In starting off this series on cat grooming, “Cat Grooming Tips” went over a simple overview on cat grooming ideas. Now I have combines two nice articles from i-love-cats.com for “Cat Grooming part 1.”
Whether you are a new cat owner or a long time lover of these furry little bundles of joy, a few tips on pet grooming can be very beneficial to anyone. Generally, cats are very clean animals. A cat will bathe by licking itself numerous times a day. This is helpful with the cat grooming process, not only to the cat maintaining good hygiene, but also to the owner in that they do not need to bathe the cat very often. If your cat has short hair, it will typically not need to be brushed more than one time a week. This should be done gently with a wire brush first and repeated after with a rubber brush or a mitt brush to remove dried skin and dead hairs. If your cat has longer hair, you may need to brush several times a week in order to prevent cat hair matting. So play with your cat a little to get them relaxed and then have a cuddle session with the cat and the brush.
If you have ever seen the movie Homeward Bound, you know that cats in general do not like water. Bath time can be one of the more stressful cat grooming processes, so try to be gentle and loving with the cat through this process. Gently massage the shampoo from head to tail and rinse at a good temperature.
Nails on cats need to be trimmed to keep them from getting too long which can be painful to the cat as well as your beautiful sofa or carpet. Gently grab the cat’s paw and put a little pressure on the palm with your finger to allow the nails to pop out. In the middle of the nail you will see the quick, which is the vain that runs through it. Try to avoid cutting this as doing so will cause slight bleeding. Nails grow at different rates, so this is not something that should be done every week or two, just when you see they are getting too long.
Trimming the Claws: If your cat accidentally scratches you or snags your shirt, it is time for a trim. Trimming claws is one of the easiest things you can do to your cat. It can be much faster than cutting your own nails. Use nail trimmers made especially for cats. Stainless steel, high-quality models can last many decades. Before you trim his front claws the first time, work with his front feet without any attempt to trim. Wait until he is in a mood to be touched. Hold him or leave him in his bed while you massage his body, working your way to his feet. Massage his foot. Rub between his toes. Press on the pads of his feet to make the claws extend, and then release. If he starts putting up a fuss, let go of his feet but do not give up too easily. Try again the next time you see him napping or relaxing.
After a few days of getting him used to having his feet touched, put the nail trimmer in the palm of your hand before you approach him. Hold his paw in one hand while saying, ‘Good boy.’ Gently squeeze the pad of the paw so that the claws extend. Talk sweetly to him just like you do when you massage his feet. Cut about halfway between the tip of the claw and the
‘quick’ (where pink shows through). Begin by trimming only one claw a day. Gradually add more claws.
Keep the experience positive by always ending before he gets fussy. Each time, reward him by massaging, petting, playing or taking him on an outside walk. Eventually, you will only need to tell him how good he is by petting him for a few seconds after his trim. Once the cat is used to getting trimmed, you will need to trim all claws about once a month. If you keep trimming a small portion of his claws more often, the quick will recede a little, allowing you to trim farther down.
Be very careful when trimming a claw. Cutting into the quick causes bleeding and is painful. If you hurt your cat while trimming, immediately say you are sorry and comfort him. Quickly trim one more nail then let him go. Play with him to distract him from what just happened. Try again the next day.
Do not trim his nails on or around his post or cat tree. You do not want him to make an association between the two activities. If the cat growls, stop trimming, say nothing and leave the room immediately. On the next day, cut two, or even just one nail. Leave on a friendly note before he has a chance to growl.
The Hind Claws. For hind claws, use the same steps as above. Trim hind claws when your cat is sleeping or sitting quietly on your lap. Trim one or two claws at a one sitting. As he gets used to the process, cut more claws.
When it comes to pet grooming, cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves. But because he is living indoors, he needs some help being groomed. Claws need trimming and hair needs brushing. Grooming him once in a while can help keep your home nice and your cat happy.
By Tristan Andrews of i-love-cats.com