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What you should know about cat grooming

Grooming a cat is not an easy task, as they don't usually sit still. Our veterinarians in Gilbert have shared some tips on making grooming your cat a more enjoyable experience for you and your furry friend. We also discuss the importance of keeping your cat clean.

Should I Groom My Cat?

Keeping your kitty well-groomed and clean is essential for their health and comfort. Regular grooming removes dead skin, detangles knots, and prevents matting, which can be very painful for your feline friend. Grooming also promotes good circulation, reduces the occurrence of hairballs, and makes your kitty look and smell clean. Additionally, regular grooming allows you to inspect your cat for fleas, ticks, and ear mites. However, it's important to note that grooming is not a substitute for regular veterinary check-ups.

Should I Brush My Cat?

If your cat enjoys being petted and cuddled, it might also enjoy being brushed. Brushing your cat regularly can help prevent tangles and mats in its fur, especially if your cat has long hair. Regular brushing can also remove dead skin cells and distribute healthy oils throughout your cat's fur. Here are the steps you can follow to brush your cat at home:

  • Wait until they are calm or sleepy to begin the process.
  • The first several times you brush your cat, keep the session short so your kitty can get used to the feeling of the brush. Start with 5 minutes at first and work your way up.
  • For short-haired cats, start brushing at their head, use a metal comb to loosen dead fur, and comb your way to their tail. If your cat has long fur, start at their belly and legs with the metal comb and work your way up, combing in an upward motion.
  • Next, you can repeat the same motions and patterns with a bristle or rubber brush.

Short-haired cats require brushing once a week, while long-haired cats need daily brushing to prevent matting and tangles.

Should I Bath My Cat?

Cats don't need to be bathed often because they are skilled at bathing themselves. However, there are situations where you will need to bathe your kitty, such as when their fur is too dirty to clean themselves, they are covered in mats, their fur is sticky or smelly, or their fur is oily to touch.

Here is how you can bath your kitty:

  • Following the steps above, brush your cat first to keep fur from getting stuck in your drain.
  • Place a soft rubber mat at the bottom of the tub before bathing for your cat's comfort.
  • Fill the tub with a few inches of warm, not hot, water.
  • Get your cat completely wet, but avoid getting their face, ears, eyes, or nose wet; you can use a hose, jug, or pitcher. Remember, the water needs to be warm, not hot.
  • To wash your cat, apply the shampoo gently all over its body, but avoid the face and ears. You can use a soft cloth to make the process more comfortable for your feline friend. Remember to use a shampoo that is specially made for cats. Your vet can recommend the best brands for your cat's needs.
  • Dry your furry friend off with a dry and warm towel.
  • After your cat's bath, keep them in a warm area of your house to make sure they stay comfortable and don't get cold.

How do I Bathe a cat that hates water?

It is widely known that cats dislike water, which can make giving them a bath a challenging task. To help make the process easier and less stressful for both you and your cat, we've compiled some tips:

  • Stay calm no matter how complicated your cat is being
  • Talk to your kitty in a soft, reassuring voice
  • Have all the supplies you need ready in advance
  • Play with your cat during the bath or/and give them a toy to keep them distracted
  • Keep petting them and giving them cuddles
  • Take the process as slowly as possible rushing it could make your cat more stressed
  • Give your companion lots of treats and reward them

What About Professional Cat Groomers & Veterinary Grooming?

While you will always need to brush your cat and occasionally bathe them, at-home grooming can't replace professional grooming by a certified professional.

They have all the tools and training they need to bathe and groom even the most anxious cat safely, including scissors, combs, special cat tubs, and specially formulated shampoos. They are also fully trained to identify any skin conditions on your pet and treat fleas or ticks.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

For any questions about grooming your cat or recommendations on pet care products like shampoos and combs, please feel free to contact our Gilbert vets today.

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Contact us today to book your first appointment and find out the difference that caring, compassionate and knowledgeable veterinary service makes in your pet's health and happiness. 

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