4 Essential AT-HOME Cat Grooming Tips
EASY WAYS TO GROOM YOUR CAT AT HOME
As we all know, cats can been seen to regularly groom and lick themselves. But did you realise that some of the products you buy to keep your cat clean, including their cat litter, can be ingested by your cat when it grooms itself? Using natural products around the home as well as a safe, natural cat litter like our corn-based cat litter by the World's Best Cat litter, will ensure your cat does not ingest any nasties!
Even though cats groom themselves, there are some things which we need to do for them to ensure peak health! Even the most basic cat grooming tasks can be easily done at home with the right tools and preparation. Making sure your cat feels comfortable and safe will be a big factor in creating a relaxed grooming time for the both you and your cat.
Use our handy tips below for easy, at home grooming!
HOW TO TRIM YOUR CAT’S NAILS
Before you want to cut your cats nails, make sure that you spend some time touching their paws and nails. Get them used to having their paw held and their nails pushed out/exposed. Calmly sit with them in your lap, massaging the back of the paw until a nail protrudes. After releasing their paw reward them with a treat. If your cat gets especially nervous, spend time trying this with each of their nails on all four paws. You could even try snapping some uncooked spaghetti with the clippers to get your cat used to the sound and give your cat some treats to sink in the positive association. It may take a while with some cats, but the ground work is much better in the long run for everyone!
TIPS FOR NAIL TRIMMING:
- Wait until your cat is calm before you go about trimming. Sometimes it's best to trim their nails after playtime or a meal as they are content and have released any excess energy.
- Softly massage the back of your cat’s paw gently until nail extends forward.
- The pink portion of your cat’s nail is a highly sensitive area that contains many nerves and blood vessels. Trim only the white part of the nail and take it slow in the beginning.
- After trimming their nails make sure you reward your cat with a treat. This will create a positive association with nail trimming in the future.
WHEN AND HOW TO GROOM YOUR CAT
Regular brushing will help prevent hairballs and keep your cats’ skin and coat healthy. Make brushing a regular part of your cat’s grooming routine. It can also be a great way to bond with your cat as mother cats, as well as other cats within their clouder, use grooming as a way of bonding and building relationships.
Generally for short-haired cats, they need to be brushed weekly. For long-haired cats, it's best to brush them every 2-3 days.
- Check your cat’s coat to see if the skin is clear and the coat has a healthy shine
- Gently run a metal or rubber brush over their back, sides, stomach and tail to remove excess fur or dead skin
- If needed, you can use corn starch or your fingers to gently pull apart and fur knots or mats
- Check their skin for ticks, fleas or any other irritants during grooming.
HOW TO GET MATS AND KNOTS OUT OF YOUR CATS FUR
The longer your cat's hair, the more likely it is to mat and knot. To stop mats from forming, add regular brushing and combing into your pet’s routine. During this time, run your fingers through your their coat. This will help you feel any clumps of fur below the surface that need immediate attention.
Healthy, knot and tangle-free cat fur allows for a continuous air flow to your cat’s skin. Matted cat fur, on the other hand, damages tissue by preventing oxygen and moisture from reaching it. This can lead to dry, scaly, and sometimes irritated skin.
- If the mat isn't too big or too tightly bound, it's best to work it apart with your fingers.
- Use a metal mat comb for cats to detach the smaller tangles. Start by holding the hair below the mat, close to the skin, and separate the tangled fur into smaller pieces.
- Be as gentle as possible and apply short, fast strokes so there's less pulling of the skin.
- Never try to cut out a mated fur ball. Cats have very delicate skin and with mats forming close to it, it's easy to miscalculate and cut too deep.
- Not all matted cat fur is easy to remove and in some cases, shaving or professional intervention is the only option. Seek professional advice if matting continues or you are unable to tackle the tangle yourself.
HOW TO CHECK FOR TICKs AND fleas
While holding or stroking your cat, why not check them for fleas and ticks? Simply stroking your cat and spending time with them regularly will ensure you get to know what they feel like. You will soon notice when things are not quite right.
- Gently part their fur with your fingers and look towards the base of the fur near the skin as this is where fleas tend to be. Ticks are common on the ears, but can be anywhere on your cat.
- If you find a tick on your cat’s skin, don't panic, and don't pull it. There’s no need to stress your pet out, and the last thing you want to do is squeeze the tick or break it off whilst it’s feeding, as this can increase the risk of infection.
- One of the most effective ways to remove a tick is using a tick removal tool, which is sometimes called a tick hook. These devices are designed to grip the tick at the affected area and remove the tick whole, so there are no parts left in your cat. Ensure you read the instructions on the packaging before starting or speak to your vet.
- Always wear gloves when removing a tick and have a paper towel handy for the removed tick.
If you spot any fleas on your cat, vacuum your floors daily, change and wash sheets and removable soft furnishings from around the house. Do this on a weekly basis until effective.
For further treatment advice, contact your local vet, local grooming professional or pet store.
Cats tend to be skeptical, so slowly ease them into regular cat grooming. Don’t forget to give them some yummy treats so that they associate grooming with a positive experience. If you encounter anything unexpected on your cat’s skin or fur, or are worried about anything you may encouter while grooming, contact your veterinarian for further treatment or advice.