Cat Grooming: Helping Your Cat Look And Feel Their Best

picture of acat getting brushed

Cat grooming plays an important part in keeping our cats looking and feeling their best. Let's be honest, cats are a little vain, they spend approximately ten percent of their waking hours cleaning themselves, and they aren't awake that much.

Right at this very moment that I'm writing this, one of our cats is diligently cleaning herself, there she goes licking her paws, and now she's moving on to her fur. Although they do a great job of keeping themselves clean, they sometimes need our help.

picture of cat grooming brush

Brushing Your Cat's Fur

This is a very important part of cat grooming, both for short hair and long hair cats. Cats use their tongue to gently lick and clean their fur, during this licking process they swallow some of the shedded hairs. Brushing your cat helps to reduce the amount of these shedded hairs they shallow, which helps to reduce hairballs.

Long hair cats should be brushed daily, this helps to prevent the matting of their fur and keeps it look shiny and well kept.Short hair cat's fur requires less maintenance, brushing them twice a week helps to keep their fur looking healthy and removes shedded hairs. Brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils that your cat's body produces, which helps to reduce skin irritation.

It is important to start cat grooming as early as possible, it helps to get your cat comfortable with both the idea and feeling of you assisting with his/her grooming. The best time to brush your cat would be when he/she is relaxing. You will most likely have to attempt this several times, but be patient, your cat will eventually get used to this routine.To find out more about the best type of brush to use to groom your cat,read Choosing The Best Cat Grooming Supplies.

Try incorporating the brushing into a petting session, begin to pet him/her first and then gently rub your fingers through your cat's fur,gently begin brushing. Brush your cat from head to bottom, and if your lucky, your cat might let you brush his/her tummy.

After your cat get's comfortable with getting his/her fur brushed, it will become a nice bonding time between you and your cat. Make sure to use a brush designed for brushing cats, which can be bought in your local pet sore for around four to five dollars, and to clean your brush each time you use it.

Clipping Your Cat's Nails

Your cat's nails grows both fast and sharp. Outdoor cat's nails tend to require clipping less often than indoor cats as a result of the outdoor pavement assisting in filing down their nails. If a cat's nails is left to freely grow and never clipped, especially indoor cats, the nails, which grow straight and then curve, will curve into the cat's paws.

To prevent this painful process from happening regularly clipping your cat's nails plays an important part of cat grooming, we get this done every two months. Now I use the words,"get this done," because one of our cat's has no problem getting her nails clipped at home, but our other cat just wont stand for it. Even when we get it done at the vets its a production,she just hates it, but at least with our vet, his assistant, my husband and myself reassuring her all is well, we are able to get her nails cut. Having a scratching posts also helps in reducing both the length and sharpness of your cat's nails.

If your cutting your cat's nails at home, make sure to purchase sharp clippers that are sold at your pet store and designed to cut your cat's nails. Here's a great video that shows you exactly how to trim your cat's nails.

Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

Brushing your cat's teeth is an important part of cat grooming, it helps to remove tarter,keeps your cat's teeth healthy and helps with bad breath. There are many cat toothpastes, cat brushes and even gels that require no brushing available to make keeping your cat's teeth healthy a bit more easy for both you and your cat.

I find that it works well to get the cat toothbrush that you can wear on your finger, buy some cat toothpaste in your cat's favorite flavor, our cat's love malt, then during a petting session when your cat is really relaxed, place the toothbrush on your finger with some toothpaste and gently rub the toothbrush in front of your cat's mouth,so that some of the toothpaste is left there. Your cat will lick the toothpaste off, hopefully like the flavor and then you can attempt to place your finger in your cat's mouth and gently brush his/her teeth.

This cat grooming should be done in short stages until your cat gets used to it. At first even the delicious taste of the toothpaste might not be enough to entice your cat to let you brush his/her teeth,but with some time and patience, some cats eventually get used to it, it took our Chrissy about a month to get used to it, meanwhille others simply won't let you brush their teeth like our Bella, so we buy a dental gel which she willing licks off of her paw. Brushing your cat's teeth or using a commercial pet dental cleaning product also helps to prevent feline bad breath, to find out more about the causes and treatment for bad breath in cats read Ewww, Feline Bad Breath.

Dental treats don't replace brushing your cat's teeth, but can assist in reducing tartar and plaque build up, to find out how to choose healthy treats for your cat,read Choosing Healthy Cat Treats.

Here's What We Use For Our Cat's Teeth, Requires No Brushing And It's All Natural

Cat Bath

For all you brave souls who even attempt to give your cat a bath, my hat goes off to you. Most cats hate having a bath, I would have written that all cats do, but there are some cats who enjoy the water, however this is definetely rare. Cats do a great job cleaning themselves, so they would only require a bath in extreme circumstances, such as flea infestation or if they got something on their bodies that they couldn't clean. This is one part of cat grooming that can be very difficult.

Make sure to wear clothing that you don't care too much about and be ready to get wet and scratched, so wear long sleeves.Be prepared with cat shampoo, a towel to dry off your cat, a couple other towels to dry yourself off. Make sure the water is warm, most cats hate water and even worse cold water.

Use a bathtub with a shower head, it makes it a bit easier to rinse off your cat. Run the bath water before placing your cat in and pour in some cat shampoo, it's a good idea to use a rubber bath mat, so your cat can grip unto it, instead of your hands.

Don't wet you cat's face,use a wash cloth instead. The height of the water should be low and reach your cat's under belly. place your cat in the tub, using one hand to support him/her and the other to gently work your way through his/her fur from the neck to bottom.

Rub your cat for 4-5 minutes, then begining rinsing. Use the shower head to rinse your cat with warm water, make sure all the shampoo is rinsed off. Place a towel around your cat and towel dry, don't leave your cat's fur wet,or at least try not to. Long hair cat's will need you to brush through their fur to remove any tangles that may have occured in the washing process. Your cat deserves a treat after this cat grooming and so do you.

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