Cats are very simple to groom, using the right grooming tools, especially once they get used to being brushed and combed. This is true regardless of what type of cat you own: short haired cats, medium haired cats, and wire-haired cats. All you have to do is run the comb over their fur and follow through with a grooming glove or slicker brush to create a soft coat that is filled with luster and shine.
Grooming Short-haired Cats
One huge benefit of grooming a short-haired cat such as a Cornish Rex is that you can use a flea comb on their fur. Flea combs are brushes that have very narrowly placed teeth that scrape up those pesky little fleas while at the same time giving your cat’s fur a thorough brushing.
When using this type of brush, you must use the fine comb first and then flea comb starting from the skin out. Do this in small lengths at a time, never hard, and dip the fleas into a bowl of soapy water as you catch them. After you have finished, simply flush the fleas down the toilet to get rid of them.
Caution: It is important to realize that even though using a flea comb is a great way to remove fleas from your cat during grooming, this does not solve the issue of having parasites living on your cat’s skin. You must take further action to get rid of these pesky little creatures. Consult with your veterinarian for more information on flea and other parasite control.
Grooming Long-haired Cats
Long-haired cats, on the other hand, cannot easily be groomed and brushed with a flea comb. Brushing the fur of a Persian cat is more involved than brushing a Colorpoint Shorthair. Long-haired cats require different grooming tools and procedures to obtain maximum cleanliness and shine. Here are four very simple steps to follow:
1. First take a medium or course comb and split your cat’s coat into different sections. Be sure to work through the fur in a gentle and slow manner.
2. Next, do exactly as you did in step one but this time use a fine-toothed comb.
3. Follow through now with a good brushing, still working with small sections at a time. This time use a pin brush and work against the grain of the fur.
4. Lastly, be sure to shower your cat with lots and lots of praise and play with him afterwards. This helps in creating a tighter bond between you and your pet and also makes it easier to groom and brush him in the future.
Bathing Cats for Beginners
Cats don’t need to be bathed very often because they regularly clean themselves. However, if your cat has gotten into something messy, it may need a bath.
Choose a time when your kitty is tired and calm. You may need to wear her out with a play session. Clip her nails and brush her hair before you get her close to the bath. Wear old clothes because you are going to get wet.
- Comfy Cat
To make your kitty’s bath as comfortable as possible, be sure that you are not bathing it on a slippery surface. Keep the water lukewarm but not hot or cold. Be sure you hold your kitty tightly during the entire bathing session. This is to ensure that she doesn’t bolt from the tub and to give her a sense of security.
- Wet, Lather and Rinse
The bath itself is simple. Spray some water all over your cat, and then lather her up with cat shampoo. Don’t use human shampoo on a cat. When she’s all clean, rinse off the shampoo and take her out of the tub. Dry her with a towel. Some cats don’t mind a hair dryer.
- After the Bath
Give your cat lots of attention and love after her bath. You want her to think of a bath as a positive experience. If she runs away and hides, shower her with love as soon as she emerges.
- Cat Scratch
Some cats do not react positively to being bathed. If your kitty scratches or bites, you will need to restrain her for a bath.
Some pet stores offer self-service bathing facilities where you can bathe your cat yourself. In tubs made for cats, the bathing area will be elevated and there will be clips you can use to contain the cat. You can also buy these tubs for home use.
Taking your cat to a professional groomer is always an option. Groomers are trained in bathing pets and can make sure your kitty is healthy and clean.
Cleaning Cat Ears
Cats will usually clean their ears on their own, but it is a good idea to check your cat’s ears regularly and clean them out if they look dirty.
- Ear Problems
The reason to keep a cat’s ears clean is that they are infection-prone. If your cat is pawing at its ears, they might be infected and will need a prescription medication from a veterinarian. Another problem cats have with their ears is ear mites. These tiny bugs can live in the ears and cause discomfort to your cat.
Check your cat’s ears about once a week for any signs of infection or mites. If the ears look dirty or red, if they smell bad or if you can see bugs, you should clean the ears. If they don’t look better by the next day, see a veterinarian.
- Make the Experience Positive
Your cat may not like you messing with its ears. Try to get it to associate positive feelings with having its ears clean by offering it treats throughout the process. Talk to it gently as you clean, and ask another person to help you keep it still if it is anxious.
- Gather Your Supplies
Have everything you need ready to go before you begin cleaning your cat’s ears. You should use an ear cleanser made specifically for cats. You can use this with clean cotton balls or pads. You can also buy ear cleansing pads made for cats. These are convenient and make cleaning ears easier.
- Simple Steps
Begin by wiping the inside of your kitty’s ears with a cleansing pad or a cotton ball with cleanser applied. Work gently but be sure to get all parts of the ear cleaned.
If your cat’s ears seem especially dirty, you can squirt about 3 drops of cleanser into the ear, then massage the ear for several seconds. Your cat will shake its head, causing dirt from inside the ear to come out. Wipe this out with a cleansing pad.
Brushing Cats the Best Way
Cats need to be brushed far more often than they need to be bathed. You should brush your cat daily if possible.
- Brushing Keeps Cats Healthy
Regular brushing is important because it helps keep your cats hair clean and healthy. Brushing also eliminates problems like having the hair mat against the cat’s skin. Mats can be very uncomfortable for your cat. Another problem solved by regular brushing is flaking due to dry skin. If your cat has especially dry skin, talk to a veterinarian. Brushing your cat is good for you, too. It helps reduce shedding, keeping your house cleaner. It also makes your cat look beautiful.
- Choose a Brush
Lots of pet brushes make claims about shedding and styling, but what you really want is a brush your cat enjoys having run through her hair. Choose a brush that massages your cat as you use it. You will know if she likes it because she will keep coming back for more.
- Brush Everywhere
It is easy to brush a cat’s back, but there are other parts of her body that are going to be more challenging. Be persistent, even if you have to split the brushing session up into several parts. You will need to be sure and brush your cat’s tummy and under her tail. These are the areas that are hardest to brush, but they are also places where matting typically occurs.
- Hair Length
All cats, even those with very short hair, need to be brushed regularly. Long-haired cats require more grooming because there is more hair to brush. Some cats will naturally shed more than others. Cats will also shed more during certain times of the year. If your cat is shedding a lot, increase the amount of time you spend brushing her. This is true whether she has long hair or short hair.