Cats are cleaning machines. They spend up to 50 percent of their waking hours hard at work grooming.
They rely on their tongue and teeth for more than affectionate nibbling of their owners’ noses.
Felines spend so much time grooming because grooming is essential to kitty’s well-being.
Sometimes your furry friend needs help taking care of her fur.
Senior 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 quality cat food and regular check-ups keep 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. They groom each other to show affection. This is why many enjoy a gentle brushing.
Start grooming your pet at a young age to get her accustomed to the ritual. Grooming is a great way to bond with your kitty while also keeping her healthy and comfortable. Grooming your feline is simple. It just requires patience, affection, and the right tools.
Long-haired cats require twice as much grooming as do short-haired cats.
Your long-haired friend 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 him mat free and comfortable and reduces the amount of shedding hair left on your furniture.
Short-haired felines also enjoy a gentle brushing. It helps them get rid of dead fur and debris.
Grooming also allows you to keep an eye out 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 hair.
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Using The Best Cat Brush To Groom Your Kitty
The purpose of a brush is to remove dead hair and untangle any mats. Brushing is a soothing experience for cats. Always brush with the direction of the fur – not against.
Be gentle. Your cat won’t enjoy a rough brushing or brushing that pulls his fur. The best cat brush 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.
#1. DakPets Brush
- Does a great job removing loose undercoat
- Ergonomic handle
- Quick-release for comb removal
This insanely popular tool 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.
It’s a very affordable tool and one that your furry friend will be begging you to use day and night.
It’s tough to say too much about a product like this because it’s “just” a brush, but it’s first up in our list of tools for a reason. Easy to clean, easy to use, cats adore it, and it’s well priced.
#2. The Furminator Brush
- Removes loose hair, reducing hairballs
- Stainles steel edge
- Ergonomic handle
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. Also insanely popular, it’s hard to go wrong with this or our first recommendation
#3. Safari Cat Brush
- Great for long haired cats
- Retractable, stainless steel pins from removing dead, loose hair
- Ergonomic handle
A low-cost alternative is the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats. It’s a bit cheaper than the others we suggest, and but it still 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 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.
Best Cat Clippers For Shaving, Trimming, and 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 kitties that cannot reach their whole bodies have a hard time keeping fur clean and may require a sanitary clip.
Clipping at home can be dangerous. Even clippers with guards can cut your kitty. Contact your veterinarian or groomer to get this done if you are uncomfortable doing this yourself.
#1. Wahl Pet Pro Clippers
- Powerful enough to get through thick coats
- Self-sharpening blades
- Colored comb for easy size identification
If you have the skills to do this at home, consider clippers by Wahl. The Wahl brand is tried, tested, and true, and has been around forever. This is an affordable option, too, and it’s high quality.
Wahl makes some of the best cat clippers on the market.
A plug-in model like this is nice because the motor won’t slow down or cut out like a battery model, which can sometimes cause it to pull fur, which is a good way to make sure your furball never lets you do this again!
Best Cat Nail Trimmers For Trimming 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.
Feral cats wear down their claws daily. Hunting and climbing keep the claws from growing too long. Domestic cats rely on scratching things in your home (hopefully a scratching post and not the furniture) to do the same.
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 them and is an important part of their behavior. In short, scratching is good for your cat.
Your curtains, couch, and tender skin do not agree.
Trimming claws does not eliminate scratching. It does alleviate some of the pain and damage.
Just, whatever you do, don’t declaw!
Trimming your cat’s nails is simple.
Most 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 pain.
Start trimming the 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 her 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. She will then associates this delicious delicacy with the necessary evil of a nail trim.
Familiarize her 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 her 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, both of you 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 millimeters below the quick (BEFORE the pink part, not INTO the pink part). Err on the side of caution. Cutting the quick is painful and causes bleeding. Release the paw and give a treat after each nail.
Right, so, now you know how to trim your cat’s nails.
Make sure you choose the best cat nail clippers to get the job done. They’re not like dog nails, so get a tool that’s specifically designed for them.
#1. Gripsoft Cat Nail Clippers by JW Pet
- Non-slip grip
This is super affordable, super high quality, and is designed by veterinarians for use in vet offices and your home.
It’s professional-grade and therefore highly durable. The rubber grip prevents your hands from slipping as you trim, and the simple design works just like scissors.
Stainless steel blades are long-lasting and stay sharp, and they come with a 3-year guarantee. For just a few bucks, this is a no brainer, and they’ve worked fine for me for a long time.
Grooming For Success
Grooming your cat is a necessary part of being a pet parent. It can also be enjoyable.
Follow these steps to make sure you and your feline friend have a safe and pain-free grooming relationship.
Purchase the proper grooming tools to ensure you are getting the job done correctly. Grooming tools are affordable and long-lasting, so there’s no reason to cheap out here.
Now go out and spend some quality bonding time together!