Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. Groom a cat, you say? Cats don’t require grooming, one replies. But au contraire, cats do!
Yes, cats groom themselves by licking and washing each and every part clean, but many require further grooming to help keep dander, skin conditions and parasites at bay. Most cats I know enjoy a light brushing or combing, pushing into me as I brush them.
As with dogs, there are various cat coat lengths which require different methods of brushing or combing. Longhair cats may require a daily brushing, while shorthair cats may only require once a week or once a month.
The action of brushing will help remove loose or dead hair, and any fur knots. With longhair cats you can use a comb or soft wire brush, and with short hair cats I prefer the soft bristle brushes. If working through a hair knot, be gentle and slowly try to work through the knot with your last resort being to cut the knot out.
If your cat is stressed about the grooming session, minimize grooming time to 5 minutes and gradually work up in time as they become accustomed to being groomed. You can give them lots of praise and treats during each session to help them enjoy it more and make it a positive experience.
As most of us know, several cats do not enjoy getting a bath. If your cat is one of these cats and they need a bath, I’d recommend taking them to a groomer to bathe them. My cats used to love taking baths, something I worked on with them from when they were kittens. A bath is not something generally necessary unless they get into something really stinky or parasites appear. Fleas were always a pain back east; fortunately they aren’t a big issue here.
Depending upon how active your cat is, you may or may not need to clip their nails. If you are at all not comfortable doing this, please take them to the groomer or veterinary to have them do this. The last thing you want to do is clip them too short! If your cat is happy to have their nails done, cool. You can gently squeeze each toe to access the claw and with clippers nip the tips.
Till next time! Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides Petz Nanny Services, Canine Massage, and coming soon, Canine Agility. 4TheLuvOfDogz home-made dog treats are sold at local stores and K9Birthday Cakes are available directly from Deb. 4TheLuvOfDogz cares for dogs, cats, birds, fish, and horses; but no children. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.4theluvofdogz.com