Cats are typically meticulous groomers by their own choice. Given an appropriate environment, they do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves during day to day life.
If your cat has any health issues or infestations that are preventing them from proper grooming, then it’s down to you to take the reins and help them out a little.
There are multiple disciplines when it comes to grooming, simple brushing and combing is something anyone can do, but bathing and shampooing is something many owners struggle with. Let’s look at some common grooming practices.
Deshedding and Combing Your Cat
Cats do a great job of shedding hair themselves by grooming, but on occasion, deep rooted loose hairs become knotted and cause discomfort. Deshedding tools work to dig out any loose hairs there and then, rather than have them scattered around your home.
Combs and brushes all work to achieve the same goal, but many are better suited for specific tasks like fishing out flea eggs and larvae. Others focus solely on dragging up hair with tipped rubber teeth.
There are even grooming gloves for cats that you wear much like a regular glove or mitt and then stroke your cat to pick up any loose fur. A lot of owners find these super effective, since a wider surface area and a flexible reach mean you pick up the same amount of fur in one stroke of a hand that you would in five or six brush strokes.
Shampooing & Bathing Your Cat
On this surface, you’d be forgiven for thinking that giving a cat a bath is the worst idea ever. For the most part, owners don’t need to bathe or shampoo their cats, they’re pretty good at keeping themselves clean.
Another type of shampoo that’s available is dandruff shampoo. These work to moisturize and soothe dry skin, reducing flakes and dead skin.
Regardless of the reasons for having to bathe or shampoo your cat, you’re likely to find it a bit of a struggle the first time. This is totally natural with cats who haven’t been bathed from a young, but there’s plenty of help and tips out there.
Clipping Your Cat’s Nails
Clipping nails is a process done to remove the outermost sharp layer of your cat’s claws. It might seem like something they’re against, but it’s actually more comfortable for you both.
Cats naturally manage this in the wild by clawing at trees and other rough textures to wear down the sharp points. In indoor cats this behavior manifests in the most furniture destructive way possible, leather sofas or wooden coffee tables tend to be the favorite items of choice.
You can allow your cats to better manage their claws indoors by using a scratching post, but clipping claws is still often recommended.
You need to be careful with clipping. Clipping is not the same as declawing. Declawing your cat is often advised against, and many modern vets refuse to carry out the process as they consider it cruel. Clipping is the way forward but only if it is done correctly.
As with bathing, it’s significantly easier to start out with kittens. An adult cat will take a bit of coaxing to feel comfortable around nail clippers.