Cats are usually very fastidious groomers so most cat owners do not think much about cat grooming. In fact, it can be said that the most overlooked aspect of cat care and responsible cat ownership is cat grooming. Everybody just seems to think that cats and grooming don’t mix the way dogs and grooming do.
The reason, of course, is that most of us take it for granted that cats spend 30% of their waking time grooming themselves, so they must not need human intervention. Hey, if the cat looks clean, then why bother, right?
But this is precisely where we are wrong because cats do need owners to intervene in their grooming habits once in a while. In short, humans are a big help and can make cat grooming easier for cats.
Here are three tips to help you on how to groom your cat the right way.
Cat Grooming Supplies
Preparation is key to any task you have set out to do. And preparation, of course, includes having in hand all the supplies, tools, equipment, and what-not that you need for the task. Here is a sample list of some of the supplies you need for cat grooming:
You might want to have several of these, preferably in various tine depths, sizes, and shapes.
Aside from brushes, you also need combs, especially for taking out tangles and mats in your cat’s fur.
• Conditioner, shampoo and other bath essentials
• Ear wipes
• Dental Care Supplies
This includes teeth wipes, dental finger brushes, and cat toothpaste.
• Nail trimmers
Some nail trimmers and clippers are battery-operated while others are electric or purely manual.
• Tear Stain Remover Products
• Post Grooming Colognes
Basic Grooming Skills
So just how do you groom a cat? Well, if you own a dog and do your own grooming, then you probably some idea on how to groom a cat. Most cat grooming salons and parlors, employ a combination of brushing, combing, nail trimming, and removing mats. Others throw in cat massage as part of their service.
While you do not have to learn all that in order to groom your cat (just how do you do a massage to a cat?), you do need to master the basics at least. And the basics in cat grooming are brushing, combing and removing mats.
The purpose of brushing is generally to make your cat’s coat look shiny and sleek. It is also a great help in removing loose hair and spreading the oils in your cat’s skin throughout the coat.
Combing on the other hand is helpful in removing tangles in your cat’s hair. When removing tangles, it is important to be as gentle as possible in order to lessen hair coming off. Tangled hair, when forcibly separated, can be a painful experience for your cat. That is why, if the hair is too tangled, professional groomers mostly advise that you use your fingers to first separate the hairs before quickly running a comb through the fur.
How to Remove Hair Mats
Sometimes, mats occur in a cat’s fur. Mats can be painful for your cat and are main causes of irritation to the skin. The thickened hair gathering around the matted area does not allow any air through. As a result, the skin becomes hot and consequently becomes irritated. This could in turn lead to your cat persistently scratching and licking at the sore area.
To prevent such a thing from happening to your cat, you may have to take drastic steps in removing these mats, sometimes to the point of cutting the hair. But don’t worry. If you regularly groom and bathe your cat, chances are mats won’t be a problem, and when they do occur, they would be manageable.
The great thing about cat grooming is that it is not as hard as it sounds. In time, your cat will get used to the experience. Just remember to always be gentle, and use treats and praises to get him or her to cooperate.