Grooming your cat

Although cats are efficient groomers, they need help maintaining a high standard of hygiene, health and beauty.

USEFUL SUPPLIES

These items will make grooming easy:

  • Wire-and-bristle brush
  • Two-sided metal comb
  • Grooming mitt
  • Cat shampoo
  • Cat nail clippers
  • Cat toothpaste and brush
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Cotton balls

Human shampoos, nail clippers or toothpaste can injure your cat. Use only grooming products specifically designed for cats to avoid adverse reactions and injury.

BRUSHING THE COAT

Keep your cat beautiful by brushing and combing them regularly.

Step 1: Start at the head and neck with the wide-spaced side of the comb. Comb down the body, following the lie of the hair.

Step 2: Pay special attention to the following areas where mats usually develop: behind the ears, under the legs and on the rump.

Step 3: Comb the cat a second time, switching between the wide- and the narrow-toothed combs as needed. Comb until you feel no more mats and you've collected all the loose hair.

BRUSHING TIPS

  • To remove large mats, gently pull them apart and comb them out, taking care not to hurt your cat.
  • For short-haired breeds, use a short-bristled, slightly stiff brush that won't irritate the skin, or use a comb with close, small teeth. Brush or comb your cat every three to four days.
  • For longhaired breeds, use the comb to remove the dead undercoat that frequently causes matting.
  • A cat who is brushed regularly and frequently will not need a bath very often.
  • Taking care of your cat's coat will help control excessive shedding.

BATHING

Step 1: Slowly wet your cat in water that's close to their body temperature

Step 2: Lather your cat gently with a shampoo designed just for cats. Rinse until the water runs clear. When clear, give your cat one more final rinse. Even a small amount of shampoo lather or residue will cause your cat to froth when they lick themselves. Avoid soap in the eyes, which can cause painful irritation.

Step 3: Wrap a towel around your cat to dry them as much as possible, then use a human hair dryer set on low heat.

BATHING TIPS

  • To avoid tangles with long- and medium-haired cats, comb the coat as you dry it until it's completely dry. Short-haired cats can air-dry.
  • Have everything ready and near you before you start: cat shampoos, rinses, a soft towel and a hair dryer. Keep them out of reach of the cat so they can't grab onto anything.
  • A waist-high sink or basin with a non-skid mat is the best place to bathe your cat.
  • Bathing helps keep dander under control, which may help alleviate allergic reactions.

NAIL CARE

Although a kitten's claws should be clipped each week, adult cats only need their nails clipped every two weeks.

Step 1: Place your cat facing away from you in your lap.

Step 2: Squeeze the toes between your forefinger and thumb, which will extend the claws. Hold your cat gently and talk softly to calm them.

Step 3: Using cat clippers, carefully clip the claws, being careful not to cut into the sensitive quick (the area of flesh containing blood and nerves beneath the toenail). Remove only the tip.

NAIL CARE TIPS

  • Never use human clippers, which can split a cat's nails.
  • If your cat continually resists nail clipping, schedule a visit with your groomer or vet.