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Ten tips for successful cat grooming

How to groom your cat and look after their well being

A fluffy cat having his fur brushed

Many cats are perfectly capable of grooming themselves and spend much of their waking time licking their fur and cleaning their paws. Cats are naturally clean animals, so do we need to spend time grooming them?

Grooming your cat helps to keep their coat in top condition. Plus it allows you to monitor their overall health and check for parasites, skin problems and unusual lumps and bumps.

If you find anything suspicious, get a vet to take a look. If your cat needs ongoing treatment, you may be covered by your pet insurance.

So whether you have a pedigree Persian or a motley moggy, cat grooming can help:

  • Decrease the amount of hair they cough up as fur balls
  • Stop matted hair from taking hold
  • Reduce the number of times you need to vacuum up after shedding

If your cat needs ongoing treatment, you may be covered by your pet insurance.

Ten tips for successful cat grooming

1. Brush your cat every week

Brushing gets rid of dirt and dead hair, keeping your cat clean. It also distributes natural skin oils across the fur, so helps to keep your cat’s coat in good condition.

Brushing should be pleasing for both you and your pet, so get them used to being brushed from a young age.

Different breeds will need different amounts of brushing. Once or twice a week should be enough for a shorthaired cat, but longhaired cats may need brushing more often, especially if they look like they're beginning to get matted.

If you come across any tangles, tease them out with your fingers. With very matted fur, it may be best to trim away the knot rather than brush it out.

2. Check for excessive shedding

Regular grooming will help reduce the amount of hair your cat sheds. Shedding is a natural process that gets rid of dead hair, but if your cat starts shedding more than normal, it may be an indication of a medical condition or a dietary problem.

Ask a vet for advice and if your cat needs treatment, you may be able to claim on your pet insurance.

3. Keep baths to a minimum

Most cats with a healthy coat won't need bathing unless they're particularly muddy or have rolled in something unpleasant. Many cats aren't renowned for their love of water, so beware of those claws!

Try to bath your cat when it's relaxed and after giving it a good brush. Use a special cat shampoo, as human shampoo is not suitable.

Use lukewarm water and try to avoid spraying water in your cat's face or up its nose or in its ears. Thoroughly rinse in clean water and then wrap your cat in a towel to keep them warm as they dry out.

4. Check eyes are clear and bright

If there is any discharge or redness, this can indicate a problem, so should be checked out by a vet. Use a damp cotton wool ball to wipe away any gunk from the corner of the eye.

5. Watch out for ear infections

Ear infections can cause a lot of discomfort, so look out for any discharge, sensitivity around the ear or head shaking. Healthy inner ears are pale pink and free from debris.

6. Include regular dental check ups

Check your cat's teeth and gums regularly. Healthy gums are firm and pink. Teeth should be tartar free.

If the gums look swollen or your cat has loose teeth or difficulty eating, take them to the vet. Check if your pet insurance covers dental treatment.

7. Check footpads often

Cats can be very adventurous and get themselves into trouble. Check footpads to make sure there are no cuts or infection. Gently remove anything that gets stuck between footpads.

8. Invest in some nail clippers

As I expect you know, cat's nails can be very sharp. It's not the easiest job to clip your kitty's claws, but if you get them used to the sound of the clippers and approach the job carefully, it can be done.

9. Keep a pack of treats to hand

Rewarding your cat after treatment could help them associate grooming with a positive experience and therefore make it easier for you next time they need grooming.

10. Find a reputable cat groomer

If you prefer to leave the cat grooming to an expert, ask for recommendations from your vet or other cat owners.

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