Cats spend a considerable amount of time grooming themselves and will become deeply offended if they are subjected to dirtiness on any level. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, cats become unable to take care of themselves to meet their own level of satisfaction. If your cat falls sick, becomes overweight, or is getting on in age it may be necessary to gather some grooming tools, and help him along to meet his instinctively elevated hygiene standards.
Cat Health and Teeth Cleaning
Fish breath aside, many cat health issues are directly linked to poor oral hygiene. In the wild, cats have a way of dealing with this by eating certain grasses, but cats who share the creature comforts of our homes need a little assistance. Cat show attendee, Persians groomer, and owner of City Kitty in Edmonds, Washington, Adrienne Kawamura recommends the use of children’s disposable toothbrushes, but, she adds, a child’s standard one will work but it should be sterilized in between.
Kawamura also says most owners over maneuver their cats when trying to brush their teeth. She advises that you set your cat comfortably on your lap. Placing your hand on the top of his head tip his head slightly backwards. Don’t thrust the brush on him, allow him to see and sniff it. As you tip his head further back he will automatically open his mouth. Don’t expect much the first time you attempt this cat grooming procedure, and it will get easier each time after. It’s good to remember, something is better than nothing.
Cats Pedicure and Cat Grooming Supplies
Again, in the wild, the rugged life led by the big cats has a way of tending to the all important issue of their claws. Indoor cats should be provided with their own delegated scratching post, but additional grooming treatment is most likely required. To keep their claws from growing dangerously long, they need to be clipped. Professional cat groomers all agree, the most important consideration when trimming your cat’s nails is to use a sharp, finely honed clipping tool.
Artist Knox, from Animal Planet’s show Groomer Has It, believes that you should build your cat’s confidence by starting slow, and each time doing a little bit more. Also, it’s a good idea to save this grooming procedure for last, as it is usually a cat’s least favorite, and then he can be awarded with a treat because you are finished.
Knox advises to use sharp clippers and never cut sideways on your cat’s nails, because this can cause them to split and become painful. “I like to sit on an office-type chair with wheels, and hold the cat on my lap. I wheel around in between clipping each nail, and this movement distracts the cat.”
Cat Grooming and the Bath
If you plan on bathing your cat it is best to start early, when he is a kitten. Being submerged in warm water is very unnatural to felines, and they will experience more stress if initiation begins when they are adults. The most important issue when cat bathing is to be sure and rinse thoroughly. It’s vital that no shampoo or conditioning residue is left behind, as this can cause health and irritability issues.
Cat Grooming Without the Bath
Cat show circuit enthusiast Joan Miller of San Diego, offers these quick tips for cat cleaning without the bath. Wet your hands so they are as they would be after washing. Rub the cat’s coat backward, then begin stroking him in the direction the fur flows naturally. This technique of wet-hand cat grooming will rid him of any dead hairs and also add needed moisture to your cat’s coat.
For older cats this is a much less stressful procedure and they appreciate the additional assistance to their own diminishing grooming skills.
Degreasing – Cat Grooming Technique
If your cat somehow comes into contact with grease, or for the naturally oily spots on a cat’s fur, the following is a proven technique to rid his coat of this unwanted lubrication.
- Make a paste using cornstarch and water; it should be the consistency of paste. Apply this mixture to problem areas with the tips of your fingers or a cotton ball. Allow these areas to dry for roughly 10-15 minutes and gently comb out these spots. It works very well and will not leave behind any grit or residue, and is harmless to cats in case of ingestion.
Professional cat grooming is an option and may be a necessity if it is associated with your cat’s health issues. Cat grooming experts feel that cats behave better when taken out of their comfort zones; like often seen with preschool aged children. But then there are cats who suffer extreme anxiety when faced with unfamiliar experiences. The definitive debate behind cat grooming seems to prevail; as the cat owner, you know your cat better than anyone, and it is up to you to make the best decision for him and his grooming needs.