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How To Groom A Cat With The Right Tools: The Best Brushes, Clippers, and More!

Cats are cleaning machines. They spend up to 50 percent of their waking hours hard at work grooming.

Cats rely on their tongue and teeth for more than affectionate nibbling of their owners’ noses.

Cats spend so much time grooming because grooming is essential to kitty well-being.

Sometimes your cat needs help taking care of her fur.

Older cats and long-haired cats have lots to deal with when it comes to personal care. Even short-haired cats in their prime benefit from regular grooming. Regular brushing and nail trimming paired with a quality cat food and regular check-ups keeps your cat active and healthy.

Here is some advice about how to groom a cat at home and the tools you need to do it.

Cat Grooming 101

Cats groom to clean themselves, to maintain body temperature, and to relax. Cats groom each other to show affection. This is why many cats enjoy a gentle brushing.

Start grooming your cat at a young age to get her accustomed to the ritual. Grooming is a great way to bond with your cat while also keeping her healthy and comfortable. Grooming your feline is simple. It just requires patience, affection, and the right tools.

Long-haired cats have twice as much grooming to do as short haired cats. Your long haired cat needs to spend more time untangling mats and distributing coat oils. This does not leave him much time for fun activities like hunting mice and insects or lying on your lap.

Help him out by brushing his coat once a day. This brushing keeps your cat mat free and comfortable and reduces the amount of shedding hair your cat leaves on your furniture.

Short-haired cats also enjoy a gentle brushing. It helps them get rid of dead fur and debris.

Grooming also allows you to keep an eye on your cat for other health problems. You are more likely to notice a cut or sensitive area if you handle your cat daily.

Brush your short haired cat once a week to keep her coat shiny and your furniture free from fine cat hair.

Brushing Your Cat

The purpose of a brush is to remove dead hair and untangle any mats. Brushing is a soothing experience for cats. Always brush your cat with the direction of the fur. Be gentle. Your cat won’t enjoy a rough brushing or brushing that pulls his fur. The best cat brush for your cat depends on his coat.

Short-haired cats benefit from brushes that are designed to remove shedding fur. These brushes usually have a fine toothed comb.

Amazon’s number 1 best-selling cat and dog brush is an excellent choice for short, medium and long-haired cats. It comes with an unbreakable guarantee and is recommended by veterinarians and professional groomers alike.

Prices range from twenty to thirty dollars on Amazon. We use this one right now, plus it’s got an unbelievable 4,000+ customer reviews. 84% of those reviewers gave it five stars. Totally insane, I know.

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The Furminator is another similarly priced shedding tool that promises to reduce shedding by up to 90%.

Shedding blades prevent excessive hairball development. This brushing saves you from trips to the vet and from stepping in a hairball on your way to the bathroom.

The Furminator is an excellent tool for long haired and short haired cats as it reaches the undercoat as well as the outer. The Furminator has over 3,500 reviews and 80% gave it five stars. Another slam dunk.

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A low-cost alternative is the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats. This brush costs about ten dollars and has the added benefit of a self-cleaning mechanism.

The pins that form the brush retract, allowing you to remove the accumulated hair with ease. The teeth are slightly longer than the Furminator. These long teeth make the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush ideal for cats with longer hair.

Long-haired cats also benefit from a wide tooth comb in addition to a shedding blade. This helps keep mats and tangles under control and is effective on long outer coats.

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Clipping Your Kitty

Sometimes mats get out of hand. Cats have a knack for getting into trouble despite their supposed nine lives. Clippers are useful for eliminating messy fur that cannot be cleaned up or brushed out. Long haired cats that have a hard time maintaining their coats benefit from a clip. Overweight cats that cannot reach their whole bodies have a hard time keeping fur clean and may require a sanitary clip.

Clipping your cat at home can be dangerous. Even clippers with guards can cut your kitty. Contact your veterinarian or groomer to get your cat clipped.

If you have the skills to cut your cat at home, consider clippers by Wahl. The Wahl brand receives positive reviews and is an affordable option for cat owners. Wahl makes some of the best cat clippers on the market. The positive reviews attest to the quality and effectiveness of the tool, and it is easy to use and maintain.

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Trimming Cat Claws

Cats have sharp claws that are designed to help them hunt and defend themselves. Their claws grow quickly and require regular trimming or wearing down to keep from turning into daggers.

The wild ancestors of domestic cats and today’s feral cats wear their claws down over the course of their daily life. Hunting and climbing keep the claws from growing too long. Domestic cats rely on your furniture to achieve the same purpose.

Cats scratch to shed the dead outer layer on their claws. They scratch to mark territory. They knead your thighs to show affection. Scratching is a nice stretch for cats and is an important part of cat behavior. In short, scratching is good for your cat.

Your curtains, couch, and tender skin do not agree. Trimming your cat’s claws does not eliminate scratching. It does alleviate some of the pain and damage. Pair regular nail trims with a good cat scratch post and your cat and your upholstery will thank you.

Trimming your cat’s nails is simple.

Most cats have clear nails. You can see the pink quick encased in the clear, outer layer. This makes it easy to avoid cutting the nail quick and causing your cat pain.

Start trimming your cat’s nails from an early age to avoid painful wrestling matches in later years. Kitten claws are extremely sharp, and kittens often do not have the use of those claws totally under their control. They get caught on fabrics and cause kittens discomfort. Keeping kitten claws nice and short saves you and the kitten pain and trouble.

Cats do not need to hate having their nails trimmed. Reward your cat for good behavior by tempting her with her favorite treats during trimming time. Find a treat she cannot resist and reserve this treat especially for nail trimming. Your cat then associates this delicious delicacy with the necessary evil of a nail trim.

Familiarize your cat with the trimming process by first massaging her paws. Massage her paws while she is sitting on your lap. Repeatedly touching her paws desensitizes her to the sensation of having a human handle her feet.

Trim your cat’s nails during a relaxed time. Don’t decide to trim right after a stressful event or in front of another pet. Trimming her nails is a vulnerable time for your cat and you as her owner must respect this. Otherwise you and your cat could get hurt.

Trimming is relatively simple. Press gently on the pad below the desired claw. This extends the claw. Look for the pink quick. Trim the nail to a few millimetres below the quick. Err on the side of caution. Cutting the quick is painful and causes bleeding. Release the paw and give your cat a treat after each nail.

Choosing Cat Nail Trimmers

Now you know how to trim your cat’s nails. Choose the best cat nail clippers to get the job done. Cat nails are smaller than dog nails. Cat nail trimmers are designed to delicately trim claws with ease.

Amazon carries an affordable cat nail trimmer designed by veterinarians for use in vet offices and in your home. This trimmer is professional grade and therefore highly durable. The rubber grip prevents your hands from slipping as you trim, and the simple design works just like a scissor.

Stainless steel blades are long lasting and stay sharp. Plus these clippers can be used on other small pets.

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Grooming For Success

Grooming your cat is a necessary part of cat ownership. It can also be enjoyable.

Follow these steps to make sure you and your cat have a safe and pain-free grooming relationship.

Purchase the proper grooming tools for your cat to ensure you are getting the job done correctly. Grooming tools are affordable and long lasting.

If you have more questions about cat health or are worried about your cat’s grooming habits, then contact your local veterinarian for more advice.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Helen - February 17, 2016

Hi. Yes, your cat may well put on a bit of weight just after spnyaig but that should settle down after a few months.You do not say whether your cats are indoor cats or do they go outdoors as well. During the winter the outdoor cats put on weight whilst they laze about in the warm house but once they start spending more time outdoors again, they lose the excess’ weight they have gained. We find that the indoor cats do not have such a great winter weight fluctuation as the cats which go outdoors as well. Personally, I’ve never found a satisfactory way of separating cats feeding to ease one cat having a special diet but if you can, good for you.Cats should always have a mix of wet and dry foods and not just one or the other. When using dry food in addition to wet food, the cat will need less of the wet food than if you just gave them wet food alone. This will help them to maintain their nutritional balance. Also, when putting out dry food, remember to ensure that the cat has a good supply of liquid as well. For dry food our cats all seem to like Iams and their coats seem to be more healthy but it is not cheap. Our cats also like Vitacat Healthy Balance(I believe this is an Aldi own brand) which is much more budget friendly and still keeps them very obviously healthy. For my current cats, these are the two dry foods I try to ensure are in the house at all times as they suit them best. However, the cats will also tolerate short spells on Go-Cat, which has a good variety of flavours to keep them interested, and Whiskas dry food but consistently turn up their noses at Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda dry foods. Over the years, and new cats, I’ve tried most brands and own labels but find that it is a trial and error exercise to find what suits the animals bestHope you find what your girls prefer and the youngest cat’s weight settles soon.(Edited to add the essential reminder to ensure that liquid is available if dry food is used in addition to wet food.)

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Paula - April 8, 2017

I have been shaving my Maine Coons for years – usually twice a year. They have to be sedated. After this last go around, I’m never shaving them again. They are 13 years old now, And too old to be sedated regularly. The smaller one gets very sick from the anesthesia and walks into walls for days afterwards. Last night, he vomited more than I’ve ever seen a cat vomit in my life. I thought I was doing him a favor, but never again. They are both longhairs, and we live in Texas. I thought I had no choice. Please tell me what I can do to keep them clean and comfortable in hot weather. I use kitty wipes on them, Brush them and use the furminator as well. These animals are taken care of better than most children. Please help! They were shaved yesterday, so whatever I can do to keep them in this condition without ever shaving them again would be the best thing I could ever do. Thanks in advance for your help!

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