Cats are famously fastidious and independent creatures but every now and again they need a helping paw from their human. How often you groom your cat and the extent of your involvement in the grooming process will depend on your cat's breed, age and tem-purr-ament.
A weekly grooming routine has multiple benefits for both you and your cat.
Benefits for your feline:
Benefits for you:
For shorthaired cats we recommend weekly grooming your cat with a fine-toothed metal comb, followed by a natural-bristle brush or a wipe down with a hypoallergenic baby wipe to remove any dead hairs. Gently brush your cat's hair in the direction it grows. Use the bristle brush to sweep the coat up, and then smooth it down again.
For longhaired cats we recommend daily grooming your cat with a steel comb. Tease any knots out with your fingers or cut the with blunt-ended scissors pointed away from your cat. You may want to get your vet to help you as it can be difficult to see where fur ends and cat begins.
Get your cat used to the grooming process early and gradually increase the amount of time you spend grooming them. It’s a good idea to get them used to having different parts of their body, like their paws and tail, touched. Grooming your cat is best started during kittenhood but if you’ve adopted an older cat try introducing brushing to them as soon as possible so that they come to associate it with you.
If grooming is a struggle, try offering treats, stroking and talking reassuringly - the general principles of training your cat apply here. Gently start to groom as your cat’s attention turns to the treat. If your cat is still resistant to the process then stop, a cat should never be forcibly petted or groomed (or, made to do anything really).
If you notice bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice a significant loss of hair, the underlying cause may be a health-related problem and should be referred to a vet.
With the exception of some breeds like Maine Coons and Bengals, cats usually don’t take to water, so bathing can prove difficult. Thankfully, unless your cat has rolled in something particularly unpleasant, regular bathing isn’t vital for maintaining your cat's coat. Sphynx cats are the exception to this rule. You will need to sponge them down regularly to remove any oily residues and prevent sores forming in their folds.
Claws are another area that your cat can be capable of maintaining without your help. All they need, unless you’re willing to sacrifice your furniture, is a scratching post. Check your cat’s claws regularly as untrimmed claws can cause all sorts of a-paw-ling problems for your cat, including painful infections, difficulty walking and difficulty using the litter box.
Your furbaby may be able to hear the opening of a cat food tin all the way from its outdoor cat enclosure but those ears don’t look after themselves!
A healthy inner ear should be pale pink in color, carry no debris or odor and have minimal earwax, if any. If you find that your cat’s ears are caked with wax or you detect an odor, make an appointment with your vet.
Whether they’re hunting their fluffy toys or hypnotising you into handing out a treat, your cat's eyes are one of their defining features. Taking good care of their peepers is an important part of your duties.
Good dental hygiene is even more important for cats than it is for humans as bacteria can enter your cat's bloodstream and cause damage to the kidneys and other vital organs.
Getting your cat into a routine pays off! It will make the process a lot easier.
Grooming is just one part of keeping your cat tip-top - check on the Healthy Cat Checklist to make sure you’re keeping up-to-date on all your duties!
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