Cats do not like to be dirty. Most cats spend a good part of their day licking their paws and face to stay clean and tidy. However, despite this, few cat owners think about grooming their cats.
However, grooming a cat is very important. This process helps remove loose hair from your cat’s body. Without brushing, a lot of this hair would have ended up in your cat’s stomach. Since hair is not easily digestible, it often forms hairballs. While cats can sometimes cough up hairballs, they can clog the intestinal tract, as well. In addition, grooming can remove dirt and debris from your cat’s coat. It is also a great opportunity to check for fleas and ticks.
If you thought your cat would hate to be groomed, you may be surprised at how much he actually enjoys the experience. Of course, it is much easier to accustom your cat to brushes and combs when he is still a young kitten. Gently brush or comb over your kitten’s coat, following the grain of the fur from his neck to his tail. If he begins to grow irritable, stop grooming him and play with him for a few minutes until he is relaxed. Do not groom his face or paws with the brush or comb, as most cats do not like this.
For cats who do not like to be brushed, you can try a different grooming tool, the grooming glove. While your cat is happily enjoying a nice, luxurious kitty massage, the glove is working to remove loose hair and debris, just as a brush would do. Your cat should not mind having his face groomed with a glove, but he may still object to having his paws groomed.
While you are brushing your cat’s coat, be sure you take the time to check out his eyes and ears. His eyes should be clear and bright, without matter in their corners. His ears should be clean and pink. Excess dirt in a cat’s ears can be a sign of ear mites. These mites can actually cause the ears to shrivel up and your cat can lose his hearing, so be sure to take your little guy to the veterinarian if you suspect mites.
Next, if your cat is not de-clawed, you should use pet nail clippers to remove the hooks on the ends of his claws. If these hooks snag on things and get caught, it can be painful both to your cat and your possessions. You should also check his teeth to be sure there is no tartar buildup. Since teeth problems can lead to serious health conditions, you may want to brush your cat’s teeth once a day with a finger tip brush and pet toothpaste.
Finally, if you have a long haired cat and his coat has become matted, you may need to have him shaved. Most cats need to be sedated since they will not tolerate the animal clippers, so you may have to take your cat to the veterinarian to be groomed. Being shaved is a stressful experience for your cat, so it is best to avoid this process by keeping his coat tangle free.