Getting a cat to sit down for a grooming session is never an easy task, which is why in this blog our Lafayette vets share tips on how you can make grooming your kitty more pleasant for both of you. We also discuss the importance of keeping your feline friend clean.

Why Should I Groom My Cat?

It is very important to keep your kitty well-groomed and clean because it clears away any dead skin, detangles knots as well as prevents matting which can be very painful for your feline friend. Other benefits of grooming include increased circulation, fewer hairballs being thrown up, and your kitty will look and smell clean.

Regular grooming even provides you with the opportunity to check your cat for fleas, ticks, and ear mites however, this shouldn't replace your cat's regular veterinary appointments.

Brushing Your Cat

If your kitty loves to be pet and cuddled, they might love being brushed. The more often you brush your kitty the less tangled their fur should be making the process more enjoyable for both of you, especially if your cat has long fur. Regular brushing helps detangles knots, clears away dead skin, and spreads healthy oils throughout their fur. Below we have listed the steps of how you can brush your kitty 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 but with a bristle or rubber brush.

Short-haired cats only need to be brushed once a week, where long-haired cats need to be brushed more frequently preferably on a daily basis to keep their hair detangled and prevent matting.

Bathing Your 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 give your kitty a bath 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 give your kitty a bath:

  • Brush your cat first following the steps above to keep fur from getting stuck in your drain.
  • Apply a soft rubber mat to the bottom of the tub to help keep your kitty more comfortable during the process.
  • 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.
  • Gently apply the shampoo all over your cat's body, while still avoiding the face and ears, you can use a soft cloth for this to help your kitty be more comfortable. And You need to use a shampoo that is specially made for cats, your vet will be able to recommend the brands that will be best for your feline friend.
  • Next, rinse off all of the soap, remembering to keep your cat's face dry.
  • 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.

Bathing a Cat That Hates Water

It's no secret that cats hate water, which could make giving them a bath very difficult. To make the process as easy as possible for both you and your cat we have provided you with 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

Professional Cat Groomers & Veterinary Grooming

While you will always need to brush your cat and occasionally give them a bath, 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. 

Feel free to contact our Lafayette vets today with any questions you have about grooming your cat as well as for any recommendations you need for pet care products such as shampoos and combs.