Cat Grooming Tips
You may ask, “Cats clean themselves, why should I have to groom them?” We see our cats spending a lot of time each day licking and cleaning themselves. There are various reasons as to why your cat still needs your grooming assistance to stay healthy and happy. Grooming accomplishes much more than just making your cat’s coat look nice and shiny. It also stimulates circulation, removes loose hair, and helps prevent matting.
Grooming is important for kittens. We see queens constantly licking and grooming their kittens to help keep their coats clean. We recommend that if you acquire a new kitten, be sure to start conditioning him to the grooming process early. By starting with short grooming sessions at a young age, your kitten will become accustomed to the grooming process and will be less likely to resist your grooming efforts when he gets older. Constantly reassure your kitten in gentle tones while brushing and combing, and offer a yummy treat afterward. This will, in time, make him accustomed to being handled and brushed. Eventually he will be quite comfortable and will look forward to these grooming sessions with you and the extra attention they provide.
Regular grooming will provide you with the opportunity to spend more “quality time” with your cat, combing, brushing and generally bonding with him. You will also be able to check your cat closely for any problems while grooming as well. Move the hair aside and examine the skin closely for signs of fleas. Also check for any unusual problems with the coat such as mats, tangles, skin irritations, etc. Should you notice matting, try to gently comb the mat out but NEVER use scissors to cut out the mat. Your cat’s skin is very thin and can be easily cut resulting in a trip to your vet and daily treatments to heal the wound, maybe even sedation and sutures. If you are not able to remove the mat, schedule a grooming appointment with Sophisticated Mane. Learn where your cat likes to be combed and brushed, and where he doesn’t. Cats have sensitive ears and feet that may need to be groomed a little more gently and carefully than other areas. By paying special attention to these locations, you will help make your cat more comfortable while being groomed, and he will not resist future grooming sessions.
Regular grooming is essential to your cat’s health and well-being. Regular combing and brushing will keep the coat clean and healthy, stimulate the skin, and allow the natural oils to circulate to the coat. It will also help to prevent hairballs, which are the result of loose hair being picked up by the cat’s tongue and then swallowed. These hairs sometimes accumulate in the cat’s stomach forming hairballs which can be harmful to the cat, and may even require surgery to remove. Grooming will also allow you to check for potentially serious problems. Check for areas of hair loss, inflammation, unusual tenderness or lumps under the skin. Constant scratching in a particular area may also be an indication of a problem. Check with your veterinarian about any unusual problems you may find. As cats get older, it is often difficult for them to properly groom themselves (especially medium/long-haired cats). It is very important for you to pay close attention to your cat and make every effort to assist your kitty in keeping a clean and healthy coat.
How often your cat needs to be combed/brushed depends upon several factors: type and length of coat, weather conditions, time of year, etc. Generally speaking, shorthaired cats should be combed/brushed about twice a week, while longhaired cats should be combed/brushed daily. You will soon find the grooming frequency that provides the best results for your cat. It is important to establish and adhere to a regular grooming schedule. These sessions should be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you to allow time for proper grooming and not be interrupted.
Combing and Brushing
Comb carefully in the direction of hair growth to smooth the coat and remove any minor knots or tangles. Never use scissors to remove mats as this is very dangerous and could injure your cat. For longhaired cats, begin with a wide tooth comb and follow up with a fine tooth comb. After combing, use a wire slicker brush to remove any loose or dead hair in the coat. A grooming glove can also be used to remove any remaining debris, massage the skin and distribute your cat’s natural oils resulting in a shiny, healthy coat.
Regular nail trimming is important to your cat’s health and your furniture. Never use ordinary scissors to trim your cat’s nails; they may injure the cat. If using human nail clippers, use extreme caution as you can easily clip the cat’s pad with the curved portion of the clippers. We recommend using trimmers that are specifically designed for cats. Hold the paw with gentle firmness and squeeze the paw at the base of the nail. This will cause the nail to protrude. Cut off the tip of the nail with a single stroke, being careful to stop short of the quick, the pink blood vessel inside the nail. Cutting into the quick will hurt your cat and cause bleeding.
If you are uncomfortable with trimming your cat’s nails, schedule a visit from Sophisticated Mane. We have several cat families that have us visit every 4-6 weeks for nail trims. We will also show you how to properly trim your cat’s nails if you would like to learn to do it yourself.
Food and Nutrition
Diet is especially important to your cat’s overall health. A combination of proper diet and grooming will make a huge difference in your cat’s overall well-being.