Tips & Advice: The Importance of Cat Grooming

Hi everyone,

Please find below some useful tips in form of a Guest Post by the team from Pets at Home:

The Importance of Cat Grooming

Cats are great self-cleaners, so it can be easy to just leave them to it when it comes to grooming! Fastidious kitties will happily spend hours every day grooming away to achieve feline purr-fection, but it’s still really important to lend a hand now and then. Stock up on grooming supplies and have regular grooming sessions so your cat will always look their best.

Grooming should be a fun experience for your cat – nice and relaxing with treats for behaving while the humans give them a brush. Make sure they’re calm during a grooming session – just after eating, when they are sitting on your lap or after exercise can be a good time, because your kitty will be lovely and content already. As well as keeping them clean, it’s a great opportunity for you and your cats to bond, and for them to get used to being handled! Grooming should be a positive experience so keep sessions short so your cat does not become upset with you.

Long-haired cats will need more regular grooming sessions than short-haired kitties – no matter how clean they keep themselves, there’s always the chance of a few tangles here and there! So brushing is really important for long-haired cats, and ideally you should give them a brush very day if you can. Shorter haired cats, on the other hand, may only really need one brushing a week.

For a short-haired felines, it’s quite simple: just use a metal comb to brush from head to tail in the direction that their hair grows, and then a soft bristle brush to catch any dead hair afterwards. Just be careful around the tummy, as this is the sensitive spot most likely to upset your cat.

Long-haired cats need a little bit more attention. Comb through their fur to gently untangle knots, or tease the knots out with your fingers, particularly on their legs and belly. Never use scissors to remove the knots. Once all the tangled bits are gone, use a brush with soft bristles to gently groom all over – this will get rid of dirt and spread natural oils throughout your cat’s coat.

Nail clipping is really important too, especially for an indoor cat that won’t wear down their claws quite so easily. You’ll need to get your kitty used to having their paws handled before you go clipping – rub their legs and eventually gently touch each section of their paws, making sure you give them lots of treats and encouragement. It might take a couple of weeks, but eventually they’ll be used to you handling their paws enough for you to clip their claws.

Hold your cat securely and gently apply a really small amount of pressure to their paws – this will make them extend their claws. Use really sharp cat nail scissors or clippers to cut off the white tip, but whatever you do, do not cut into the pink bit further down the nail! This is called the quick, and it will be painful and bleed if you catch it – and your cat will not thank you for it either! Don’t forget, if you’re worried or concerned about trimming your cat’s nails, a grooming professional or vet is best placed to give you some tips and advice on how to do this correctly.

grooming cat

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27 thoughts on “Tips & Advice: The Importance of Cat Grooming

  1. natjtan says:

    Great advice! My boys love the Furminator! Aj purrs away and laps up the attention. I only have to show him the brush and 9/10 he comes over to be brushed. Diesel can only be brushed, on his card board chaise lounge scratching post, aka the barbers chair while he pulls off pieces of cardboard! I’m lucky they don’t mind me trimming their claws. Diesel sits tummy up on my lap while I trim them. I secretly think he loves a pedicure! His brother protests on the last paw, but takes it!

  2. mvaden1948 says:

    I’m nervous about clipping Diavolo’s claws so had it don’t at his vet’s office but at $20 it was like getting a mani-pedi at a beauty salon. But then I found the local pet groomer around the corner from us….$5.00 and no appointment needed. There was even a lovely attentive dog who stayed to try to keep him calm. It was over in less than five minutes even though he kept his attention on that dog. He’s going back this week.
    So you might check with a local groomer if you can’t do it yourself.

  3. Phyl says:

    I had one cat who loved my combing her so much that she’d lie on her side on the rug and purr and purr. The cat right after her hated being groomed so much that the brush became a punishment. Fortunately, she was naughty just enough that she got groomed fairly regularly.

    • Marc-André says:

      LOL. Yeah that’s what I feel like every time I clean the carpet and brush our two. Have you seen some people actually make toys, gift cards and miniature cats out of the brushed off fur of their cats?

      • mvaden1948 says:

        And I wasn’t finished so at least a cat the size of Diavolo. I have a Dyson Animal (supposed to be perfect for pet hair and it is 110% better than what I had before) and had to empty the canister four times. But considering some of the hair was too long for him and was silver and curly I’m partly to blame. We humans shed a bit too.

          • mvaden1948 says:

            I love it. I got it on a special sale at a store here called Target….it was marked down $100 and they also gave you a gift card for $100….so basically $200 off the regular price.
            My old vacuum had bags that had to be replaced. This one has the hepa filter (for allergies) built in. I think I’ve had it about six years now and no problems with it. Except that I should actually use it more often than I do.;-)
            And….it’s purple!
            I’ve seen them on some of the shopping channels and it looks like the newer models have some improvements, too.

          • Marc-André says:

            We have a 15? Year old dyson that unfortunately isn’t a pet hair one and that one is dying at last. So need to invest in a new one 😮 good to hear that your newer one works well. Might go for the same again. And I love target! I always go shopping there on trips to the U.S. Haha

  4. Erica Herd says:

    Our Norwegian Forest cat needs regular brushings because of the knotted naps he gets under his belly and elsewhere. It got so extreme we started taking him to a professional groomer in January. He absolutely loved it – his groomer clips his nails, then bathes, brushes, shaves the naps and rear fur encumbrances and dries him. He goes every 3 months now.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      My lovely Lili (bless her soul) would get those mats in the rear and would go to the vet for something they called a “sanitary cleanse”. Better them with the clippers than me….I would have needed four hands.

    • Marc-André says:

      Oh wow I never heard of a cat that likes baths :o! Norwegian forest cats get quite big and fluffy no? Love the one I saw in a cat cafe here – he looked a lot like the lion from Narnia haha

  5. loisajay says:

    My little Teemu loves (loves!) when I brush him. He looks so darn handsome when he’s done. My other cats–not so much. He preens enough for all three of them, though!

  6. littlemegallery says:

    A really useful & informative post. Our cat Mycroft was a stray before he came to us & not used to being handled. He still nips occasionally but no where near as often as he used to. We bought a soft bristled grooming brush & he loves it. Regular sessions with *Brushie* has meant that I can now stroke him with my hand all the way from his head down to his back & tail without any nipping! *Brushie* has opened the way into his affections! When he was living in the rescue centre he really hated being touched, so this has been a significant improvement for him & for us as first time owners.

  7. lawjic says:

    Telling my cat: Do you want to get brushed?

    That was the most important thing to her, especially in her very advanced geriatric years. I brushed her on the day we euthanized her during this season of loss for me. I wanted her to leave this world being the beautiful cat she always was and with dignity and respect. I made sure that happened……I miss you, Ms. Cali. You live forever in my heart and I cannot replace you.

    Do you mind if I start looking for another “companion feline” so I will not feel so lonely? Again, sweet love, no cat will ever take your place. That is simply impossible. I know you knew you were the most loved cat on Earth and now in Heaven. Please take care of Mom. She left us right after you and I am grieving her loss deeply. Go and sit on her lap and kiss her for me, Ms. Cali. You will know how to find her. You will know. You knew everything!

    I always knew you were the best cat ever…….and I know you are not suffering and neither is Mom, so go love her for me! Thanks!

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