Being a meow pal, you must be knowing that cats are neatniks. So, Do my cat need my help in grooming? Well, they do. There is nothing like little pampering your purr-ty pet to make them feel amazing and dazzle like a star they are! From nail trims to bathing your feline, a little maintenance goes a long way but we’re here to help!
Do I need to groom my cat?
Kittens learn to groom themselves during their kittenhood. Well, you might not be amazed to know that your cat spends about 10 percent of her waking hours grooming herself. However, her methods of self-cleaning are primitive. Her cleaning agent is spat and her tools are tongue and teeth. Moreover, She simply licks her fur and chews anything that does not belong there. Well, this works great for young and healthy cats.
But older cats have less energy for self-grooming and they are at risk of developing sores, mats, and hairballs. You can prevent these by helping your cat is grooming herself.
Don't push your cat to accept grooming, if she seems stressed or upset take a break and try again later
Advantages of grooming your cat
- Grooming keeps your cat cleaner and ticks free.
- It gives you opportunity to check for lumps , broken teeth’s, ear mites or any skin conditions.
- Helping you cat out in grooming will develop a strong bond between you
- Grooming can control shedding. Shedding is normal and natural for cats but varies much with breed (different pet cat breeds in India), season and individual. Indoor cat tends to shed moderate amount of hair year long as they are exposed to only artificial lights. Shedding is a normal process and can not be eliminated completely but combing and brushing can remove some hairs before it lands on your bed or sofa.
Help my cat is getting hairballs!
Innumerable jokes are centered on hairballs but they can be very unfunny especially when they need surgery to remove them. Hairballs are the result of self-grooming, now you must be wondering how?
Well during grooming herself with her rough tongue your cat tends to catch dead, loose hair which gets swallowed. Mostly hairballs pass straight through but often vomited up accompanying retching and gagging. They can also cause constipation and in some serious cases life-threatening blockage.
SKIN AND FUR CARE
Brushing and combing
Remember the golden rule: be calm, quiet and quick. Short hair cats need brushing once a week while long hair one needs twice or thrice a week.
- You can use a gentle wire/ bristle/ rubber brush or a metal comb. It remove mats, pull away dead hair, increase circulation, distribute hair oils and help in conditioning skin.
- If your cat is long haired and have seriously tangled hair your might need a good comb. You can get a comb in which half the teeth are coarse and half are fine.
- Start with legs and belly and slowly work your way up.
- Finally part the fur on the tail and brush each side.
- Be careful around your cats face, belly, and chest.
It won’t be taking more than a minute for daily brushing your cat and remove plaque from the teeth before it mineralizes. You can use a little cat brush and made-for-cats toothpaste to fight plaque and tartar buildup.
- The first step is to get your cat to allow you to insert something in her mouth. To train her, dip your finger in chicken broth and let her lick it.
- Eventually she will let you rub your broth-soaked digit along her gum line.
- Then, you can wrap some thin gauze (dipped in broth) around your finger and use that.
- Then try the toothbrush, but before inserting, let her lick the paste off so that she gets used to the feeling of the bristles.
You might have to content your self by brushing the fangs first, slowly work your way to back. You don't need to worry about brushing the insides of teeth as most of the bad stuff accumulates on the outside.
- Restrain your feline in a towel, leaving only the head exposed, gently bend back the ear flap and wipe away any dirt.
- Usually healthy inner ears are light pink with no odour and there is no visible earwax.
- If there are dark or smelly debris in the ear, your cat might have ear mites.
- If the ears are red or swollen, you need to contact your vet.
- You can clean the parts of the inner ear you can see with soothing ear wash.
Cats usually keep their nails in excellent condition by ripping your furniture to shreds. You can trim your cat’s nails every couple of weeks to protect them.
Cat use claws to defend themselves and climb we strongly recommend trimming when its essentially required. In case of outdoor cat trim only when they are at a risk of overgrowing.
- Make it a habit to check your cat’s claw weekly. If you spot any ingrown, ripped, torn or missing claw your vet may need to take a look.
- If its your first time you can ask your vet or vet nurse to demonstrate how to do it. Even if you don’t feel confident you can always ask your vet to do it.
- Its a great idea to get your kitten acquainted with trimming. However a kitten’s claws are filed, not trimmed as they are soft.
- Cat nail clippers have stainless steel blades and are designed for easy, safe, and painless trimming. Don’t use a human nail cutter or scissor.
- Hold the cat in your lap, press his toe pad to extend the claw.
- You can inspect for split and damaged claws.
- Clip the sharp tip of the claw below the quick i.e. the pink part inside.
- Though the clip is clearly visible, if you do cut the quick by mistake, you can stop the bleeding by touching the end of the nail with a styptic pencil.
- You don’t need to clip the rear claws as these usually don’t cause damage to furniture.
Your notoriously independent feline is well equipped with her built-in grooming tools her tongue and teeth to tackle her own hair care needs. But if she stinks or gets into something smelly or sticky, you may need to give her a bath.
What to do before bathing
- Try to schedule bath when your cat is at her most mellow. A play session with her favourite toy can help tire our even the friskiest of felines.
- Trim fluffy’s claws before bathing to ensure your own protection.
- A good brushing will remove any loose hair and mats.
- Place some cotton in her ears to keep water out.
- Place a rubber bath mat in the tub where you will be bathing your kitty.
To Maximise Efficiency And Minimise Stress Follow These Steps:
- Fill the tub with up to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
- You can either use a plastic pitcher/cup or a hand held spray hose to wet your pet thoroughly. Avoid directly spraying into her eyes, ears and nose.
- Dilute shampoo with five parts water or dilutions mentioned on the bottle and gently massage her from head to tail in the direction of hair growth. Avoid her face, ears and eyes.
- Thoroughly rinse the shampoo off your cat with Luke warm water removing all the residues as they can irritate the skin and attract dust and dirt.
- Carefully wipe her face with a washcloth. If face is very dirty you can use extra diluted shampoo but avoid eyes and ears.
- Wrap her in a large towel and dry her. You can also use a blow dryer on lowest heat if your cat don’t mind noise.
- If your cat has long hair carefully untangle her fur with a wide toothed comb.
- Reward her with her favourite treat.
If your cat objects water in any form , Cat-approved dry shampoo powder can be a life saver.
signs your cat is not happy being groomed
Grooming sessions can be stressful and cause discomfort so do lookout for these signs-
- skin rippling
- tail thumping or swishing
- sudden freezing
- sharp turn toward your hand or brush
- head shakes
- hissing or growling
- licking on a specific area of body
Try to ensure your meow is happy and relaxed to be groomed. So that it remains a happy experience for both of you.