Every pet owner should know that it is essential to keep your pet healthy, clean and well-looked after. Grooming is an integral part in this and it is vital that a person knows how to properly care for their pet pal. Keeping your pets clean will make certain they are protected from a large number of disease-causing germs, bacteria and micro-organisms, ensuring their health.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: why do I need to groom my cat when they already groom themselves? Well, a lot of cats enjoy the attention and you will also be able to keep an eye on any changes in their skin and coat. But it is very important to establish a routine as cats are also creatures of habit and this will help alleviate the stress of grooming for them (and you) if they know it is a regular occurrence.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- A Cat Comb (NOT a human hair comb/brush). Cat Combs usually have dual sides or can come separately. One side (or one brush) has metal teeth spaced not too far apart for long-haired cats and to get knots out; the other side (or other brush) has the softer bristles for short or fine hair.
- Cat Shampoo
BRUSHING YOUR CAT
Start by scratching and stroking your cat with your hands first to calm them down and get them to relax. Always brush in the direction that the hair is growing in. Keep the brush strokes short to begin with until your cat has become accustomed to the feel of the brush. If you need to brush out knots and tangles with the metal teeth of the brush, brush in short strokes and hold the fur at the base of the cat’s body as close to the cat’s body as possible to reduce the pull on the roots of the cat’s hair. Always talk to your cat soothingly and lovingly while brushing them so as to keep them relaxed. They’ll probably start purring.
Never, ever comb a cat’s face or ears! Try to maintain a daily routine of combing/brushing your cat’s hair. You can start by only brushing them in one place for about a minute on the first day and then slowly build up the time and places until your cat is used to being brushed every day and you are able to brush their entire body (excluding face and ears).
BATHING YOUR CAT
I can already hear the murmurs saying, “not a chance!” Most cats cannot tolerate water and bathing is generally not necessary for most cats. However, should your cat have skin problems, bad odours, fleas, etc. and you do need to bath your cat, keep it as simple and quick as possible. Use a large tub or bowl that’s only marginally bigger than the cat. This will allow them to feel a bit more secure and will give you a lot more control. Never use a shower head or sprayer of any kind. You’ll just freak your cat out! Pour warm water over their back from a cup or small jug. Avoid the head, face and ears at all times! Wrap one arm around the back of your cat and under their belly to hold them. Put some shampoo in the middle of your cat’s back and lather it up and down your cat’s body. Remember to always talk gently and lovingly to your cat throughout in order to keep them calm.
Use the cup or small jug to pour warm water over your cat’s body to remove the shampoo. Make sure you get all the shampoo out of your cat’s fur. Simply towel dry your cat and then leave them to lick themselves dry. Never use a hair dryer! By licking themselves dry, the cat will calm down and become relaxed once more after this otherwise uncomfortable event.
Article by: Rogz Reporter, Delaney Carpenter