to comb gently from front-to-back and reassure your cat with a soothing voice. Do this as much as needed to keep shedding and knots to a minimum.
Mats can form on even the most well-groomed cats, especially during seasonal shedding. If you find these clumps of dried, tangled hair in your cat’s fur, refrain from trying to cut them out because you could slip and cut your feline’s skin. It’s better to work out a mat with a grooming comb. Use the tip of the comb to pick at the mat gently until it begins to loosen up. As the mat starts to break apart, it can now be easily combed away from your cat’s coat.
Top Medical Reasons To Groom Your Cat
Grooming does more than simply make your cat look and smell nice. Here are several valid medical reasons why regular grooming will help your cat stay healthy and feel better:
- Eyes: Keeping your cat’s face free of long hair that can irritate the eyes will make him feel more comfortable and prevent eye problems. Additionally, some cats have a problem with drainage from the eyes. Make sure you keep eye drainage wiped away and consult your veterinarian if it persists.
- Mouth: Dental disease is common in cats. Checking your cat’s mouth and teeth will help you spot trouble before it becomes a major issue. Use cat-specific toothpaste as human toothpaste can upset your feline’s stomach.
- Nails: Nail trimming is a necessity if you wish to avoid furniture shredding within your home. Furthermore, it’s an excellent alternative to de-clawing. Your vet can show you how to trim nails and claws properly.
Grooming Supplies for Cats
The right supplies will make regular grooming both manageable and enjoyable for cat owners. A full grooming arsenal should encompass items for both brushing and bathing. It’s generally advisable to brush your feline prior to bathing because wet hair is much more difficult to work through with a comb or brush.
Supplies that typically prove handy for regular grooming purposes include:
- Brush, comb, and rake
- Shampoo, dip, and conditioner
- Cotton balls and mineral oil
- Drying mitt and curry comb
- Bath mat, leash, and harness
- Hair dryer
- Apron and gloves
- Nail trimmer
How to Give a Cat a Bath
Bathing is an important part of the grooming process for some cats, but many are able to keep themselves quite clean and may never require bathing. For some, bathing keeps the coat clean, reduces parasite infections, and can even make life easier on those who are allergic to cats.
Many cats dislike baths and find the experience stressful. For a cat whose lives will include frequent baths, start bathing as a kitten, or as early in life as possible. This will help acclimate your cat to the process and reduce fear and anxiety that frequently accompanies an older cat’s first bath.