Cat Grooming: Everything You Need to Know
If you are quite a reserved person and possibly also in full-time employment, and you desire a quiet companion for those days that are not too busy, then a cat will be a perfect match. These furry animals are very tranquil, low maintenance, independent, and most important of all, clean. That’s right! Cats tend to clean themselves often. Also, they do not need to be taken outside to go to the toilet. In spite of this, you still need to groom your pet to assist their natural efforts in order to make them truly squeaky clean. Grooming involves brushing both hair and teeth, nail clipping, and bathing. The type of diet you feed your cat can be considered internal grooming, which eventually shows results externally. These activities can be done at home, but for professional help, you can pay a visit to your local vet.
There is a wide range of products on the market that makes cat grooming easy. When picking some of these products, pay attention to how they might affect your cat. In fact, you have to know your cat and what will work for it before introducing anything to it. Cats of all ages can be groomed, and young and sick cats must be given special attention. You should stop grooming your furry friend when it begins to react negatively to it. After reading this article, you will be better equipped with information regarding grooming your little companion. Hopefully, your experience with grooming your cat will get better, and your cat will thank you for it.
Benefits of Grooming Your Kitty
Generally, grooming makes your cat look and feel good. But when you pay attention to every detail that goes into grooming, you realize that all the steps work hand-in-hand to create a holistic result. Now let’s take a look at some advantages.
- Production and distribution of natural oils: A type of grooming like brushing stimulates the skin to produce natural oils that promote skin and hair health in your cat. Brushing your cat improves blood circulation to the surface, signaling it to create these oils. The oils, referred to as sebum, contain essential nutrients that keep the coat clean and shiny.
- Removal of dirt and parasites: Dirt is annoying, and its ability to get stuck in any space available makes it frustrating. When you groom your cat, you can get rid of dirt in every part of their body, from the hair to their teeth and nails. The microorganisms that use the filth as hiding places will no longer have a place to thrive, thereby keeping your cat healthy.
- Control shedding and tangling: One way to keep your cat’s fur smooth is by grooming. Cats get rid of old hair which can get stuck in the coat rather than coming off. When this happens, the hold hair creates tangles with new hair, removing it in the process. This means that your cat will be losing more hair than usual. When you groom your cat, you get all these hairs out and control the amount of hair the animal sheds.
- Better relationship: Apart from the health benefits of grooming, the process will create an inseparable bond between you and your friend. Grooming makes your cat know that you care about it and the intimacy will make him or her love you more. A happy cat is a happy owner, and so you should take the opportunity to bring your cat closer to you by grooming it.
This process involves using tools with bristles to run through or over a part of the cat’s body. For grooming, you can brush your cat’s hair or teeth. When cleaning your companion’s hair, you have to consider things like the length of the hair. Short-haired cats will require narrow-toothed, short-bristled brushes while long-haired ones will need brushes that have their long bristles wide apart. For long-haired cats, you can either start with a detangling brush and then continuing with a smoothing brush. Some brushes do the two at the same time to make the process less time-consuming. Using the right tool reduces the chance of you hurting your furry companion. These cat brushes are made of metal or plastic, and you will need to figure out which one works best for your cat to get the best results. When brushing fur, start small and build up to not irritate the skin. If you find knots or mats in your cat’s coat, use your fingers to tease them apart. This approach guarantees a painless experience for your cat. Since brushing might take some time, choose brushes that are ergonomic to save yourself some pain and stress. Brushing should not be a stressful experience for you, and your pet and all you need to do is find information on how to do it: you are good to go!
Dental hygiene for your cat helps keep healthy teeth and gums. Cats with unhealthy mouths are faced with problems like plaques, infected teeth, and cold sores. They are continually in pain, and it is evident in all the drooling they experience. Some cats are not even able to eat. Due to unattended oral hygiene, the cat might harbor all kinds of bacteria that can go ahead and affect its internal health. Cleaning your cat’s teeth require different types of tools and approaches. The process might be tricky as your cat may not allow you to do it without a fight. You can use chew toys to help with cleaning your cat’s teeth. Some of these toys contain enzymes that are good for your cat’s teeth. If you cannot tell which ones provide the enzymes, talk to a vet for some help. Using cat toothbrushes coupled with cat toothpaste, is another option. The toothbrushes are designed to fit in the cat’s mouth and get into the obscure places. Some go on the finger and have anti-plaque properties to keep your cat’s mouth healthy. They also have microfiber properties to massage your cat’s teeth gently. They are anti-bacterial and easier to use than the traditional toothbrushes. You can also use dental rinses if others do not work. This is a more innovative approach to cat oral health, which provides the same benefits as the old ways if not better.
Clipping the nails of your cat is not as difficult as it may seem. Even though it may come in handy, it depends on your preference and the type of cat you have. Outdoor cats will need their nails for activities like climbing and protection and so do not necessarily need clipping. Indoor cats, on the other hand, do not use their nails for any of these and so it will be in their best interest to clip them. Cats trim their nails naturally by scratching into things occasionally. When you notice your cat doing it more often than not, it may be an indication that they need help trimming their nails. Cat nails are transparent, and so it is easy to see to avoid cutting into the skin. When you are trimming the nail, push the skin back to expose them, and then use cat clippers to take them off. The tools for cutting the nails of cats come in different styles. There are ones shaped like scissors and those shaped like shears. What these nail clippers have in common is a small tip that can fit right at the end of your cat’s paw to cut nails. Grooming your cat’s nails is a sensible decision that benefits you and your cat. No need to worry about playing with your cat for fear of it scratching you, which can lead to infection, by the way. The old tips are disposed of, and your cat will be safe from dirt getting stuck under the nails.
Since cats clean themselves, they do not usually require baths unless they are too old and sick. Young cats will be licked clean by their mother. As they grow older, they learn and do it for themselves. The furry animals are not big on bathing, and so the process might be very frustrating for you. In this case, trimming the nails will make a big difference in making the experience less hectic for the both of you. The only time it is necessary to bath your cat is when it becomes greasy or oily or has fallen into something filthy or sticky. Also, a cat infected with fleas will need a bath as soon as possible. Cat shampoo is recommended for bathing as they have ingredients that are tailor-made for cats. You can ask your vet to prescribe one for your cat depending on what works best for it. Before washing your furry pet, comb out the hair, and remove tangles to make bathing as easy and quick as possible. Then gently lower your cat into lukewarm water and soak the coat. Gently massage cat shampoo into the cat’s fur and wash thoroughly. Afterwards, rinse your cat, being careful not to get water on the face and into the eyes. You can put a rubber mat at the bottom of the sink or tub to prevent your cat from slipping. After being in the water, cats tend to get cold and so you should use a towel to soak up as much water off the cat as possible. Also, keep the cat in a warm spot until it is completely dry.
How Often Should a Cat Be Groomed?
By now, it is clear that cats do not need as much help from us, and so they do not need to be groomed as much. Cats are clean animals and groom themselves for many different reasons. They spend a lot of their time awake, licking themselves clean. This licking helps them get the dirt off their coats and stimulates the production and spreading of sebum that keeps their coats shiny. They lick everywhere from their neck to between their legs. For the areas where their tongues cannot reach, they dampen their paws to scrub those areas, for example, the face and behind the ears. When it comes to nail grooming, they scratch against surfaces, so that old and weak nails come right off. Cats do not sweat to cool off and so they moisten their coats with saliva which evaporates to keep themselves cool. Grooming serves as a social activity as well as an emotional booster for them. Fascinating creatures, aren’t they? However, the breed of cat you have will determine how much support you can offer in terms of grooming. Long-haired and medium-haired cats require more frequent grooming than short-haired ones. Grooming methods like brushing can be done from every day to at least once a week. It is advisable to clean your cat’s teeth every day but bath them as and when it is needed. The time it will take also depends on the kind of cat you are dealing with. In any case, it is better to know your cat and how it is likely to react to grooming before attempting anything. If you have any questions, your vet.
Tips for Grooming Your Cat
The first thing to know is that cat grooming is not easy and will require dedication and commitment. Starting grooming early makes it easier for you as time goes on. It is necessary to introduce grooming to your cat when it is very young so that as it gets older, it gets used to the process. Since grooming might be annoying and tiring for your cat, make sure you create a relaxing environment to reassure the animal. You might also want to treat and reward your pet whenever it allows you to complete a step. These treats positively reinforce the behavior of staying still during grooming. Do not underestimate your cat’s reaction, as it shows whether you are on the right track or not. You should know what your cat likes and what it does not. Another tip is to use the right tools on your pet all the time. If you care about getting the best results, put in effort into finding the right tools for every step the grooming purpose. For cat shampoos and cat toothpaste, do adequate research into the ingredients to see which ones will not give you cat allergic reactions or any other adverse side effects.
Home or Vet: Which is Better?
Grooming your cat at home is a convenient way to keep your cat clean. These days there are a lot of innovative ways to keep your cat clean in the comfort of your home. There are some processes that you can do at home without the help of a vet. Brushing is one of these processes. With the right tool, you and your cat can enjoy brushing as bonding time. Other activities like bathing and nail clipping might require an expert opinion. At home, there is the likelihood of accidents like cuts since the skill is not perfect. When these accidents occur, you might not have the right means to solve the problem at home. Also, shampoos and toothpaste that have medication in them might need an expert’s prescription. Extreme cases such as illness will also require that an expert take over. Some cats can get restless when it is time to groom, and unfortunately, they will need to be sedated. Especially if they have matted fur or are sensitive to touch, some cats will have to be put under before grooming is done. At home, you cannot measure the right amount of medicine to sedate your cat, and this is where the vet comes in. So, when it comes to this question, It depends on the situation. Grooming at home addresses the issue of convenience while consulting a vet solves the professional results problem. Whatever the case, some cats might never see a professional groomer because of their high level of self-care.
By now, you have enough information for your next grooming session and have a better understanding of how things work. A healthy pet is a healthy home, and since cats are low maintenance creatures, it will not take much from you to give them a little extra love. Here are some additional things to note, that indicates that your cat is uncomfortable with the grooming process. They include sudden freezing or tenseness, head shakes, growling or hissing, and skin twitching. It is evident that grooming benefits not only your pet but you too so you should pay attention to these things. The grooming techniques mentioned above, that is, brushing, nail clipping, and bathing are fundamental. But, if you think it is necessary to take additional measures, by all means, do so. In as much as grooming is profitable, do take caution not to overdo it as cats can take care of themselves. Veterinaries are experienced in the area of animal health, so whenever you are not sure about something, do not hesitate to ask them.