It is well known, cats are one of the animals with impeccable hygiene. Thus, grooming your cat is something much less restrictive than washing your dog, because the cat does most of the work itself, licking its entire coat daily.
However, as a mistress or master, we can help our fellow felines have a softer, cleaner coat, and at the same time strengthen our loyalty to them through these times spent together.
Getting your cat used to grooming
Cats that have been groomed from a young age are totally receptive to this care and will accept a brush without any problem. They even appreciate this moment which is for them a moment of relaxation, even of massage, in the company of their master.
Cats who, on the contrary, have never, or very little, experienced grooming, may be resistant, even fearful at the sight of a brush. They must therefore be accustomed little by little because nothing can be done suddenly with our little companions. First of all stroke them with the hand, speaking to them in a reassuring voice, and gradually introduce a stroke of the brush in the direction of the hair between two strokes, so that they can gradually perceive this brushing as simple caresses.
Why groom your cat?
Cats are animals that take care of their own grooming. You don’t have to do much work to help them care for their hair, but it doesn’t just make sense.
Indeed, regularly grooming your cat with a brush is first and foremost simply used to untangle the knots if there are any, but it also helps to stimulate blood circulation and improve muscle tone thanks to with light pressure applied to the muscles by the brush.
Regularly brushing your cat also allows you to remove any dead hair that it may have swallowed while washing itself and which can cause stomach and / or intestinal problems if there is too much of it, or even simply make him regularly spit out hairballs.
Finally, brushing stimulates the glands present at the base of the hairs, which contributes to their better sealing as well as to better protection of the hairs.
How often to groom your cat?
Not all cats need the same frequency of grooming. Indeed, it depends on their type of hair, but also on their lifestyle.
The frequency of grooming according to the type of hair of the cat
Shorthair cats only need weekly brushing, just to remove dead hair. It also makes it possible to check the condition of the skin (presence of scabs or wounds) and to check if there are no external parasites, such as fleas or ticks.
Long-haired cats, on the other hand, need more maintenance, at the rate of one brushing per day. Their long tufts of hair tend to get tangled. Brushing and detangling them daily prevents them from forming and solidifying.
The frequency of grooming according to the cat’s lifestyle
Cats living in apartments have much less need to be brushed than cats who can go out regularly. As they are not in contact with parasites or all kinds of particles coming from the outside, their hair generally stays cleaner.
Cats that go out regularly, on the other hand, should be brushed quite frequently, since they can come into contact with parasites, possibly injure themselves, etc. In addition to cleaning, brushing more frequently serves as a regular check on the condition of your cat’s skin and hair.
Is giving your cat a bath a good or bad idea?
It is well known that cats hate water. Even if some were used to being very young in contact with this liquid and are therefore less reluctant to be immersed in a basin to be washed, this remains very rare cases.
However, bathing a cat should be a very occasional act as it is simply hardly ever necessary to wash your cat with shampoo and water. Indeed, washing it in this way dries its skin and also decreases all the protective properties of its hair.
Bathing your cat should therefore only be done on rare occasions and only if it is essential: when the cat is covered with a harmful substance such as glue or tree sap for example.
If it is only persistent bad odors, prefer the use of a dry shampoo. Available in specialty stores, it comes in the form of a spray to spray on your cat. This type of shampoo allows it to be washed without having to use water. Here too, however, it should only be used occasionally as these products are not healthy for your cat’s skin.
How to bathe my cat?
If you find yourself in a situation where giving a cat a bath becomes necessary, you need to do it the right way.
To begin with, and especially if your cat is not used to it, it is strongly recommended to do it with the help of a second person because the cat may have a reflex to struggle strongly. It is therefore impossible for you in this case to be able to wash it properly without hurting it.
Also purchase cat shampoo in advance from a specialty store. It has the particularity of having a neutral pH, a very important characteristic so as not to irritate the skin of your little companion.
Start by filling a basin with lukewarm water so that the temperature does not displease your cat. Avoid doing this in a shower as the noise can cause him to panic too.
Once full, submerge your cat in the basin, then ask the person helping you to hold it firmly while you take care of wetting its entire body, avoiding the face, mainly the eyes and ears, which is best. to clean with specific products.
Once the cat is completely wet, apply the shampoo, rubbing all over the place, then leave it on for one to three minutes. You can then rinse it, checking that there is no shampoo left on the cat’s body. This could indeed leave a crust if it is not rinsed properly.
It is finally a question of drying the cat. Avoid the hair dryer as the noise can cause him to panic. Simply wrap it in a towel and rub it gently.
Don’t forget to give him a little treat to reward him once the process is complete, because it is a real ordeal for him.
Cut the claws of his cat
Although most cats do not need to have their claws cut as they do it on the bark of a tree or on a cat tree themselves, some do not take care of them properly and need you took care of it.
First of all, you need to have a nail cutter, sold in specialized stores. Scissors and nail clippers are not recommended. You risk hurting your cat because their shape is not suitable for animal claws.
Here, too, have someone help you with holding your cat as they don’t like having their claws cut and they might panic.
To cut its claws, you must first get them out. To do this, nothing very complicated: exert a little pressure with your thumb in the middle of the pads while holding its paw.
Using your claw cutter, you must now cut them, but especially not at the base of the claw where you can notice a small red area. This area is actually a nerve and cutting it is very painful for your cat, in addition to causing blood loss.
To make sure you don’t cut this area, hold your cat’s paw very firmly so that it doesn’t move, and take the time to aim about three millimeters past the nerve. You will have to repeat the process for each of the claws.
When finished, don’t forget to reward your cat with a little treat here too.
If you are unsure about claw trimming, instead ask a professional such as a groomer, who can trim it without harming your cat.