Yes, cat grooming is possible, even at home. The idea of trying to shampoo or groom your feline companion may seem crazy. They squirm even when you get out a comb, right? The benefits of maintaining excellent skin and coat health for your meow pal, though, are many. It leaves them feeling great and helps maintain good health.
Acclimating your cat to grooming is a process, we understand that. This is why your friends at Union Lake Pet Services are here to give you cat grooming tips and suggestions. Your cat may never be excited about the process but these will help to make for a more peaceful and effective grooming session.
6 Tips for Successful Cat Grooming
Cats and water–these elements don’t usually mix. But did you know that cats can learn to appreciate grooming? In most cases, cats are capable self-groomers, but they occasionally need a bath and nail trim. Use our tips for safer ways to keep your cat calm and provide expert grooming. Here are a few go-to suggestions.
- Start grooming your pet when they’re young. Kittens are more accepting of grooming because mother cats groom their young, so it feels natural. Handling your kitten gets them used to being touched and held. You can train your older cat by handling them more, but if possible, start young.
- Brush regularly. Brush short-haired cats weekly, long-haired cats, 2-3 times per week to avoid matting and the development of hairballs. If your cat squirms, keep sessions short. But make sure you use a good brush designed to remove excess fur, like a comb, soft rubber brush, or a bristle brush.
- Bathe your cat when they are calm. Fill a sink or tub with shallow water. Using a water bottle or jug, slowly pour the water over your cat, avoiding the face and head (this is key). Start at the neck, lathering the body with a cat-safe shampoo, formulated just for kitties. Pour the clean water over the suds and make sure to remove all shampoo residue. Keep a big towel handy for raising your cat out of the water and then dry them off thoroughly. Some cats never tolerate water so a dry shampoo bath is a good alternative.
- Pay attention to the ears. As you bathe your cat, inspect the ears and ear canals for any signs of discharge or redness. If you wish to clean the ear canals, opt for a cat ear cleanser and follow the instructions on the product. Remove all debris and cleanser with a cotton ball, but avoid Q-tips as they can damage the ear.
- Clip your cat’s claws every few weeks. Unless your cat is a serious scratcher, most indoor cats will have overgrown nails. These can catch on things and lead to an injury. Make sure your cat is okay with you touching their paws. Get them used to the feeling for a few weeks before you clip. Once you’re both ready, use a cat nail trimmer and gently push down and extend each paw to keep the claws from retracting. Start by clipping a little at a time, making sure to avoid the quick (the pink or red section of the claw).
- Reward throughout the grooming process. Before attempting to groom your cat, have catnip, treats, and toys in your arsenal to make the experience more pleasant for them. They will soon learn that positive things, like treats, help offset the discomfort of the grooming session. They are more likely to put up with the procedure without as much fuss.
Recognizing Skin, Coat, and Other Problems
While you are brushing or bathing your fur friend, pay attention to any signs of skin and coat problems. Check the skin for redness, dryness, scabs, fleas, ticks, and so on. Health conditions like allergies often manifest on the skin. If your pet is scratching more, this is another signal that allergies or parasites may be the culprit.
Have your veterinarian examine any lumps or swelling to rule out cancerous tumors.
Yes, bathing your cat may be a stretch, but it becomes more possible when you are able to help your pet adjust to the feeling of being in the water. If you would like additional pointers on cat grooming, we can help! If you decide to forgo the process and would like to rely on the professional groomers at Union Lake Pet Services, we are more than happy to help. Just give us a call for an appointment.
We look forward to seeing your special meowy friend!