Look at any photograph of a celebrity and rest assured there’s a glam squad behind the scenes primping and putting every hair in place. While your own glamour puss is very capable of taking care of her fur, felines still require a little help from their favorite stylist — you! Good grooming isn’t just about appearances, but also your health and well-being. Keeping her looking fabulous goes beyond mere brushing — from ensuring her hair never mats and trimming fur between the toes to making sure she doesn’t ingest loose hair (and create serious hairballs!) Taking care of her teeth. Plus, there’s also those mani-pedis. Here are 10 easy grooming tips for keeping your cat happy.
This is a great time to bond
Grooming your cat can be a great way to spend quality time alone with the cat. It also has many benefits for you. Regular grooming sessions will build trust and strengthen your special relationship. Make a point of regularly playing with your cat’s feet and massage her head gently, including her ears. This will build confidence and tolerance, which will help you when you need to give your cat a mani-pedi. This is especially important for kittens. However, you should do it with all cats regardless of age.
Take care of your skin and body
Regular contact with your cat allows you to spot problems such as dry skin, rashes, and any other lumps that may require further attention.
Be a scout for locations
Whether you’re booking a room with a stunning view for your vacation or looking for the best table in the restaurant for a romantic dinner, it’s the location that matters! The same applies to finding the right place for your cat’s grooming.
You need to make her feel comfortable in order to allow her to relax and let you help her with her grooming routine. Let her decide. It could be your lap or a platform on the cat tree. This way, she’s more likely to stay longer and let you get to work. And, because your cat is in charge, she’s allowed to leave whenever she feels like it; she’s the celebrity here, which means it’s OK to simply complete one task at a time.
Use the right tools
Short-haired catsTo maintain control of loose hair, it is recommended that they be brushed at the very least once a week. The better for their health, the less they ingest while washing themselves. This also means less fur on furniture. Here’s a list of must-have grooming tools:
- A nylon bristle brush will give your coat a silky, smooth appearance
- A rubber curry brush that looks similar to a comb, with large rubber teeth that magnetically lift fur and massages
- Flea comb
- A fine, thin-toothed comb for gently removing matted hair.
Long-haired cats should be brushed each day to prevent them from tangles. You will need:
- For general grooming, a double-sided bristle and wire brush are available
- A slicker toothbrush to remove tangles, dead and other debris. It also distributes healthy oils all over the body.
- To keep long hair mat- and tangle-free, use a wide-toothed brush
- A de-shedding comb to keep your undercoat thin and not cut the hair
Easy ways to clean your teeth
Cleaning a cat’s teeth is no easy task. They can be very squirmy! There are many products that can help.
- Pastes and toothbrushes for feline pets
- Specially formulated sprays and gels for teeth that protect against harmful bacteria like plaque and tartar attaching to the teeth.
- Drinking water can include dental products
- Specially formulated teeth wipes that fit onto your fingers (like a finger puppet). This can be tolerated especially if the routine is started from kittenhood.
Here’s a useful tip to control plaque from Dr. Jan Bellows, the renowned specialist veterinary dentist based in Weston, Florida. He suggests using a cotton swab, dipped in tuna vinegar, to rub the teeth. Cats like the taste of tuna juice so they are usually happy to allow you to continue. And if you don’t get the whole mouth done at one time, you can do it in stages. Plaque buildup is actively reduced by the gentle friction caused by the cotton swab.
Establish a routine
Begin by working your way from the neck to the tail. Slowly work your body, the chest, the tummy and the legs, and then move down the tail.
Take any mat slowly and gently separate the fur. You will need special bull-nose scissors if you have to cut into the mat. A cat’s skin is very delicate and it’s very easy to cut and make bleed, especially if you can’t really gauge where you are cutting through the matted fur. Professional groomers should handle serious mats.
Specially formulated wipes are available to remove dirt from a cat’s coat. The average domestic kitty doesn’t need a full-on bath. Some cats don’t like water, and the experience might make their blood pressure spike unnecessarily. Special facial wipes are available to clean the nose, ears, and mouth. If your cat tries to get into sticky things, a feline dry shampoo will be used and some paper towels will be used. Certain situations and types of cats (hairless) may call for bathtime, which you may want to leave to a professional cat groomer if your cat doesn’t care for water.
Know what you need to know before you cut your nails
Most cats take a stand when it comes to mani-pedis (although nails should be trimmed monthly) and it’s usually a two-person job. The best and most stress-free way to do it is to:
- Wrap her in a blanket — the kitty burrito — and take out one paw at a time.
- Press down on the paws to massage the pads.
- To determine the best place to cut, view the nail from the side. This way it’s easier to distinguish between the nail and the quick (the blood supply that is an opaque pink color at the base of the nail). To increase your confidence, trim the tips of the nails.
- You can stop bleeding if you accidentally clip into your quick. The trick can also be done with ordinary cake flour.
- While you are trimming the front paws, include the dewclaw — the slightly thicker nail on the side of the front feet.
- On long-haired cats, it’s a good idea to wet the fur to make it easier to see the claw.
If cutting makes you nervous, try a pet nail grinder if your cat doesn’t mind one or go to a professional cat groomer.
Always give treats
Be generous with treats. Be patient and reward cooperation throughout the grooming session. And remember, when your cat says it’s over, it’s over.
Stop static fur
To remove static from a cat’s coat, finely spray the fur with mineral water. It removes the static that’s especially common in dry, wintry weather. It keeps fur moisturized and gives it a radiant sheen. You can also use a hot water shower to steam the bathroom, and then bring your cat along. Don’t let her overdo it in the kitty sauna! This is a great and simple way to add moisture to fur and remove static from extremely cold climates.
Make it enjoyable
And finally, talk to her all the time and don’t get stressed, as she will pick up on your emotions. You can label it a fun occasion by giving treats or playing games afterward.
Are you a hairless breed?
A regular beauty routine is the best way to ensure your cat has beautiful, healthy skin. Use a soft exfoliating witht to remove any dead cells. Finally, wipe the cat’s skin clean using a special cat wipe. Bambinos, Donskoys, Peterbalds, Sphynx, and Ukrainian Levkoys are some examples of hairless or mostly hairless cats.