Depending on a cat’s breed and coat consistency, grooming may be a daily or at least occasional ritual. If you show your felines, grooming sessions are likely more frequent than if you just enjoy the animal’s companionship. So what are the three cat grooming aids no fancier should be without?
Trimming your cat’s claws is a task that calls for a guillotine-type clipper. This clipper lets the fancier insert the claw up to the desired spot. A simple squeeze results in a sheered-off nail. As noted by the Humane Society of the United States, be sure to keep the cutting blade sharp for best results.
Trimming nails is usually a two-person job, with one volunteer holding the animal and the other one focusing on clipping the nails. Keep some styptic power on hand in case of an accidental nick to the vein. If you have to clip the cat’s nails alone, wrap the animal in a towel to protect yourself from being scratched.
Cat Shampoos: Two Types
There are plenty of pet cats that go for a lifetime without ever being bathed. On the other hand, obese cats and those notorious for roaming in muddy areas do require some bathing to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Cat shampoos fall into two categories: rinse and no-rinse products. Rinse shampoos include flea-repelling products, skin care shampoos that rely on oatmeal for its dermis-enhancing properties and also perfumed concoctions with an integrated conditioner for a shiny, soft coat.
No-rinse products are easy to spray onto the cat’s coat. Combined with a conditioner and de-tangler, these types of cat grooming products make quick work of greasy areas on the fur or even a dirty coat. A good example is Groomer’s Best from Hartz. It sprays on easily, cleanses the coat and skin, deodorizes the fur and dries quickly.
Choose a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically designed for cats. This is true when you have a young kitten, an adult cat or a pet with special needs such as flea control. Some shampoos and conditioners are formulated to prevent mats and tangles in longhaired breeds. Since too frequent bathing strips off a cat’s natural skin oils, resort to this grooming procedure sparingly.
Brushes for Cats
Cats need daily brushing, even short-hair breeds. Veterinary experts at the Washington State University Extension note that daily grooming helps with keeping the cat’s coat “shiny and tangle-free.” Consider that brushing frequently feels good to the cat, and it can turn a necessary grooming task into a bonding experience for the pet and its owner.
Choose from combs and brushes designed for cats with specific undercoat needs. The Safari shedding comb – available for sale at many major online retailers – disassembles (and prevents) mats. It lifts loose hair quite easily. Other combs are styled to suit a cat’s individual needs. Long-haired cats need a brush that is good for coat shedding as well as de-tangling. Do this frequently to cut down on the animal’s ingestion of hair (which results in unattractive hairballs).