How To Groom Your Cat At Home: Benefits And Tips
Cat grooming seems like a simple task. However, not everyone can do it properly. It's a skill that needs time and practice to perfect. It involves more than brushing Figaro or bathing him.
If you observe your feline as they groom themselves, you'll notice how they spend a lot of time on it. They stroke their fur carefully with their tongue to ensure that the process serves its purpose.
As a cat parent, you should strive to groom Kitty as excellently as you can. Sure, it's a chore if you're not used to it. However, you can pull it off with the right cat grooming tools and skills.
How and Why Felines Tidy Themselves?
Cats have a reputation for being clean creatures. It's one of the many reasons why most people love them so much as pets. You probably don't have to worry too much about them making your home dirty.
Cats clean themselves frequently. They spend at least one-third of their waking hours cleaning themselves. If Chloe sleeps for approximately sixteen hours each day, she grooms for an impressive two and a half hours daily.
The licking action you see them doing to their fur is called 'grooming.' Their tongues have raspy hooks called papillae that keep their fur from matting as they lick it to remove debris, excess hair, and parasites.
Grooming is not only essential for them to stay or get clean, but for staying healthy as well. It stimulates the skin beneath the fur, which is vital for kittens as it helps them pee and poop as often as they should.
Allogrooming and Autogrooming: What Do They Mean?
Simply put, allogrooming is when kitties clean each other. It often happens when they live in a cat colony or multi-cat household. It starts at a young age, and the mother cat is the one who introduces it.
Autogrooming is the exact opposite- a cat cleans itself. It also begins while they're young and proceeds to adulthood. They might resort to allogrooming as they get older due to conditions like arthritis.
Interestingly, pet research, a higher-ranking feline grooms a less dominant cat. They clean around sensitive parts like the face, head, and neck.
Benefits of Grooming Your Cat
Cats love grooming. It relaxes, calms, and comforts them, and they tend to be in a good mood after a good grooming session. Besides making sure that your cat is clean and healthy, there are other benefits of grooming them:
- Trims their nails- When you brush their fur regularly, you also help trim their nails. How? The process pushes the nails back, which makes them wear away gradually.
- Prevents hairballs- grooming eliminates dead fur before it can end up in their stomach after self-grooming or allogrooming.
- It helps distribute their natural oils evenly, making the fur softer and less likely to end up in hairballs.
- Builds the bond between you and your feline- When you take the time to groom your cat, it helps build a strong bond between the two of you. As you brush their fur or massage them, they'll start to trust and feel comfortable around you.
- It helps you tackle tangles in your feline's fur before turning into unpleasant mats.
How to Groom Your Feline at Home?
The best way to clean your cat at home is by using the right products and following a specific routine. Doing so will ensure that the process is as smooth as possible for you and your cat.
Here's what you need:
- A good quality cat brush- Look for one that has natural bristles like boar hair as they gently remove the dead fur without irritating the skin.
- A comb- It will help you eliminate any knots or tangles in their fur.
- A shedding blade- You can use this instead of a brush if your cat doesn't let you brush them. It's a large-toothed comb that you can use to remove dead fur.
- Cat shampoo and conditioner- Only use products specifically designed for cats, as regular ones can dry out their skin or make their fur oily.
- A cup or bowl- This is for wetting their fur before you start shampooing them.
- A few old towels- You'll need these to wrap your cat in after the bath and dry their fur.
- Pet-friendly wipes- These come in handy for cleaning your cat's face and bottom.
After you've gathered all the supplies, you need to follow these steps:
- Prepare everything before you start bathing your cat. This will make sure that the process is as smooth as possible. Start with wetting your kitty’s fur with lukewarm water using a cup or bowl.
- Apply cat shampoo to their fur and avoid getting any in their eyes, ears, or mouth. Gently massage it into their hair and work up a lather.
- Rinse off the shampoo thoroughly using lukewarm water. Be sure to remove all the suds from their fur.
- Apply conditioner to their fur and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
- Wrap your cat in a towel and gently pat their fur dry. You can try using a hairdryer on the lowest setting to dry the hair. Be sure not to hold it too close to your pet’s skin.
- Once their fur is dry, you can use a cat brush or comb to remove any knots or tangles. Begin from their head and work your way to the tail.
- Use pet-friendly wipes to clean your cat's face and bottom. Be sure not to get any in their eyes or ears.
- And you're done! Your cat should now be clean, fresh, and ready to take on the world.
Tips for Grooming Your Cat
Here are a few tips that will make grooming your cat a breeze:
- Choose a time when your kitty is happy and relaxed. Avoid doing it when they're hungry, thirsty, or tired.
- Start slowly and gradually increase the time you spend grooming them. This will help them adjust to the process and make it less stressful for both of you.
- Be gentle and patient while grooming your cat. Avoid using forceful or harsh motions, which will only make them anxious and stressed.
- Use their favorite treats or toys as a means of positive reinforcement, especially when clipping their nails. This will help them associate the grooming process with something pleasant.
- First-time clipping can be uncomfortable since they're not used to it. You can prepare them several days before the procedure by touching their paws. You can rub your hands up and down their legs and then mildly press or massage each toe.
- If your cat gets agitated or stressed, take a break and try again later.
How Often You Should Groom Kitty
The frequency of grooming will depend on several factors, such as the type of fur, length of hair, and whether your cat goes outside or not. Cats with long hair need to be groomed every day to avoid mats and tangles.
You can groom short-haired cats every week or two. If your cat goes outside, they may need to be brushed more often to remove dirt, debris, and any parasites they may have picked up.
The best way to know how often you should groom your cat is to consult with your veterinarian if all else fails. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your cat's needs.
How to Tell That Your Feline is Enjoying Grooming
There are several ways you can tell if your cat is enjoying the grooming process:
- They'll have a relaxed and contented look on their face.
- They'll purr or make other happy vocalizations.
- They'll remain relatively still and not try to squirm away or hide.
- They'll allow you to groom them for extended periods without getting agitated.
- They'll actively participate in the grooming process by licking themselves or helping you brush their fur.
If your kitten displays any of these behaviors, they are most likely enjoying the grooming process. However, every cat is different, and you know your feline best.
Quality Grooming Products for Your Cat
Of course, not just any cleaning item will bring out the best in Figaro. Here are some of the best cat grooming products that'll give satisfying results:
Pet Life 'Clip Tronic' LED Lighting and USB Charging Precision Cat and Dog Nail Clipper
The Pet Life 'Clip Tronic' boosts effectiveness by allowing you to see Bella's nail bloodlines so you won't cut into their fragile nail beds. It makes this possible with its inbuilt LED illumination.
It also features a strong file and a USB port to charge it in less than ten minutes. Its impressively lightweight characteristic is an added advantage. Additionally, its rubberized handle grip ensures that you maintain complete control of the clipping experience.
Pet Life 'WAGNIFY' 360 Degree and Multi-Directional Modern Grooming Pet Rake Comb
With this Multi-Directional Modern Grooming Pet Rake Comb, you won't have to worry about ruining your furry baby's precious coat. It has a circular rake that can clear even the most stubborn tangles and knots on fur.
It also has a rubber handle for a better grip and stainless steel blades for durability and extra combing strength.
KIN + KIND Organic Skin And Coat Oatmeal Calming Cat and Dog Shampoo- Rose- 12 oz Bottle
This shampoo is USDA organic and boasts of being alcohol, SLS, paraben, and cruelty-free. It's also vegan and gluten-free for a health-conscious pet parent.
It contains ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, and chamomile to cleanse your feline friend's coat while leaving it soft and shiny. It's also great for sensitive skin as it's free of harsh chemicals. You can use it on both long-haired and short-haired cat breeds.
Pet Life 'Knuckler' Handheld Travel Flexible Grooming Pet Rake Comb
The first thing that'll capture your attention about this grooming Pet Rake comb is its convenient size and inner rubber lining that keeps your fingers and knuckles pressure-free as you brush Figaro's fur. The rubber lining also serves to offer a firm grip during brushing.
The rake bristles are impressively soft yet firm to work through the fur without agitating your cat's skin. It's impressively easy to use, and the bristles' length allows you to use it on long-haired and short-haired cat breeds comfortably.
Pet Life 'Aero-Groom' 2-in-1 Electronic Pet Dryer and Pin Brush
Cats hate it when their fur catches water. Luckily, the Pet Life Pet Dryer and Pin Brush is all you need. It brushes and dries the coat in minutes. Thanks to its overheating security mechanism, you can clean your furry companion without stress.
Additionally, its manufacturers created it with durable and robust material to ensure that it serves its purpose effectively and for a long time. It's gentle on your adorable fur ball and is impressively lightweight for easier handling and use.
TrueBlue Cat and Dog Conditioning Shampoo- Creme Aloe and Avocado- 12 oz Bottle
The TrueBlue Cat and Dog Conditioning Shampoo is a favorite for many reasons. First, it's made of gentle and safe ingredients for your cat's skin and fur. These include creme aloe, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, and chamomile extract.
It's also soap-free and has a pH-balanced formula perfect for your feline's delicate skin. The creamy and rich lather it produces makes bath time a fun experience for you and your cat.
Pet Life Flex Series 2-in-1 Dual-Sided Pin and Bristle Grooming Pet Brush
The Pet Life Flex Series pet brush has a simple yet practical design that makes working with it easy. It features a unique patented flexible hinge for a smoothing brushing experience while putting as little pressure as possible on Bella's fur.
The product's lower bristles are firm and work into the fur to make it softer equally while spreading the natural oils all over the beautiful coat. The upper strands have blunt ends to brush hair effectively without hurting your furry baby.
The item comes in a variety of colors, and its ultimate feature has to be the rubber handle that keeps your hand firmly on the brush no matter how long or tough Figaro's fur might be.
As a pet parent, you want only the best for your beloved feline. Luckily, many great products on the market can make maintaining your cat's coat easy and fun. The seven products reviewed above are among the best and will leave your cat's fur looking shiny and healthy.
Try any or all of them today and witness the noticeable, pleasant difference in Bella's overall appearance.
- Himanshu Sapra