It’s a well-known fact that cats are independent by nature. Therefore, it probably comes as no surprise that they tend to take care of most of their grooming needs on their own. But as a cat parent, there are still a few things you can (and should) do to help keep your cat looking and feeling clean and tidy.
The most important thing to remember is to listen to your cat and make your grooming sessions fun. If you do that, then you and your kitty can bond while you help them look and feel their best. Now, let’s go over the grooming care tips you need to know!
Unless your cat gets really dirty or catches fleas, you don’t really need to give them a bath (they can handle it themselves). As far as coat care goes, regular brushing is what you should be focusing on. Brushing is good for your cat in that it removes dirt, grease, dead skin and hair, and improves their circulation.
Short-haired cats should be brushed once per week, while long-haired cats will need two to three weekly brushings. Use a combination of a metal comb, to detangle and check for fleas, and then a bristle or rubber brush to finish.
During your weekly brushings, inspect your cat’s ears for wax, debris, and signs of infection (redness, swelling, discharge). Their outer ear should have a layer of hair with a clean and pink surface underneath. The ear canal should be light pink and clear of wax, debris, and odor.
If there is wax or dirt buildup in your cat’s ears, you can use cat ear cleaning solution on a cotton ball to remove it. Just gently fold back the ear and use the cotton ball to lift away wax and dirt. Be careful not to go into your cat’s ear canal, as probing can cause injury or infection.
Along with inspecting your cat’s ears, you should examine their paws for wounds and dirt buildup when you groom them as well. Wipe down their paws with a damp cloth, making sure to check in between their toes and on paw pads for dirt. If you have a long-haired cat, you may need to trim the hair between their toes.
You will also want to clip your cat’s nails every few weeks. Take care to be gentle and praise your cat as you go, so they don’t squirm or become too uncomfortable. Lightly press on the paw to make their nails extend, then snip them, taking extra caution to avoid the quick (the pink or red section where their nerves and blood vessels are).
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