Cats may be more independent than dogs, but just like dogs, they also need regular grooming once in a while. However, unlike dogs, most cats don’t want the attention of grooming. They’d rather groom themselves than have someone groom them, so the task usually becomes a battle between the cat and the cat owner. But because this is very important for their health, it’s a task that you have to do.
Why Groom Your Cat
Cat grooming is important, especially if your pet is of the long-haired type. You need to brush them at least daily to twice daily to prevent tangles and hair clumps. Hair clumps are not only very uncomfortable for them as these are pulling on their skin, but they can also hide pests such as ticks and fleas.
You also need to trim their nails regularly. Remember, cats go just about anywhere they please, especially when he’s an outdoor cat. Pathogenic organisms such as parasites, worms, and bacteria can easily get trapped under the nails. When he licks a paw, he can easily ingest these pathogenic organisms, causing havoc to his body. When he scratches an itch, it can also easily infect a superficial wound.
Finally, you need to groom your cat to keep pests off. Pests like ticks and fleas suck on blood. Not only do their bites cause itching, but they can also infect your pet with diseases. After all, these creatures are known carriers of viruses and bacteria that are harmful to their health.
When to Groom Your Cat
Long-haired cats need to be brushed at least once or twice a day. This keeps hair from getting tangled, and this also helps with hair shedding. The more you brush his coat, the lesser the risk for hairballs, which can be ingested and cause digestive problems. Short-haired cats, on the other hand, may be brushed at least a few times a week, just to help with hair shedding.
If the cat is already arthritic and weak, then grooming on a daily basis is recommended, maybe even more, depending on his ability as well as desire to do the grooming himself.
How to Groom Your Cat
Before you start grooming him though, you have to make sure that he is relaxed and comfortable. Make the task a fun activity for him since you will have to regularly do it. You don’t want it to be a battle every time you groom him.
As soon as he’s in a relaxed mode, you can start brushing his hair with a metal comb. Make sure that your strokes are gentle and that the comb is not pulling his hair. You don’t want to hurt him, nor do you want to traumatize him and make him panic each time you sit him down for a grooming.
If your cat absolutely hates grooming, then maybe it’s time to admit defeat and bring him to your vet. Their staff is trained to handle fidgety and nervous cats, so by taking him to a professional, stress and tension when grooming may be reduced until such time that you can do the task yourself. Most vets and animal clinics offer grooming services, so ask your vet if they’re offering this type of service.
Jennifer Dahlquist writes for a vet in Arbor. If you’re having trouble grooming your cat, a professional groomer may be your best choice.