Basics of Cat Grooming

By October 27 | See Comments

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Every cat owner will understand when someone says that cats have an obsession with keeping themselves clean. Most cats lick themselves clean multiple times a day but sometimes they need a hand from you, to keep their fur tangle-free and their bodies clean. Some basic cat grooming areas that all owners must focus on are:

Brushing/Combing

As the name suggests, brushing involves the use of a comb or brush to get rid of dead skin, loose fur and dirt. When brushing, always follow the direction of the hair. Never brush against the grain unless you want an annoyed kitty. The chest and belly areas are the most sensitive for a cat and you have to be extra gentle when brushing there. While short haired cats can be dealt with using a fine toothed metal comb, long-haired cats require wide toothed combs followed by a finer comb. Be gentle when you encounter knots and do not yank at them. While combing, watch out for tiny black specks, which are indicators of fleas.

Nail Clipping

Prepare your cat for a nail trim by getting it used to the feeling of having it's legs and paws touched. Most animals are not used to this feeling and can be a nightmare when it's time for a nail trim. To get your cat used to the feeling, start by slowly rubbing and touching it's legs and feet. Keep petting/ encouraging it in order to keep it calm. Treats will wonders when it comes to this. Do this daily for a week or two and you should be good to go. Once your kitty is used to it, you can start by applying pressure on the cushion part underneath the toe. This will cause your cat to extend it's claws. Cut off the nail tip with sharp cat scissors and take care to avoid the vein. Clipping into the vein will lead to bleeding, which can be controlled by applying styptic powder.

Bathing

Cats are not fond of water. Fortunately for most cat owners, cats often clean themselves with a tongue bath. In some scenarios when their fur is too dirty, there is no escaping the fact that a full bath is needed. Prepare for bath time and buy all the necessary shampoos and a tub. When your cat is in a good mood, prepare a bath that is neither too hot or too cold. The water must not be deeper than 3-4 inches. Start spraying with a gentle hose on the cat's body, leave its face alone. Wet the cat's face in the end and be as gentle as possible. Apply shampoo on it's head and then the rest of the body. Use the hose to wash off the shampoo and dry off your kitty by patting it with a dry towel.

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