Cat grooming may seem like a chore that you would rather not have to worry about. However it can be very important in preventing your cat from getting hair balls caught in their throat and preventing matting of the fur.
We have always groomed our cats every week but even then they still get the occasional hair ball. Just imagine what it would be like if we didn't brush them regularly?
Our cats have short hair but it is quite thick and because they are indoor/outdoor cats they tend to shed all year round. Although it is more in the spring when the weather gets warmer.
So for us we brush our cats at least three times a week in the spring and summer and about once a week in autumn and winter.
Well yes they do, in fact they are very fastidious about it. Most cats when they are happy and content will groom several times a day.
It keeps their fur clean and free from any loose fur or debris that may have got caught in it. The cats tongue is covered with long barb like hairs which is an excellent tool for washing with. However this does mean that lots of the loose fur ends up in their tummies and this causes hair balls to form.
Some of these pass through the cat but most times they build up and the only way for the cat to get rid of them is to regurgitate them. this is both unpleasant for the cats and us too. if you have never seen a hairball or know about some of the problems they can cause, please see my page for more information on these nasty slimy Fur balls here.
The main areas for cat grooming are:
There are two other procedures that may be carried out, the first is checking your cat for lumps and cuts beneath the fur and also checking for any signs of flea infestation. Do this on a regular basis.
The second depends very much on the breed of your cat. Unlike dogs most cats do not get impacted anal glands, which would need expressing to prevent abscesses. However Siamese cats are the most likely candidates for this kind of problem.
So a quick check to see if there is any redness in the area or your cat is licking the area excessively. If you suspect a problem, visit the vets as soon as possible.
The earlier you can get your pet used to the cat grooming routine the easier it will become.
Most cats won’t find the whole grooming procedure very appealing and will struggle and even bite if they are subjected to this procedure without a gradual approach.
So a good idea is not to do the whole grooming routine all at once, this will be less stressful to your cat and may save you from a painful injury.
A good idea is to start by general stroking of your cat and then to slowly introduce the brush.
The basic cat grooming steps are:
Step 1 - Start by gently stroking your cat to get them use to you touching them.
Step 2 – Part the fur and check for any injuries, lumps or parasites like fleas.
Step 3 – Check the feet to ensure there is no matted fur or debris like chewing gum or tar between the toes.
Step 4 – Claws - Make sure the claws are not too long. If they are you should clip them. If you have not clipped your cats claws before , this can be rather daunting. But with a little practice is a fairly easy and quick process. Find tips on how to clip your pets claws safely here.
Please do not consider De-clawing your cat, it really is inhuman. instead find out about how to control your cats claws so that do not pose any concerns for your family or home.
Step 5 – Brushing - Long coats will need daily brushing to remove any debris and to reduce the likelihood of matting. Special cat grooming tools are available which will make the job both easy for you and comfortable for your cat. Matted coats will need further attention, please see my page about how to groom long haired cats and the removal of mats from their fur..
Step 6 - Ears - Remove any dark brown wax form your cat’s ears using either a damp soft tissue or a special Ear Cleanse pads that can be bought from pet supply outlets.
If this is done regularly your cat should become used to you rolling his ear back and gently rubbing it.
Any hard to remove wax can either be treated by the vet or special cat ear drops can be used to soften the wax for removal.
FURminator deShedding Tool for Cats Short Hair Small
Step 7 - Bathing - If bathing is required, (generally it is not necessary, but occasional circumstances might warrant it), make sure the coat is well groomed first, to enable the shampoo to easily spread through the fur.
For full instructions on how best to wash your pet please see my page about bathing a cat here.
( Here is a story of someone elses own experiences of bathing their cat)
Cats should not be bathed too often as it removes the natural oils from the skin that help with waterproofing and insulation. Always use a specially formulated cat shampoo to reduce this risk.
Just a short note to say that as much as you may love and want to pamper your pet, as a general rule cats don’t like too much fuss and definitely some will find the whole cat grooming procedure quite traumatic.
So, always approach grooming your cat in a fun and gentle way.
Praising your cat and providing a little treat will make the whole situation less stressful and may even becomes a fun thing for you both to do. After all the last thing we want is an ANGRY CAT.
Mo has never been bathed, she has never had to be, but we do groom her and clean her ears and eyes regularly. At first she struggled and moaned through the whole thing but now she sits quietly until it’s over, knowing that a special cat treat is on its way.