Today is World Cat Day! In honor of this auspicious day, we at Island Pet Veterinary Hospital want to share with you a bit about grooming cats. Most cat owners let their feline friends take care of that themselves. Although cats seem low maintenance compared to dogs, they still do require some assistance with their hygiene. Here are some tips on how to keep your cat looking her best.
With any cat, it’s essential to ease into the grooming process. Wait until your cat is calm and relaxed, and then groom her for a few minutes. Use plenty of praise, petting, and kitty treats throughout the grooming session, and watch for signs of unhappiness. If your cat starts to act irritated, stop grooming. In time, she’ll get used to being groomed (she may even begin to like it).
Brush your cat
Whether your cat has short hair or long hair, it’s a good idea to brush it regularly. Shorthaired cats can be brushed once or twice per week with a fine-tooth comb first, and then a rubber brush to remove dead hair. Longhaired cats might require daily brushing with a wide-tooth comb first, and then a wire or bristle brush to remove dead hair. Remember to always brush the hair in the direction it naturally lays.
Trim your cat’s claws
Before you attempt to trim your cat’s claws, spend a few minutes each day getting her comfortable with her feet being handled. You can “massage” them and gently press the toepad until the claw extends. Once she’s accustomed to that (after about a week), grab a quality pair of nail trimmers and cut parallel to the flat of the claw, being careful to avoid the quick.
Bathe your cat
Yes, sometimes even a cat needs a bath. It doesn’t happen often, but if you ever need to bathe your cat, it’s good to know how to do it without getting your face clawed off (so it’s a good idea to trim the cat’s nails before you bathe her). Fill up a sink or tub with about three inches of warm water. Be sure to use a shampoo that’s specifically made for cats. Avoid spraying or pouring water directly on your cat’s head while you slowly get her wet. Rub in and rinse out the shampoo.
Any questions or concerns about grooming your cat? Contact us.