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.
Deshedding and Combing Your Cat
Deshedding tools work to dig out any loose hairs before they get 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. Stroke your cat while wearing a cat grooming glove will 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
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 can take care of the day to day cleaning themselves. If your cat has problems with infestations, be it fleas or worms, then a bathing session can work wonders to clear things up. There are shampoos specifically for this. Cat shampoos for dandruff
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 aren't used to being bathed or shampooed from a young age, but there's plenty of help and tips out there to help you get through those first few.
Clipping Your Cat's Nails
Clipping nails is a process that removes only the outermost sharp layer of your cat's claws. This is done using a pair of cat nail clippers
. 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. For indoor cats this behavior manifests in the most furniture-destructive way possible, leather sofas or wooden coffee tables tend to be the 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. 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.
Brushing your cat's teeth with a top cat toothpaste
should be an essential part of any grooming routine. You'll be fighting off dental disease, bad breath, and promoting good overall health at the same time. Most good cat toothpastes such as Enzadent, use an enzymatic approach to kill off bacteria and stop the formation of plaque and tartar. Many owners turn to dental gels and finger-brushes as a way to clean the teeth of even the most uncooperative of cats.