We love to see our furry friends with a shiny and healthy coat of fur. Not only do they look fabulous but they are softer to the touch and they smell wonderful too! All aesthetic reasoning aside, it is crucial for our cats to be groomed properly for their health. There are a variety of helpful grooming tips for our cats to effectively maintain their health.
Have you ever felt that sandpapery feeling on your cats tongue when they lick you? It is actually tiny bristles for self-grooming. Cats have built in brushes on their tongues that help brush and clean their naturally waterproof fur. Hairballs can be a result of this grooming process especially when they are getting mouths full of fur after a self-bathing session. Some cats even naturally trim their own claws by biting them. Cleaning with their own saliva helps to remove dirt, cool them off and produces sebum for healthy skin. Cats groom to self-clean and to self-soothe.
Not all cats are capable of fully grooming themselves. Outdoor cats can get into more messes than a housecat might. It can be difficult for long-haired cats to keep up with their matting fur. Even overweight cats can have trouble reaching every inch of their fur. If we are apt to take them to a groomer, many cats have trouble sitting still for strangers.
This is where you come in!
Brush your cat with a cat specific metal tooth comb or rubber bristle brush 2x a week. Cats really hate baths especially with water. You can help your cat groom by wiping their fur gently with pet-friendly antiseptic wipes. Wipe behind their ears and in the areas they cannot reach or after they come in from an outdoor excursion. This will help prevent fur matting and reduces the risk of parasites like fleas. Avoid cutting their fur or using an electric shaver if your cats fur is extremely matted. Go to a groomer if the issue gets out of hand.
Some cats will need to have their nails trimmed every few weeks. This helps prevent infection, breakage and irregular movement. Trim their nails by wrapping them in a towel. Using cat specific nail clippers, lighting press on their paws to expose their nails. Hold their paw firmly. Cut above the quick. The quick is the blood vessel inside of the nail. Cutting the quick could hurt your furry friend. Be sure to trim the nail in a single stroke making sure to avoid this sensitive area.
Your cats gums should be pink and firm. The gums should not be swollen nor should they have any brownish tartar on the teeth. If you want to avoid any dental problems, your cat may need daily oral care. You can gently massage your cats gums with your fingers or a cotton swab. Using a feline toothpaste, you can proceed to brush their teeth and gums. Be on the lookout for a strong odor, swelling, ulcers, loose teeth, excessive drooling or dark red lines along the gums. This could be a sign of more serious issues.
Aside from being a preventative measure to keep health issues from arising, grooming your cat creates a rewarding bonding experience. It is instinctual for cats to groom themselves. Cats even groom other cats to show affection, comfort and companionship. Giving your cat the extra hand in their grooming process will be beneficial to both of your lives.