When it comes to grooming, dogs are relatively easy. That’s because they are eager to please their owners even if they don’t want to be bathed. And then, there are cats. While most felines don’t like to be soaked in water, others – believe it or not – actually enjoy dipping into a tub of their own.
The good news is, however, our feline friends don’t need much cat grooming. Indoor cats can be self-groomed forever. But they can be explorers themselves, trekking through the mud outside your home. If you are ever in this position though, you can use these techniques:
- Use a small basin for bathing. This will allow you to have in control over a squirming cat.
- Cats have a loose skin behind their neck called the scruff. Gently and firmly wrap your hand around the scruff by making a “C” using your thumb and index finger.
- As soon as you’re in control of your cat, don’t let go. Cats actually fight less when they’re feeling controlled.
- As previously mentioned, most cats don’t enjoy being bathed and may fight you throughout the process. Whatever you do, don’t try to tighten the grip of your hold of the cat that you hurt it unintentionally. Stay calm and in control.
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If you have kittens, give them cat bath early on so you can they can grow accustomed to it. Ask your vet when they become old enough for their first bath.
For the older cats, on the other hand, it is a smart idea to just give them baths the first couple of times. Place them in the sink and hardly wet him/her. Don’t associate being placed in the sink as a bad experience as a bad thing. Then when the real bath comes, you wouldn’t have much of a hard time doing it.
In addition to giving your cat a cat wash, regular grooming can help your feline friend avoid certain health problems.
Ear infections and ear mites can be very frustrating. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to properly clean your cat’s ears using an ear cleaning solution. Bear in mind that cats have long ear canals; thus, improper cleaning may result to pain or lacerations of the canal or ruptured ear drum. Follow these steps on how you can safely clean your cat’s ears:
- Gently restrain your cat. Wrap him in a large towel with just his head exposed. This prevents from wriggling out of your grasp or scratching you.
- Clean his earlobe. With the use of a cotton ball moist with water, rub the large pieces of dirt, debris, and wax gently off the ear lobe. Repeat this on the opposite ear.
- Clean the cartilage of the ear. After removing most of the debris with a moist cotton ball, use a moist cotton swab to gently remove the remaining pieces of debris within the cartilage of the ear. Be extremely careful to not place the swab down the ear canal.
Healthy ears should look and smell clean. Thus, if your cat keeps scratching his ears or if there is foul odor or discharge coming from his ears, it is best that you talk to your veterinarian immediately.
Long-haired cats may have hairs that hang in the eyes that may cause irritation, and eventually resulting to damage of the cornea. So regularly check your pets if there are hairs on their eyes. Take them to professional groomers for regular cat haircuts. Don’t think of doing this yourself if you don’t know how because you may end up injuring your pet.
Some breeds of cat have problems with eye drainage, which can arise from several causes. Check with your veterinarian to help in ruling out any medical conditions that can be treatable. If there is drainage present, make sure that you keep it wiped away.
Skin and fur that are constantly moist can be infected or discolored. Use a washcloth or cotton dipped in warm water to clean the eyes. Do this by holding your cat’s head and gently wiping the damp cloth across the lower eyelid. Be extra careful not to rub its eyeball directly. Let the moisture soften the eye matter before wipe them off again. Ensure that you are using the fresh or clean section of the cloth each time you wipe.
The most difficult part of grooming your cat is actually trimming the nails. If you have a kitten, touch his feet and toes often to get him used of having his feet handled. Older cats my feel frightened by nail trimming and may not cooperate. Despite their protests, nail trimming is a must if you don’t want nail problems to occur. Aside from that, nail trimming is also a great alternative to de-clawing. Ask your veterinarian to show you how you can trim the claws and nails of your cat properly.
It is very common in cats to have a dental problem. In fact, when you notice a change in the eating habit and weight of your cat, you should suspect that there’s a problem. Check your cat’s oral cavity regularly to find out whether they are suffering from any dental disease. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to properly clean your cat’s teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste for cats. In addition, also ask them about special dental diets that help prevent tartar formation. Proper management and maintenance of oral health can help your pets live longer.
Older cats may not be much accustomed to dental care. If you can’t have him to stay still when you brush his teeth, make it a regular habit to check them for chipping, tartar, or any bumps that look suspicious. Dental diseases can be very painful. They may even serve as a source of infection for the rest of the body. If there are any problems with your cat’s oral cavity, have them checked by your veterinarian immediately.
Our pets deserve to be treated well. After all, they help us relieve everyday stress. Make sure that your cat is groomed by an expert groomer to ensure that they are properly taken care of.