Having a cat will not only bring happiness and life to your house but also teach you several lessons such as how to be responsible and self-reliant. As we know, cats are independent creatures. They do not need their owners to do every single thing for them. In a similar fashion, cats have a natural ability to groom themselves. However, cat-self grooming alone may not be enough for your cat. Here comes your role. Human assistance from time to time is needed to entirely clean your cat.
Before grooming your cat, you need first to be aware of all that is related to your cat’s grooming process. For this reason, we have written this article to make the process easy and simple for you as well as your feline friend. So, let us get started!
1- Your Cat IS Grooming Itself
If you are a cat owner, you have certainly noticed your cat licking its paws and chewing on itself. Well, cats are known to groom themselves starting from 4 weeks of age and the process continues at adulthood. Thanks to their flexibility, cats are able to groom most of the parts of their bodies. They are also well-equipped which makes the process easy for them.
2- Why Do Your Cat Grooming Itself?
Cats naturally groom themselves to be, of course, clean and to protect themselves from other health issues. This includes:
- Regulating their body temperature.
- Distributing natural skin oil to keep their coat clean.
- Evaporating saliva.
- Decreasing infection, and allergies.
- Preventing hairball (find more about this issue by clicking here).
- Calming themselves.
3- Compulsive Grooming
Normally, cats spend about 30 to 50% of their day grooming themselves. However, once you notice some signs such as obsessive grooming and hair loss, you need to visit the vet.
Some psychological or neurological disorders, flea infestation, and parasites may result in compulsive grooming in cats. Moreover, stress and other events such as having a new pet may trigger the behavior. If the problem is not successfully addressed, it may cause self-inflicted injury.
4- What to Do If Your Cat Is Not Grooming Itself?
Self-grooming is crucial for your cat to maintain their look and health. Cats may stop grooming themselves because of some dental problems, feeling pain, or because they were taken from their mother as small kitties and did not know how to clean themselves. If your cat stops grooming itself, you will notice some warning signs such as:
- Harsh coat
- Mats on their body or tail
- Foul smell
- Food particles on their faces or chests
In order to help your cat starts grooming, it is advisable to begin by brushing them on a daily basis to stimulate both the skin and blood circulation. Do not interrupt your cat when they are grooming and let them until they finish.
5- Why Cat Grooming Is Important?
While it is true that cats can naturally groom themselves yet it is essential to offer your cat proper grooming from time to time. This will keep your cat looking good and most importantly keep their health and well-being. The following points clearly show why grooming your cat is crucial:
– Get Rid of Fleas & Ticks
Bathing your cat is necessary to prevent fleas and ticks. Well, bathing only may not help to entirely keep them away, but it is one important step to start with.
– Make Your Cat Comfortable
Another reason why grooming is important is that it aids in making your cat feels comfortable. For example, brushing with an appropriate brush will make it possible to remove mats that may cause pain and sores to your cat. Moreover, it brings your cat’s natural oil to its skin.
– Protect Your Cat’s Feet
To protect your cat’s feet, it is highly essential to include nail trimming in their grooming process. If not, overgrown nails will cause pain as well as discomfort to your kitty.
– Prevent Ear Infections
Cats may suffer from serious ear Infections if you do not clean the inside of your cat’s ears. To help your cat feels comfortable and healthy, you have to clean all the wax buildup, fluid, dirt, and debris.
– Early Detection
Your cat may be suffering from a certain underlying issue and you have no single idea about it. Some health issues, if not treated right away, may lead to serious problems. By grooming your cat, you will be able to closely spot any health problems and tackle them early on.
6- Other Benefits of Grooming
In addition to what we have mentioned above, cat grooming has other benefits. While they are beautifying themselves, they get other benefits as well:
- Stimulating the circulation
- Improve the muscle tone
- Smooth their fur
- Waterproof the fur
- Waterproof and protect their skin and coat
7- When to Help with Cat Grooming?
Firstly, it is better to start grooming your cat at an early age so that it can get used to it. If you do so, grooming will become a natural part of your cat’s routine. Also, as your cat gets older, it will be hard for them to reach and clean some areas. In this case, they surely need your help. Matting is uncomfortable and even painful for your cat. In such situations, your cat needs you to provide them with proper grooming.
8- How to Groom Your Cat?
As a cat parent, you need to know how to bathe your cat. To guide you, read the following:
It is essential to brush your cat if you wish to keep its coat looking tidy. What’s more, brushing is necessary to remove all the dirt and tangles found in your cat. It also helps spread your cat’s oil throughout its coat while keeping its skin and fur healthy. Brushing a short-haired cat is, obviously, different from a long-haired cat.
If you have a cat with short hair, you need to:
- Brush weekly
- Utilize a metal comb to get rid of all the dead fur. Start at their heads until you reach the tail.
- Use a bristle or rubber brush.
- Be careful when reaching your cat’s face, belly, and chest.
If you own a long-haired cat, you have to:
- Brush daily
- Start the process at your cat’s legs and belly.
- Follow an upward motion
Bathing your cat may be recommended either to treat a skin condition, to feel oily to the touch, or get into something smelly or sticky. In these cases, you have to give your cat a bath. Also, bathing your cat is necessary if they are suffering from a certain health condition and cannot groom themselves.
Bathing can be performed at home, at a professional groomer, or in the vet hospital. If you wish to give your cat a bath at home, you have to follow these procedures:
- First, you need to regularly brush your cat’s hair so that it will not clog your drain.
- Make your cat feels comfortable by adding a rubber mat to your bathtub or sink.
- Use warm water. Make sure it is not hot.
- Gently get your cat entirely wet. Make sure not to touch their ears, eyes, and nose.
- Apply the shampoo starting from the neck to the tail. Please note that you have to utilize a veterinarian-recommended shampoo specifically designed for cats.
- Using warm water, remove all the soap while avoiding their faces.
- Using warm water, dry off your cat.
– Nail Clipping
Once you see that your cat’s nails are too long, you have to know that it is the right time to trim them. To make the process easy for you and your cat, try to perpetually play with your cat’s feet when you are not about to trim them. Give them some treats so that your cat will link touching their feet with giving them treats. After a few weeks, your cat will tolerate it. At this exact moment, you can calmly trim their nails.
In the actual process of trimming, you need to:
- Start by squeezing both, the top and the bottom of your cat’s foot so that their claws emerge.
- Use a cat nail trimmer.
- Make sure not to cut the inner pink areas of your cat’s nails. This part is called the “quick”, it includes the nerves and blood vessels. If you touch them, your cat will start bleeding and feel pain.
- Get a styptic powder to use in case you cut the quick by accident. This will stop the bleeding quickly.
– Cleaning Ears
It is essential to clean your cat’s ears once pre-week. This will help in getting rid of all the wax, debris, and infection and maintain healthy ears for your cat. You will need to buy cat ear cleaner to successfully clean your cat’s ears. Here, you will find the main ear problems that your feline friend may face.
– Brushing Teeth
Your cat’s teeth also need to be brushed. To do so, you need first to look for an appropriate toothpaste designed specifically for cats. Do not think of using your own toothpaste as it includes a number of ingredients that may negatively affect the stomach of your pet.
Also, you need to get a suitable toothbrush so that you can comfortably brush your cat’s teeth without hurting them. Remember to reach those hard-to-reach areas so that your cat’s teeth will be fully cleaned.
Your cat’s hair may become matted or tangled. Therefore, getting your cut haircut is crucial. while doing so, try to choose a stylish and attractive hairstyle for your feline friend such as
“ lion cut”. In other words, keep your cat both healthy as well as stylish.
9- Home Examination of Your Cat’s Health
While regular visits to the vet are an essential part of your cat’s, checking your cat’s health at home is important as well. To do so, kindly follow what is written below:
– Your Cat’s Skin
while grooming or petting your cat, remember to check if there are any lumps, scratches, scabs, or others. bear in mind that dandruff, oily, and missing fur can be signs of some skin or internal problems. You also have to look for any similar signs, especially after a vaccination. To know more about cat skin problems, please click here.
– Your Cat’s Ears
You have to make sure that the hairless part of your cat’s ears is clean and odorless. If your cat is facing any problems with its ears, it may start shaking their heads and scratching its ears. If you find any flacking, scabs, or foul odor, it is advisable to take your cat to the vet.
– Your Cat’s Eyes
In normal situations, your cat should have bright, clear, and focused eyes. If you notice any redness, discoloration, or the emergence of the third eyelid, you need to seek professional help. Take your cat to the vet before it is too late.
– Your Cat’s Mouth
Healthy gums are usually pink. In cases where your cat’s gums are pale, this may mean that your cat is having some issues with their mouth. Moreover, if you notice any pawing at the mouth, brown streaks, or any other unusual signs, you need to go to the vet as your cat is suffering from some dental issues.
– Your Cat’s Nose
Your cat’s nose should be clean. In case you see that your cat perpetually sneezes, it is better to speak to your vet.
10- How Often You Should Bathe Your Cat?
Generally speaking, you need to bathe your cat once every 4-6 weeks. However, several factors may interfere. These include the environment they live in, their weight, and their age. Self-grooming alone will not do the entire work especially if your cat is spending more time outdoors.
If you own a hairless cat, however, you need to frequently give them a bath. Once pre-week to be exact. This is because of their production of excess oil.
11- How to Bath Your Cat?
To make the process easy for you and your cat, here are some tips to follow:
– Choose the Right Time
To have a good experience, you need to choose the appropriate time to bathe your cat. Never do so while your pet is alert as things may go wrong. Instead, you can give your cat a bath when they seem to be tired.
– Prepare Your Cat
Before the actual bathing, you have to prepare your cat. Firstly, you have to trim your cat’s nails in order not to be scratched. Then, you have to start by brushing your cat’s hair to get rid of all the dead skin and hair, which makes bathing easy. Remember not to let the water in your cat’s ears, you may want to use cotton to prevent this from happening.
– Bring Everything You Need Beforehand
It is a good idea to place, for example, a folded towel in your sink or tub so that your cat will not slip. Also, giving treats while in their bathing place is a helpful way to make your cat feels comfortable. They will associate bathing with something positive, which is treats in this case.
– Bathing & Drying Your Cat
The first step you should take is to fill the bath with warm water and then gently put your cat inside the water. Remember not to make any noises from running water as this will make your cat feels anxious. If you are using the shower head, it is better to stop using it. Replace it with a small jug to make your cat comfortable.
Your cat may have some allergies to certain shampoos. For this reason, you need to consult the vet and see what shampoo will suit your cat. Never wash your cat’s face with water. The best tip to follow is to use a wet washcloth and start wiping gently. Finally, you have to dry your feline friend by wrapping them in a large towel.
After each bath, make sure to reinforce good behavior by praising your cat and showing them affection and love.
12- Why You Should Take it to a Cat Grooming PROFESSIONAL?
Grooming your cat at home is possible. However, it is more convenient to take your cat to a professional groomer as they know all that it takes to successfully groom your cat. A professional groomer will offer you the following:
– Cat Grooming PROFESSIONALs Do a Good and Professional Work
A professional groomer will do all that your cat needs. They start the process by brushing your cat so that they find it easy for them to bathe as well as dry your cat. They also trim your cat’s nails, clean their ears, and eyes, and brush their teeth.
– Cat Grooming PROFESSIONALs Possess All the Needed Tools
You may lack a number of necessary tools to groom your cat. On the other hand, professional groomers have all that is needed to entirely clean your cat. These include various types of brushes toothbrushes and a variety of shampoos for various cats with different skins.
– Cat Grooming PROFESSIONALs Know How to Deal with Cats
Each time you try to groom your cat, they become nervous and try to run away from you. In such cases, it is better to take your cat to a professional groomer as they know how to deal with any type of cat and make them feel comfortable while enjoying their grooming experience.
– Cat Grooming PROFESSIONALs Provide Other Health Benefits
Just like with dogs, a professional groomer has the ability to offer several health benefits. These include the following:
- While grooming your cat, a professional groomer closely looks for any lumps or other skin irritations.
- Clean your cat’s coat to make sure that it will not be matted causing pain to your feline friend.
- Get rid of all the dead hair as well as skin while distributing your cat’s natural oil.
– Some additional benefits that professional groomers offer are below:
- Tackling fur mats
- Recognizing dermatologic issues
- Fresh smell
- Calmer cat
- Early detection of some health issues
13- How Much Does Cat Grooming Cost?
Generally speaking, cat grooming will cost you about $30 and $70. You will also find that some groomers offer some basic packages that can cost you between $10 to $15 per session. These may include haircuts, nail clipping, and other services.
Nevertheless, you need to know that cat grooming costs vary depending on several factors such as your cat’s coat type. If you have a long-haired cat you will, obviously, be charged a higher price than short-haired cats.
Furthermore, the type of services will affect the price greatly. For example, some groomers come to your home and offer their services. in such cases, the price will be higher.
14- What to Avoid While Cat Grooming?
While grooming your cat, make sure to avoid these mistakes:
- Do not use human products to groom your cats such as your shampoo or your toothbrush.
- Do not trim your cat’s nails until you learn how to do so. Otherwise, you may hurt your cat.
- While grooming your cat, you may notice some unusual signs or wounds. Because you do not know the sorts of issues, never think of treating them by yourself. Take your pet to the vet.
- Do you shave your cat’s hair in an attempt to get them a stylish haircut? You may unintentionally hurt them.
- Do not brush after the bath, but before it.
- Do not overlook your cat’s ears.
15- Your Responsibilities As a Cat Owner
Cats are entirely different from you. They need special care. For this specific reason, you have to fully educate yourself and be aware of all that it takes to be a cat parent. This means that you are responsible for recognizing your cat’s breeds, grooming needs, food, what to avoid, and what to do.
Before having a cat, you have to know that you need to be patient. You need to make some efforts such as taking your cat to the vet regularly, reinforcing some behaviors, and addressing others.
Despite all these challenges, having a cat is worth it. They are great friends that offer fantastic companionship, love, and affection.
Cats are pure souls who are responsible for creating a smile on our faces. They do not ask for too much, just for our attention and love. If you own a cat, you will understand what unconditional love means. What does it mean to give without waiting to take in turn?
To live happily with your feline friend, you have to maintain their health. While there are many procedures to follow, one of which is grooming. It is important to keep your cat clean, healthy, and comfortable because they deserve the best.