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If you have a cat as a pet, then grooming should be an essential pet care routine. Grooming your cat every week is recommended to keep him healthy, hygienic, and smelling good.
Cat grooming typically includes giving him frequent baths, trimming his nails, and brushing. Regular grooming helps you identify skin issues or injuries that may have gone unnoticed. Timely attention to such matters prevents escalation into more serious problems.
If you are a cat owner that needs initiation into grooming, here are some common questions that can help you understand where to begin:
Is bathing a cat necessary?
Yes, it is. Though cats are known to keep themselves clean by licking, it is barely enough.
If your cat is aged, above normal weight, or arthritic, then he will not be able to clean himself thoroughly by licking alone. Bodyweight, advanced age or arthritis, can make it difficult for your cat to stretch and reach all areas of the body. Bathing him is important to keep him clean and disease-free.
Can I use my shampoo on my cat?
Never. Bathing products designed for human skin can damage your cat’s delicate skin. Use only products formulated for cats and kittens.
What is the correct age to start cat grooming?
It is always better to familiarize your cat with the process of grooming even as a kitten. This way, your pet will adjust himself to being handled and brushed.
Start with brushing your cat. Use cat and kitten brushes designed for the purpose. Your cat may think of it as a play session. Do so regularly, and your cat will realize that he needs to get brushed as a routine.
Those yucky hairballs! How to prevent my cat from throwing them up?
Cats tend to lick themselves to get rid of dust, dirt, and other foreign objects on their body. When they lick, they tend to take in the hair strands on their skin, into their mouth. Their digestive system converts the hair into a ball. In most cases, your cat will vomit it, and you can get rid of it immediately. In rare cases, you may have to get the hairball removed surgically.
One way to prevent your cat from throwing up hairballs is to brush him every day. With excess fur removed, your cat may not cough out hairballs.
How do I remove mats from my cat’s body?
Mats are strands of cat hair that get stuck together over time, becoming a big mass. This cluster of hair is not only irritating for your cat but can also lead to infection in the long run.
You need to remove mats gently. Do not pull them as it causes great pain and irritation to the cat.
If the mat is small and not too knotted, use your fingers to un-knot them gently. In case of a big mass, use an oil-based mat-softening spray to loosen the matted fur. Then, use a metal comb to disentangle looser knots.
For deeper knots, first, separate the tangles into smaller ones by holding the mat closer to the skin; then use the comb on the separated tangles.
Cutting mats are not usually recommended. They are cut only as a last resort. If you are unsure about grooming your cat, it is better to get the advice of your vet. Consider hiring a professional groomer, preferably one recommended by your vet.