The Joy of Cat Grooming

The following article was written for us a few years ago by Angie Gonzales, a long-time friend of Fabulous Felines. We would like to share it once again as a sort of early Holiday Present, and hope it will introduce more people to the joys of grooming a feline friend while watching TV, listening to music, or just relaxing in a favorite chair.

Notes on Cat Grooming

Grooming is not only an important element in the bonding of a cat and his/her person but it also provides the opportunity, especially with adult cats, to do a general check on the coat, skin, paws, nose, ears and so on.

Why should owners groom their pet cats?

Grooming is a show of affection

Grooming is a show of affection

First, it is a good bonding experience because a cat being groomed by his/her person echoes the caring attention experienced from its mother during early kittenhood. Second, brushing or combing removes loose hair from the coat. If not removed, that hair may end up as a hairball in the cat’s stomach or intestine. Grooming also provides the opportunity for a regular check on the general condition of the cat’s coat and other areas like ears, eyes, nose and paws. Grooming is very important in spring and sometimes early summer, it’s the time when most cats, except breeds like the Sphynx and the Rex, will shed their winter coats. Third, as part of the grooming routine, it is important to check the cat’s ears for dirt, wax buildup and parasites. Same thing with the nails, if they grow too long they can ruin furnishings, hurt the owner and, what’s worse, the overgrown nail will get inside the pads of the cat’s feet and cause an infection. It is important to be careful not to cut the nails too short; this can cut into the quick causing pain and possible infection. A groomer or veterinarian can show you the proper way to trim nails.

What tools are needed to groom a cat at home?

The only tools required for a good “home grooming” are a brush with long and soft natural bristles and a fine-toothed metal comb. If there are mats, they should be teased out with the fingers or with a comb, taking care not to pull at the skin.

When is it a good time for a grooming session?

It can be any time of the day, usually when the cat is relaxed and comfortable. When the session is over, you can reward your kitty with his/her favorite treat or even a super treat like a small piece of ham, the size of a dime (all cats love ham but it’s very high in fat). You can also treat kitty to a session of playing with his/her favorite toy so he/she will learn to relate being groomed to something positive. Short hairs will do fine with one session of grooming every week or even every 10 days, long hairs need more attention, particularly when they are shedding the old winter coat. It is recommended that their coat be checked at least a couple of times a week.

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