Barbed Tongue and Sharp Claws: Should you be Grooming Your Cat?
Your cat is a fastidious groomer, so it’s easy to assume he or she doesn’t need any help in that department. Consider that when cats instinctually groom themselves after a meal, this action has more to do with survival than appearance. Similarly, your cat licks his or her coat too allay stress or anxiety, and he or she does it to remain cool on hot days. Your cat has it covered, right?
Personally grooming your cat may seem unnecessary, but supplementing your feline’s clean habits can only increase health and wellness. The act of tidying up fur and nails alone is thought to be a bonding exercise. Definitely a win-win situation!
A Healthy Coat
It’s a fact that your cat benefits from daily or regular brushing. It’s best to introduce this concept early on in a kitten’s life, but even the most suspicious adult cat can be won over with consistency and patience.
Some breeds certainly require more brushing, such as cats with long or thick hair. Long-haired cats are also more likely to have tangles or mats that cause pain or mobility issues if left alone.
Does your cat shed during the fall or spring? This is perfectly normal in climates like ours, and a regular approach to grooming your cat is necessary. The more you do it, the lighter (and happier) your cat will feel.
The Benefits of Grooming Your Cat
Grooming your cat obviously removes loose or dead hairs, but it also:
- Removes dead skin cells
- Clears away dirt, debris, and grease
- Allows you to see external parasites, such as fleas or ticks
- Stimulates circulation
- Spreads the skin’s natural oils throughout the coat, adding to a natural, healthy sheen
- Reduces dander floating freely throughout your home, cutting down on allergens
The Right Tools
Grooming your cat is easier when you have the proper tools. Indeed, a variety of brushes or combs may be necessary to complete the job, such as:
- Stiff bristle brushes for less furry cats
- Long-toothed metal combs or brushes for long-haired felines
Other Grooming Needs
Grooming your cat should include the following:
- Nail trims – Many cat owners are terrified of clipping claws, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be a pro. Shoot for every 10 days or so, and never attempt this if your cat is upset. Our team is also happy to assist you with this process.
- Ears – Wax or detritus should be gently removed from the outer ear on a regular basis.
- Eyes – Make sure your cat’s eyes are clean and bright. Please let us know if you see any redness, swelling, or abnormalities.
- Dental – Part of your regimen should include brushing your cat’s teeth. A slow, steady introduction is usually needed, but don’t give up, and don’t forget to ask us if you’d like some help! The benefits to dental health are far-reaching.
Kudos for Grooming Your Cat!
Grooming your cat consistently will help him or her at every life stage. For senior pets, arthritis and loss of mobility can hinder self-grooming, so get into the groove as soon as you can!
To make grooming your cat a success, create a positive and rewarding experience every time, including lots of praise and a few appropriate treats. Eventually, your cat will come to love this time spent together, and afterwards, he or she will feel much better.
The veterinarians and staff at Maywood Veterinary Clinic are always happy to assist you in caring for your cat. Please let us know if you have any questions when it comes to grooming your cat. Good luck!