Image Source: Pixabay.com
While cats are famous for their effective self-grooming practices, domestic cats often do require human supervision and support. Grooming of cats takes planning and practice. Cats are fussy by nature and they require an educated touch. This means that the owner needs to be aware of what the cat is okay with what it is not. While planning to groom your cat, it is always a good idea to start early and develop the habit when they are still young kittens. Gradually the time spent in grooming is increased until the cat is able to accept it as a part of the daily routine. Any kind of restrain or force is to be avoided as any kind of stress associated with this experience will make it even more difficult next time.
There are different grooming techniques and routines for long and short haired cats. For shorthaired cats, grooming only once a week is enough whereas longhaired ones require grooming almost every day. For shorthaired cats a fine-tooth flea or tick comb is used along with a bristle brush, rubber mitten and grooming pad. Before beginning to groom or comb the cat, ensure that it is relaxed and stress free. The flea comb is used on shorthaired cats to check for flea dirt and fingers are used to loosen up dead hair. Once the dead hairs are disengaged, the brush is used to comb the cat from the head to the tail. This removes any remaining dead hair and stimulates the blood circulation in the body.
For longhaired cats, grooming products such as wide toothed comb, detangling sprays, rakes and other kinds of slickers are used. Longhaired cats require grooming almost regularly. The skin of the cats is massaged gently before combing. This is basically a check for flea excreta. A wide toothed comb takes care of the dead hair and is ideal for combing specific locations such as armpits and between the hind legs. A rubber glove or a damp cotton swab is used to collect and remove the dead hair.
Dematting is one of the most important grooming activities as far as cats are concerned. Matts or knots in the fur are extremely uncomfortable for cats. Such knots are difficult to negotiate at home and make it difficult for the cat to move around. The best way to deal with such knots is preventive action. By grooming according to a healthy routine, such knots can be avoided beforehand. Never use scissors to get rid of knots. Try untying them gently from the core causing as little discomfort to the cat as possible. Severe matts are usually shaved off and are typically performed at a vet’s office.