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How To Groom a Cat

 How To Groom a Cat
by KatKin Team

Read time: 3 min

When your cat isn’t sleeping on your laundry or setting their claws on your sofa, they’re probably busy grooming themselves. Cats spend a good chunk of their waking time cleaning their fur, paws, and face. But no matter how much they groom themselves, they still need help sometimes. 

Grooming your cat keeps them feeling soft and looking clean. And prevents build up that can irritate their skin or create uncomfortable mats.

Should you groom your cat?

Despite how much time they spend cleaning themselves, you should still groom your cat regularly. Weekly is good. Multiple times a week is better. Especially if they have long hair. 

Grooming isn’t just limited to brushing them either. Cleaning their ears, brushing their teeth, and clipping their claws are all part of keeping your cat well groomed. 

How much time to spend grooming your cat

Any cat parent will know that most cats have a small window of tolerance for being fussed with. So it’s best to groom them little and often rather than put them through the occasional, long grooming session. 

Make sure you stock up on treats to keep them distracted. And listen to their body language. Otherwise your arm might become their new pin cushion. 

Cat grooming tips

Don’t be afraid to bribe them. Treats, like our Nibbles, will keep your cat preoccupied while you clip their claws or groom their bellies. 

Don’t groom them during a zoomie session. Instead, approach them when they’re calm and relaxed. This will save your skin. And means they’re not already stressed. 

Regular, short grooming sessions are better than one long one. Cats have places to be and things to do and probably won’t like being cornered for long periods of time. So keep the sessions brief for the least amount of stress.

Start grooming them from a young age. It means they’ll be used to the process. And are less likely to fight back as adults. It might mean they actually quite like parts of the process, like being brushed. 

What grooming supplies do I need?

To keep your cat looking their best, there’re a few items you’ll need to have to hand. 

Skin and fur care

Just like taking care of your own hair, brushes and combs are essential. There are loads of different types of brushes out there depending on the length and type of fur your cat has. Brushing regularly stops matting. Which can lead to lumpy fur

Sometimes your cat will need a bath. And they probably won’t like it. But it’s just as important as brushing them. Make sure you choose a cat-safe shampoo. Human shampoos can irritate their skin. 

Ear care

Your cat’s ears may be able to hear the sound of a bag of treats being opened across the house, but they still need a bit of help staying clean.

Make sure you regularly check your cat’s ears during a grooming session. Gently look inside to make sure they’re healthy. If you spot anything unusual like excessive dark earwax, blood, a lot of dirt, or if they smell bad, take them to the vet to be checked out. 

You can use ear cleaning wipes to very gently clean the shell of their ear. And any wax build up on their temple. Never stick anything inside their ear – you could cause damage or hurt them.

Paw and nail care

A spa day means one thing: getting your nails done. Cutting your cat’s claws protects your furniture and floors from getting shredded. It also makes sure they aren’t in pain while walking. And overgrown claws can grow into their toe pads. Ouch.

Checking their paws also means you can make sure nothing is stuck between their toe pads. And make sure nothing is irritating their feet. 

Dental care

They eat meat and lick their own bums. So it’s no wonder your cat’s breath can be stinky. But brushing your cat’s teeth is still important for their health. Looking after your cat’s teeth helps to stop plaque build up, ward off gum disease, and keep their breath smelling fresh(er). Make sure you pick up a cat-safe toothpaste. And never use human toothpaste to brush their teeth. 

Eye care

They can spot your feet under the duvet from across the room. And see pretty well in the dark. So it’s important to check your cat’s eyes regularly to make sure they’re healthy. Keep an eye out (pun intended) for any cloudiness, crustiness, oozing, tearing, or redness. And if you have any concerns, take them to the vet.

Long hair cat grooming

Your long-haired cat may be majestic. But they need a bit of help keeping that mane in check. Long-haired cats need more brushing. With plenty of detangling of their coat. This will stop mats from building up – which can be uncomfortable – and stops them from swallowing too much fur. Which will most likely end up on your rug. But might also cause blockages in their digestive tract.

Choosing the best grooming comb or brush for your cat

Stepping into the grooming section of your local pet shop, you’ll be met with a wall of bristles and teeth (from combs). So how the heck do you work out what brush to use on your cat? 

Short to medium coats

Dual-sided brush – a good combination brush. Fine-toothed brush on one side, soft bristle brush on the other. Detangles and removes dirt. 

Fine-tooth comb – Really gets into the coat and detangles it. 

Medium to long hair coats

Slicker brushes – Slanted brush with angled, very thin bristles. Removes dirt and dead/loose hair. 

Wide-tooth comb – Great for detangling knots.

Pin brush – The most ‘normal’ looking hair brush for cats. Good for detangling and removing dead fur.

All coats

Mitt brush – A wearable mitt with rubbery bristles that catch fur. 

Shedding brushes – Come with a built-in blade to easily remove both topcoat and undercoat.

Moulting comb – A comb with different length pins to detangle throughout the fur. 

Bristle brush – Probably good enough for short-haired cats on its own. For long-haired cats it’s ideal as a smoothing finisher. 

Did you know that a good diet can keep your cat’s coat in good condition? It might not stop their fur getting tangled after too much play fighting. Or prevent leaves and garden debris getting stuck in their tails. But a good, healthy diet like KatKin’s fresh cat food will give their coat a healthy shine and keep it feeling soft.

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