Grooming Your Cat

Grooming Your Cat >
  • Apply mild eye drops or ointment to the eyes to protect them from soap.
  • Fill the sink with tepid water and, if possible, add around three capfuls of a wetting agent like Shaklee's Basic H (which is non-toxic). Place your cat in the water. Using a plastic cup, pour this water mixture over the cat's body until the hair starts to part and the hair shaft becomes wet all the way to the skin. Do not get water in your cat's ears and never pour water over the head
  • Drain the water from the sink. To cleanse kitty's head, use a mild tearless baby shampoo only. Put a small amount on a wet washcloth and gently wash around the eyes, mouth, cheeks and forehead. Then rinse the cloth and go over the face to remove the soap.
  • If your cat has an extremely greasy coat, this is the time to apply a de-greaser. Fast Orange is a non-toxic de-greaser that can be found in supermarkets. Spread it liberally throughout the coat and then rinse it out.
  • Choose the shampoo that works the best for your cat's coat and apply and rinse off at least two or three times.
  • Rinsing is extremely important. Fill the wash basin with two or three inches of water until the bottom part of the cat's fur starts to float in the water. Keep rinsing until there is no residue. Use a cup to scoop the basin water over the cat's body and keep doing it until the coat is free of shampoo. Empty the soapy water from the sink and refill with clear water as needed.
  • If the cat's coat needs a conditioner, this is the time to apply it. Then rinse with water again.
  • A final rinse of a half cup vinegar to two quarts water will remove any traces of soap residue.
  • Rinse with tepid water a final time.
  • Clean the ears with a soft Q-tip dipped in otic solution, which you can purchase from vet catalogs.
  • Blot the fur with a dry towel. A single-coated or dense shorthaired cat can be towel dried and placed in a warm bathroom until he is completely dried.
  • The longer the coat, the more important it is to use combs and brushes at this point.
  • Dryers are a matter of preference, but it is nice to have one for a longhaired cat. Oster makes a table dryer that many breeders use. A Superduck Dryer is a little less costly and works well.
  • Dry the upper body by blow-drying backward against the lay of the hair. Work along the sides, forward to the front legs and up the neck. Each section should be totally dry before moving on or the hair will curl. The tail, belly and back legs should be done last because cats tend to have a lower tolerance in these areas. This way, if there is going to be a disagreement, it will come at the end of the grooming session.

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