Despite what you might think, cat grooming is possible, even at home! Granted, it may seem like the thought of attempting to shampoo your feline friend is somewhat of a crazy idea. However, the benefits this will bring to your cat, hugely outweigh any inconvenience. It leaves them feeling great and helps maintain good health.
If your cat is not used to grooming, this will of course be a process and you will need to be patient with your cat as they acclimatise to this new addition to their routine. Your cat may never be excited about the process but we’ve pulled together some tips that will hopefully result in a more pleasant than expected grooming experience for both you as a pet parent and for your cat!
Cats and water–these elements don’t usually mix. But did you know that cats can learn to appreciate grooming? In most cases, cats are capable self-groomers, but they occasionally need a bath and nail trim. Use our tips for safer ways to keep your cat calm and provide expert grooming. Here are a few go-to suggestions.
Kittens are more accepting of grooming because their mum will groom them, so it’s a feeling that they will be familiar with and that will feel natural to them. Handling your kitten gets them used to being touched and held. Whilst we realise this isn’t always possible as your cat may have found you later in its life but you can always attempt to train your older cat by handling them more too, but this will of course take a lot more patience all round.
Brush short-haired cats weekly, long-haired cats, 2-3 times per week to avoid matting and the development of hairballs. If your cat becomes visibly uncomfortable, keep sessions short. But make sure you use a good brush designed to remove excess fur, like a comb, soft rubber brush, or a bristle brush.
Bathe Your Cat When They Are Calm
Here comes the scary part! Fill a sink or bath with shallow water. Slowly pour the water over your cat, avoiding the face and head (this is key). Start at their neck, lathering their body with a cat-safe shampoo. Rinse your cat ensuring that you’ve removed all shampoo residue. Keep a towel handy to dry them off thoroughly once rinsed. Whilst it’s a common assumption that cats hate water, this isn’t the case for all breeds; some cats love the water! We’ve tackled this issue in a previous blog if you wish to find out more! For those cats who will never tolerate water, a dry shampoo bath is a good alternative.
Pay Attention To The Ears
As you bathe your cat, always be sure to inspect their ears and ear canals for any signs of discharge or redness. If you wish to clean the ear canals, opt for a cat ear cleanser and follow the instructions on the product. Remove all debris and cleanser with a cotton ball, but avoid using cotton buds as, like with human ears, they can cause damage.
Clip Your Cat’s Claws Every Few Weeks
Most indoor cats will have overgrown nails. These can catch on things and end up hurting your poor kitty. Make sure your cat is okay with you touching their paws and get them used to you doing so for a week or two first! Once you’re both ready, use a cat nail trimmer and gently push down and extend each paw to keep the claws from retracting. Start by clipping a little at a time, making sure to avoid the quick (the pink or red section of the claw).
Reward Throughout The Grooming Process
Before attempting to groom your cat, have some Norsh treats in your arsenal to make the experience more pleasant for them. They will soon learn that positive things, like treats, help offset the discomfort of the grooming session. They are more likely to put up with the procedure without as much fuss.