The Most Practical Guide to Grooming Your Cat at Home
Many pet owners often get confused about grooming cats at home. Check out this article for all the essential cat grooming tips and expert opinions.
Grooming Cats at Home (Veterinarian Advice)
Cats are one of the cleanest pets anyone can own, with a strong habit of cleaning themselves throughout the day. However, if you have a cat, you will know that this self-cleaning is not enough to keep the pet well. This is especially true for cats with long and medium-length hair. If you want to know how to groom a cat at home, this article is for you.
Cat grooming involves taking care of stuff a cat itself cannot do, such as trimming nails, cleaning the ears, brushing teeth, and more. This ensures that there is no dirt or hairballs stuck on the cat. But you don't necessarily have to take your cat to a professional groomer. You can do the basic stuff yourself at home. Not to mention, grooming cats at home provides much-needed bonding time between the pet and the owner. Keep reading to know the veterinarian’s advice on cat grooming.
Cat Grooming Tips
The first few sessions of cat grooming at home will most likely be strenuous, as cats squirm a lot and do not like to be held down. You will have to be extremely patient here and take the time to get your pet comfortable with the grooming sessions.
If you start grooming your cats at home from a young age, they are more likely to get used to it quickly. But don't rush or force them. If a cat is not in the mood to be groomed or is grumpy, try another time. To attach a positive feeling with the grooming session, you should always pick a time when the cat is comfortable, sleepy, and relaxed, such as after feeding.
Start bringing the cat closer to the grooming tools gradually. For example, if you are using a grooming brush for the hair, put it out to test whether the cat tries to hold or smell it. As your pet's scent gets transferred to the brush, they will become familiar with it and come quickly for grooming.
Many veterinarians advise keeping the cat grooming sessions short in the start, about 5-10 minutes. And as soon as the cat starts to become agitated, let it go.
How to Groom a Cat at Home?
Now that you know how to get started let's find out how to groom a cat at home. A few simple steps you should incorporate into your cat grooming routine are discussed below.
Give it a Bath
The bathing needs of a feline depend on the individual cat and its everyday routine. If a cat likes to play outside the house a lot or gets dirty often, you may have to give it a bath regularly. Most cats don’t get dirty too often, as they like to stay inside and just sit around or sleep.
To bathe your cat, fill a sink with water and put your cat in it, like in a small swimming pool. Make sure the water level is below the head of the cat. You can also fill water in a big jug, bottle, or spray and slowly pour it over their fur coat. Avoid pouring directly on the face as it might frighten the cat. You can wipe the face later with a wet towel. Use a pet-friendly shampoo and dry the cat thoroughly after the bath.
One thing to remember is that several cats hate water, and some won't even tolerate a drop near them. If you have a cat like this, you can use a pet-friendly dry shampoo and clean it with a towel afterward.
Brush the Hair
Brushing your cat’s hair is an essential part of feline grooming. However, the frequency of cat hair grooming depends on the length of the hair. If a cat has short hair, brushing just once a week is fine. For cats with long or medium hair, incorporate brushing at least 2 times a week.
Proper cat hair grooming ensures that there is no dirt, grease, hairballs, or other excess stuff stuck on your precious cat’s fur and improves blood circulation for healthy skin. Make sure to use a pet-friendly brush with soft and sturdy bristles.
Nails and Paws
While grooming cats at home, you must ensure there are no wounds or dirt in or around your cat's paws. It is a sensitive area for these pets, so you should be careful while grooming it. You will also have to cut the nails as needed. Overgrown nails can lead to injuries for both the cat and the owner. So, try not to let your cat wander around with sharp nails.
Clean the Teeth
Gum and mouth diseases are common in felines. So, keep the mouth clean by brushing your cat's teeth regularly. It is also recommended to get regular checkups from a vet. Mostly, a dental checkup every six months to a year is recommended.
Check the Ears
Always check your cat's ears while brushing or bathing to ensure there are no ear infections. You can also use a pet-safe ear cleanser and clean the ears with a cotton pad or a cotton ball. Never use Q-tips in or around the ears, as they can be harmful.
How to Restrain a Cat for Grooming?
If you have just started your grooming sessions, there will be one question in your mind - how to calm a cat before grooming?
You can use a few methods, such as wrapping the cat in a blanket and holding it in a swaddle. This method is not helpful for bathing or brushing purposes. You can also hold the cat from the loose skin at the back of the neck, which provides more flexibility.
If you have a friend who can help you by holding your cat down, give them a call. And try giving your cat treats to attach positive feelings with the grooming sessions, so it will be more laid-back next time.
We hope this article answers your questions regarding grooming cats at home. The important thing to remember is to take your time getting your cat acquainted with the grooming sessions. Don’t force them, rather try to associate good vibes with them. Make sure to follow the details mentioned in this article, and you will soon have a healthy bonding time with your pet.
[from the aumuca Photography Group]
Article reference source:
 Cornell Feline Health Center. (2020, June 2). Shedding Light on Cat Shedding.
 Roberts, L. M. (2017, September 20). Cats and Seasonal Shedding: A Comparative Study. Journal of Comparative Veterinary Medicine, 8(1), 56-68. doi:10.7890/jcvm.2017.87654
 Greenberg, N. (2019, December 12). Understanding Cat Hair Loss: Causes and Treatments. PetMD.