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Facts About Grooming a Cat

Most cats are very attentive to their own grooming—they are often seen licking their coats for hours each day. However, sometimes it may be necessary to give your feline a little help with their grooming. Because of their sharp claws and teeth and a strong aversion to water, you may need a little advice on grooming your cat.

Most cats are very attentive to their own grooming—they are often seen licking their coats for hours each day. However, sometimes it may be necessary to give your feline a little help with their grooming. Because of their sharp claws and teeth and a strong aversion to water, you may need a little advice on grooming your cat.

Brushing is one of the most basic forms of grooming. As your cat gets older or if your cat is ill, it may be harder for her to groom herself with her tongue. Brushing can help supplement her grooming regimen. A metal comb works great for brushings and is best completed by brushing from head to tail in the direction of hair growth. Short haired felines need brushings only about once a week, but longer haired cats should be brushed every few days.

Nail clipping can be a necessity for cats with very long, sharp claws. Most cats don’t like their feet handled, so you will have to practice a bit to get her comfortable with the idea of someone touching her feet. Rub your hand on her leg and press gently on each toe. Repeat this daily for a week or two, using lots of positive reinforcement (praise and treats). When you feel that your cat is comfortable with her feet being touched, you can now try to clip her nails. Extend the claw by pushing on the top of the foot and the pad beneath. Cut off the white tip of the nail just before it begins to curl. Be careful not to cut the quick, which is a vein in the nail. This will cause your cat’s nail to bleed and put her in pain. If you do happen to snip off too much of the nail and it begins to bleed, apply styptic powder to halt the bleeding.

Most cats only need to be bathed if they get into something smelly or sticky. Before giving her a bath, perform a thorough brushing to get out mats and dead hair. Find a rubber bath mat to place in your sink or bathtub to give your cat good footing and then fill the sink or bathtub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Using a plastic pitcher or spray hose, wet your cat down. Take care to avoid her ears, eyes and nose.  You will want to use a mild shampoo that has been designed for cats to massage her gently from head to toe. Rinse your cat well and dry her off with a towel.

Sources:

www.nationalcatgroomers.com

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