How to groom a cat the right way, benefits and tools

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how to groom a cat

Cats are notorious for effective self-grooming. Though, there are times when you may need to intervene and help your cat in the process. Learn more about the key benefits of grooming your cat from home, how to get started, when to groom the cat, the equipment you can use on the process, bathing your cat and when to stop or signs that your cat needs a break from grooming.

Benefits of grooming your cat

Grooming your cat has several great benefits:-

Benefit No. 1: We all know that cats shed and since indoor cats shed year-round, they continuously have dead hair embedded in their coats. This dead hair needs to be eliminated as well as dust, dirt, fleas (if they have any on), etc.

Benefit No. 2: Since a lot of cats are meticulous groomers, they lick themselves often. If you do not remove the loose hair, dust, and dirt by brushing them off, this grime will be eaten every time the cats lick themselves. This can cause a fur balls, which are not suitable for the cat or for those of you who have to clean them up off the carpets or floors.

Benefit No. 3: By brushing your feline regularly, you spread their natural oils throughout their fur while at the same time, increasing blood circulation. This keeps your kitty’s skin healthy and also gives your pet a shiny coat.

Benefit No. 4: Long-haired cats require grooming every few days to prevent tangles and mats. Matting can create all kinds of issues, including pain, infections, etc. While brushing, look for bumps, fleas, and tangles. If you find any fleas on the coat, treat the problem instantly.

Benefit No. 5: Many cats really enjoy being brushed. It is unwinding for them, like getting a massage. It can be especially helpful in reducing stress if the cat enjoys it.

Benefit No. 6: Brushing your kitty on a regular basis is an excellent way for you to bond. It forms a physical connection between you beyond just petting your pet. For many older cats or cats with movement issues, brushing is even more critical as they may not be able to groom themselves in the correct manner.

Cats being what they are, they are very suspicious of anything new, so if you have never brushed your feline before, take it gently. Experiment with different brushes and combs to find the one your cat likes the most. Begin slowly for short periods. Ensure your cat is relaxed when you begin and stop as soon as your pet lets you know enough is enough. Give treats for being good cats and remember, this is supposed to be a positive experience for both of you.

Start Early

If you get a kitten, it is a good approach to get your cat accustomed to being groomed from a very tender age. Gradually extend the amount of time that you spend on grooming your cat until it becomes a part and parcel of your cat’s daily routine.
Avoid vigorous grooming or restraint as this can cause a lot of stress and grooming will become an adverse experience for your cat.

How to Groom your cat

Shorthaired Cats

Equipment needed: Fine-toothed flea/tick comb; bristle brush, rubber mitten or grooming pad, damp cotton or rubber glove.
How often to groom: Once a week.

Make sure that your cat is relaxed and happy. Use the flea comb to check for flea excreta (flea dirt). If you find any, speak to us about flea control options.
Use your fingers to loosen dead hair by massaging in the direction of the cat’s head. Then start using the brush or grooming pad to tenderly brush from the head down to the cat’s tail, removing the dead hair and arousing the blood supply to the skin. Remove loosened hairs with the damp cotton or rubber glove. Finish the job on a positive note with treats and praise.

Longhaired Cats

Equipment needed: Wide-toothed comb, rubber mitten or grooming pad. There are also numerous different grooming products available, for example, slickers, rakes, and detangle sprays. Try a variety of different products to find what works best for you and your cat.
How often to groom: Once a day.

As for the shorthaired cats, ensure your cat is comfortable and happy. Before grooming, massage the skin thoroughly but gently not to harm the cat by gently spreading your fingers against the hair growth from the cat’s tail to head, monitoring for flea excreta. Use the wide-tooth comb to extract dead hair, taking extra care of the thin, sensitive skin underneath the cat’s armpits and between the back legs.
Use the rubber mitten or pad to extract the excess dead hair and do a last sweep over the skin with a damp cotton or a rubber glove to eliminate any loose hairs that remain on the skin. If your cat becomes anxious or stressed, stop and then commence again when your cat is relaxed. Reward the cat with praise and treats.

Dematting

Matts (or knots) can be very uncomfortable for a cat and challenging to remove at home. Preventative cat grooming is the key, however, if you do come across a matt,what you can do is tease it apart gently using your fingers, working slowly from the root towards the end of the hair. Do not be tempted to use scissors as it is straightforward to cut your cat!
More critical matts will need to be shaved off and will ordinarily need to be performed at a veterinary hospital nearest to you.

Bathing

Most cats do not simply tolerate bathing well, so if your cat is healthy, there is normally no reason to bath your cat. For some cats, bathing can make life simpler for those people who are allergic to cats. With longhaired cats, it is prudent to keep the hair shaved short around the bottom to prevent any occasional soiling by faeces.

Signs of Stress – When To Stop

The following are some of the more suggestive indications that the cat may be feeling uncomfortable or not happy with the grooming. Interaction should be stopped whenever any of these signs are visible.

  • Skin rippling or twitching
  • Tail thumping, swishing or twitching at the end
  • The sharp turn of cat’s head to face your hand or the brush
  • The cat suddenly freezes or becomes tense
  • Cat’s ears flick or rotate backward
  • Cat swallows or licks lips
  • The Cat shakes its head
  • Cat makes a short lasting but rapid burst of grooming to body
  • Cat growls or hisses

You can also read how to groom a cat that hates it, let us know your views in the comment section.

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