Cats are efficient groomers, but they need help maintaining a high standard of hygiene, health and beauty.
The Supplies You Need
These items can make cat grooming easier:
- Wire-and-bristle brush
- Two-sided metal comb
- Grooming mitt
- Cat shampoo
- Cat nail clippers
- Cat toothpaste and brush
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Cotton balls
- Bounty� paper towels
- Febreze� spray
- Swiffer� floor duster
Human grooming products can injure your cat. Use only products specifically designed for cats grooming to avoid injury.
Brushing The Coat
Keep your cat beautiful by brushing and combing her regularly.
Step 1: Start at the head and neck with the wide-spaced side of the comb. Comb down the body, following the lie of the hair.
Step 2: Pay special attention to mats behind the ears, under the legs and on the rump.
Step 3: Comb the cat a second time, switching between the wide- and the narrow-toothed comb as needed. Comb until you feel no more mats and you’ve collected all the loose hair.
- To remove large mats, gently pull them apart and comb them out, taking care not to hurt your cat.
- For shorthaired breeds, use a short-bristled, slightly stiff brush that won’t irritate the skin, or use a comb with close, small teeth. Brush or comb your cat every three to four days.
- For long-haired breeds, use the comb to remove the dead undercoat that frequently causes matting.
- A cat that is brushed regularly and frequently will not need a bath very often.
- Taking care of your cat’s coat helps control excessive shedding.
Step 1: Slowly wet your cat in water that’s close to her body temperature of 101.4 degrees.
Step 2: Lather your cat gently with a shampoo designed just for felines. Rinse her until the water runs clear, then give her one more final rinse. Even a small amount of shampoo lather or residue will cause your cat to froth when she licks herself. Avoid soap in the eyes. It can cause painful irritation.
Step 3: Wrap a towel around your cat to dry her as much as possible, then use a human hair dryer set on low heat.
- To avoid tangles with long- and medium-haired cats, comb the coat as you dry it. Shorthaired cats can air-dry.
- Have everything near and ready before you start: Shampoos, rinses, a soft towel and a hair dryer. Keep them out of reach of the cat so she doesn’t grab onto them.
- A waist-high sink or basin with a non-skid mat is the best place to bathe your cat.
- Bathing helps keep dander under control, which may help alleviate allergic reactions.
Claw clipping is an important part of cat grooming. Although a kitten’s claws should be clipped each week, adults only need theirs clipped every two weeks.
Step 1: Place your cat in your lap, facing away.
Step 2: Squeeze the toes between your forefinger and thumb, which will extend the claws. Hold your cat gently and talk softly to calm her.
Step 3: Clip the claws, being careful not to cut into the sensitive quick (the area of flesh containing blood and nerves beneath the toenail). Remove only the tip.
Nail Care Tips:
- Never use human clippers. They can split a cat’s nails.
- If your cat continually resists nail clipping, schedule a visit with your groomer or veterinarian.