Friday, April 8, 2016

Routine Grooming Tasks for Cats

Do you groom your cats? Cats are self-grooming. They do groom themselves constantly, bathing themselves after eating, sleeping or even sometimes just moving around! But there are certain grooming steps you should take as a responsible cat owner.
Bath time for Groucho and Genghis? No. They were just hungry and waiting for me in the bathroom!

Grooming Your Cat: Basics

Domestic short hair cats and similar breeds require very little grooming. The basics of good cat grooming include daily brushing and monthly nail trims.

Brushing a Cat
I like to use a special cat brush for my guys. The brush has long bristles with a knobbed, rounded end to keep them from pulling or pinching kitty's skin, and a very soft bristle brush on the opposite site.

I start brushing with the more open, knobbed bristle side first, especially on some of my cats with plush coats. Shy Boy sheds a lot, as does Pierre and Rocky, and they love the knobby brush! They come running to me when they see the brush because they love the attention.

Begin with long, soft strokes down the cat's back. Use only the soft sided brush on the face and belly, and go very gently on ticklish spots. If your cat starts biting the brush or otherwise squirming, time to stop. It's better to stop sooner rather than later when grooming your cat.

Nail Clipping
I've written about clipping claws this month. I give my kitties a pedicure once a month. We use a two-person method. I hold the cat using the scuff (clipnosis) method, while my husband uses human-type nail clippers on the extended claws. We have all of our cats used to the clippers now, but sometimes it takes a few tries to catch Pierre and get him to hold still for his toenail trims. He really hates it :(

Bathing a Cat
I do not bathe my cats. Some people believe in regular baths. My cats take dust baths. They often roll around in the rocks or gravel on the driveway. Most of the time it's because they're itchy from shedding. We treat our cats monthly with flea and tick medicine prescribed by their veterinarian, so they do not get flea baths.

Teeth Brushing
Most of the websites I looked at when researching how to groom a cat recommend brushing their teeth. Frankly, I value my life, so no, I'm not going to try to brush those chompers. If their vet ever says I have to brush their teeth, I will, but in the meantime I rely on dry food and annual vet visits to keep their dental health in order.

Professional Grooming
Long-haired cat breeds benefit from a trip to the professional pet grooming salon. A special comb, used to comb long, fluffy hair, can be used on Persians and other long-haired breeds to keep the coat tangle-free.

Do you groom your cat yourself, or do you use a professional groomer? Cats are really quite clean animals. Minimal grooming is required, but they do benefit from those brushing sessions.

G is for Grooming on the A to Z blog challenge today!


  1. Ah, yes. I'm good with clipping my cats' nails, but brushing their teeth is definitely more of a challenge!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

  2. I don't bathe my cats either - they're indoor cats so it's really not necessary. I have enough of a challenge trying to trim their claws - I couldn't imagine trying to brush their teeth!