Cats generally take care of their own grooming, but it can be a very good idea to get involved. It helps the relationship between you and your cat, whilst giving you a chance to check for possible signs of ill health. Grooming will help keep your cat even cleaner and healthier!
Grooming your cat can help improve their muscles and blood flow, whilst reducing hairballs that form in the cats' stomach that can cause digestive problems. The natural oily goodness in the coat of a cat will spread better when you are grooming. Last but not least, grooming your cat will reduce the amount of cat hair around your house! The grooming routine can also involve much more than brushing their coat.
Training Your Cat For Grooming
This will be necessary if your cat is unsure or not used to grooming. Handling your cat and stroking your cat often will help to start the process. You may have to introduce any grooming tools like brushes slowly to ease the cat into the routine.
The best place to groom your cat is outside, if that is possible. Start with a full examination - the eyes, ears, coat and claws.
Grooming Short Haired Cats
A shorthaired cat will not need daily grooming as it will be able to manage its' own coat very effectively. Many experts think that 2 grooming sessions per week are enough for shorthaired cats. Run a fine metal comb to brush from the head down to the tail. Look out for small black specks which can be a sign of cat fleas. You may wish to use a natural bristle or rubber brush to further remove hairs. Remember to always brush in the direction that their hair lies.
Grooming Long Haired Cats
Long haired cats do not keep themselves groomed as well as short haired cats. Many long haired cats also molt all year round. For these reasons, grooming a long haired cat will need to be more regular than for a short haired cat. Using a wide-toothed comb, remove debris, then using a wire brush, remove dead hair. Use a toothbrush around the cats face if necessary. Many owners of a long haired cat will perform grooming daily to avoid tangle and hair 'matting'. Bathing your long haired cat from time to time may also be necessary.
If grooming is necessary, but proving a struggle, stroking your cat at the same time can help if the cat isn't used to it. Use a soothing voice or food treats will also be beneficial. Over time your cat should get more and more used to the routine. If you are unsure of anything, or need advice, remember to consult with your vet!
Cleaning your cats' ears is a part of the basic grooming routine. Using a ear bud, slowly and gently wipe the upper areas of the inside of the ear, wiping away dirt. This will also give you a chance to check for cuts and scrapes.
Cleaning A Cats' Paws
Cats tend to look after their paws, but may need a little encouragement from time to time. Using damp cotton wool you will manage to get rid of most of the grime. Hold the cats' paw between thumb and finger, and press the pad of its paw gently to expose the claws.