Cats may be notorious for looking after themselves, but this doesn’t mean you get a free pass from grooming duties. Grooming your cat isn’t about making them look great; it’s good for their health.
By practicing regular grooming, you can keep a check on the health of your cat and address issues as soon as possible. Frequent grooming also prevents issues from cropping up, with one of the most common being digestive troubles due to hairballs.
GOOD GROOMING PRACTICES
Apart from being particular about their own hygiene, cats are not shy about letting you know when they are displeased with your actions. Put simply, don’t disrupt what they are doing for a grooming session. Usually, the best time to “disturb” them is when they are relaxed and have finished eating. Your sessions don’t even have to last long; about five to ten minutes will do.
When your cat shows signs of displeasure at what you’re doing, it’s best to stop to prevent the worse from happening. You can always try again. Try to make this a regular habit to get your cat used to the routine.
There are lots of things cat owners do to groom their four-legged companions, like giving them pedicures, but these are the most common ones:
- Brushing (fur)
Brushing removes dirt, spreads natural oils throughout the coat, prevents tangles and keeps skin clean and free from irritants. Short-haired cats only need brushing once a week, but long-haired varieties need one every day.
Cats technically bathe themselves several times each day, but giving them a good scrub once in a while isn’t such a bad idea. This is even advisable if they dipped themselves into something sticky or smelly. After all, you don’t want your home to smell and you surely don’t want any sticky stuff around your house.
- Nail Clipping
This may be one of the most difficult grooming activity involving pets. Madness can ensue once they find out some part of their body is about to be touched. Rather than not do this at all, make sure your cat gets used to you touching their paws and legs. Every cat is different, but continuously trying the same actions will generally get them used to it.
- Brushing (teeth)
Dental care is important to keep the gums of your cat healthy as well as to make sure their teeth stay sharp and clean. Any damage to the gums, teeth, or palate of your feline pal result in health risks. However, this can be avoided with brushing as well as regular check-ups.
- Ear care
Cats have excellent hearing and keeping it clean ensures it stays that way. Good, clean cat ears are those free from debris, signs of infection and wax. Do regular check-ups to make sure everything is all right, plus make sure to clean the outer ear once a week.
- Eye care
Checking your cat’s eyes regularly helps you catch early signs of trouble. Look out for cloudiness, inflammation, crust or tearing, and when you find something wrong, bring them to a vet right away.
ESSENTIAL GROOMING TOOLS
It’s always good practice to put everything meant for your cat in one container, be it a bin, a box or a basket. This way, you don’t have to perform a hunt around the house to find what you need come grooming time. Here are the essential tools you should have in your grooming “kit”:
- nail clippers or scissors
- shedding tools
- styptic gels or powders
- water pitcher (plastic; use when giving a bath, as it’s better than relying on a spray)
- baby wipes
TOP 10 CAT GROOMING TOOLS
1. Pet Republique Professional Dog Nail Clippers with Optional Filer
Despite the presence of dog in the product’s name, this nail clipper works perfectly fine with small animals, including cats. With thick stainless steel blades, this clipper will last a long time.
What’s nice about the company is that they donate to the American Animal Rescue Society, so purchasing an item from them ensures that abandoned cats and dogs have a place to call home. If you have other small pets at home like rabbits, you won’t have to bother purchasing another clipper just for them.
2. Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool
There’s a reason this product is a best seller: it makes the nail clipping process so easy! This tool cares for your pet’s nails by grinding nails rather than clipping them. In some way, this is actually safer (you won’t hit the quick) and definitely less stressful.
There are two rotation speeds available, allowing you to choose the speed you want to work at. The tool is also cordless, which gives you optimum control.
3. Chirpy Pets Dog and Cat Brush for Shedding
It doesn’t matter if your feline is of the short-haired or the long-haired variety, it will shed. Rather than have fur stuck in couches and left over in other areas of your home, regular brushing is recommended.
And this brush from Chirpy Pets is effective in removing a lot of loose hair, making it a great tool to have in your cat grooming arsenal. The brush is also made of a high quality and the steel bristles will not hurt your pet when it comes into contact with their skin.
4. Safari Cat Shedding Comb
The choice of brush or comb is totally up to you. You can even have both if you want (especially if you have more than one breed of cat). However, combs are often preferred for short-haired felines since there’s not a lot of fur to go through.
Then again, there are some short-haired varieties that have thick fur, which is groomed better with a brush. Therefore, it’s best to know just how thick the coat of your feline companion is before deciding which product to buy.
The Safari Cat Shedding Comb has a nice grip, which makes it easy and comfortable to groom your cat. The bristles also alternate between short and long, thus making it ideal for cats with both long and short hair.
5. True Touch Deshedding Glove for Gentle and Efficient Pet Grooming
This could act as a companion tool to your brush or comb. The soft silicone tips mimic the touch of your hands, which ensures that your cat will love it. Since cat hair will simply stick to the glove, it makes grooming faster as well (as you hold your cat while brushing, the glove is also doing its part to pick up loose hair).
What’s nice about this is you can put the glove on when you want to pet your cat: a two-for-one combination of petting and grooming.
6. Pro Pet Works Hypoallergenic Organic Oatmeal and Aloe Cat and Dog Shampoo and Conditioner for Allergies and Pets with Sensitive Itchy Dry Skin
A lot of products have gone organic these days, and that has extended to pet shampoos and conditioners. This is the item for you if you like products that care for the environment and are safe for your furry creature.
While this is intended for pets that have allergies to flea bites, food and grass, it can be used as a regular shampoo. Since it’s organic, you don’t have to be worried about your pet’s eyes, nose or skin getting irritated.
7. Top Performance MediStyp Pet Styptic Powder with Benzocaine
While grooming your pet’s nails by trimming them often is a good practice, there might be moments when you accidentally nick the quick. Since this will cause your cat’s nails to bleed, making sure you have this powder in your kit helps stop the pain and bleeding.
In fact, you can have this open and right beside you for easy access when trimming the nails of your cat.
8. Vastar Curved Scissor Set
Cat grooming requires you to spend money whether you take them to the professionals or you do it from home. But you can always save much-needed cash when you do things your way and have all the basic tools needed.
Apart from combing, brushing and bathing your cat, there will come a time when you want to trim part of their fur or deal with tangles. This is what the Vastar Curved Scissor Set is for. It’s got everything you need to keep your kitty looking neat and pretty.
9. Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Cat Dental Kit
This dental kit is specially designed for cats. The toothbrush is angled so it’s easier to reach the different corners of your cat’s mouth. The ultra-soft nylon tips make it easier to clean between the teeth.
The rubber massagers manage the plaque and the buildup of tartar.
The toothpaste is made with Denta-C, which has been proven to fight plaque.
10. Pogi’s Grooming Wipes
Grooming your cat doesn’t just end with brushing their coat and giving them a bath.
You also need to check their face and ears.
Use grooming wipes to wipe away gunk from their eyes and wax from their ears.
Regular grooming keeps a cat healthy and happy. Should you want to assemble a grooming kit, these are some of the best items you can include.