Cats are very clean creatures. They are in the habit of grooming themselves regularly and this habit of self-grooming has several benefits:
- it promotes better circulation of the blood
- it gets rid of dead skin cells
- it removes excess/dead hair on their coat
- it tones their muscles
- it keeps the fur soft and clean
Although your feline friend does a wonderful job with self care, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help! There are, of course, things you can do to help your cat stay clean and healthy.
Depending on the breed, your cat can either have long or short hair. Since both long and short-haired cats shed regularly, your brushing not only helps them derive more of the health benefits outlined above, but it also keeps your home cleaner.
For cats with short hair, use a brush with soft bristles so that the skin will not be scratched or hurt in the grooming process.
Use soft, gentle strokes while brushing and no doubt you’ll be rewarded with purrs of pure delight!
After brushing the coat with a comb, you can finish the job by wiping the fur with a dry, soft and clean piece of cloth. This should maintain the shine on your cat’s coat.
Long-haired cats require more (and more frequent) brushing time than short-haired cats.
For them, use a comb with wide-teeth that is specially designed for long-haired cats. This will help remove any knots and tangles on their fur.
Afterwards, you can use a fine-toothed comb to work the smaller knots and smooth the fur out. Should you encounter any stubborn knots that could not be removed with either comb, then it may be necessary to use a pair of grooming scissors to carefully remove the matted knot entirely.
Do not forget to brush the hair around the face with a smaller comb or a toothbrush, but avoid the eye and whisker area when working in this area.
Cats are such great self-groomers, they very rarely require an actual bath. However, there are some cases where it becomes necessary-- no matter how you – and your pet – dread the chore.
These cases include:
- When your cat is excessively dirty
- If your cat has come into contact with something that is poisonous
- If your cat has fleas or ticks
Cleaning the Eyes and Ears
The eyes and ears are the sensitive parts of your cat’s body, so it is essential to use specialized products to clean in or around those parts of their body. On the face, be sure that you use a tear-free cleanser that won’t cause stinging or burning of the eyes.
For the ears, use a cat-specific cleanser and soft thin cleansing cloths to remove excess wax buildup on the inside of the ear. Also take note of any odor that is coming from the ear or whether there is any redness- both are indicative of infection.
Keeping the Paws Clean
Keeping your cats claws neatly trimmed will prevent the need for them to scratch surfaces in your house. While you can buy special nail trimmers designed for cats in the store, it is ok to simply leave the task to your veterinarian on your next visit or a professional groomer.
Another option, is to buy scratching pads and posts and position them about the house so your cat has a way to do nail maintenance on its own.
By following these tips and making time in your busy schedule to groom your cat, you would have a healthy and happy cat and be a happy owner as well.