Cats love to groom themselves, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a helping hand from the human members of their family. So, how do you groom a cat?
When it comes to brushing, obviously some cats will need a little more attention than others. And it’s safe to say that the more fur your cat has, the more you’ll need to groom her. Older cats will also require more grooming, as they don’t tend to be as fussy as younger cats in their grooming habits.
It’s a good idea to get your cat used to the idea of being groomed as soon as you bring her home – cats that aren’t used to being brushed or having their nails clipped can become difficult to maintain.
To cut down on hairballs and help keep cat hair off the couch, brushing is essential for most pets. Grab yourself a good quality cat brush and make it a habit. Long-haired cats might need to be brushed three times a week, while a short-haired breed will probably need a weekly brush down. During autumn and winter you might find very little fur stays in the brush, while in spring and over summer, as your cat sheds, there will be plenty of dropped fur. Be gentle with the brush, especially while your cat gets used to the idea, and soon she’ll be eager at grooming time.
If you notice your cat’s fur is matting, do something about it straight away, as a little bit of matted hair can turn into a huge lump in a matter of days. The best thing to do is cut away the knotted bit rather than try to brush it out. Nail clippers are good for the job.
Speaking of nail clippers, cats’ nails should also be trimmed regularly. If your cat is a little jumpy, have a friend on had to help hold her still. Trim just the tip and avoid the quick (which is that pink area). Most cats need a nail trim every month or so.
While you have your cat nice and calm, check her ears for dirt and wax. Have your friend hold your cat still while you use a cotton ball to clean around the earlobes. Never stick a cotton bud in your cat’s ears. If you think her ears need a deeper clean, take her to the vet to have built-up wax and dirt removed.
Some cats don’t mind a bath and for some breeds, a weekly soak is a good idea. Again, if you have bathed your cat from a young age she should be quite used to it and happy to take the plunge. If she’s skittish it might be an idea to take her to a professional groomer, at least initially, so she can get used to it.