cat grooming

Cat Grooming

Cat Grooming Service and Tips

Cats are usually self-sufficient when it comes to grooming. It’s easy to think of cats as fastidious in their self-bathing habits and, with their reputation for independence, cats don’t always draw much grooming attention from their families. However, there are times when they need a little extra help with their self care and, as veterinarians, we want to help cat owners recognize this need.

Bathing, brushing, and nail-trimming may not be familiar routines for all cat owners; this is where your veterinary team can help. Contact a local veterinarian to get assistance with cat grooming, as you want to make sure your furry feline friend always feels his or her best.

Cat Bathing

We’ve all seen the photos of soaked and angry cats in the bathtub or sink, but do cats really need baths? In general, the answer is “no.” Cats are pretty good at keeping themselves clean and rarely need baths. The few cases in which your pet would need a cat bath is if he or she has a dermatologic (skin) condition that is best treated with a medicated shampoo, or if he or she has gotten into something. Your veterinarian can advise you in those cases.

Cat Brushing

Most cats - especially the short-haired variety - don’t need to be brushed because they will essentially take care of that when they groom themselves. However, long-haired cats - such as Persians,  Himalayans, and some Ragdolls - may need help keeping up with their coat maintenance and require frequent brushings in order to prevent mats from forming. Once mats form, they are uncomfortable for your cat because there is a constant sensation of having their hair pulled, and that sensation worsens as the mats grow larger.

Detangling or brushing out the mat is quite painful for the same reason, and veterinary intervention is often needed at that point. Depending on the severity, cats may need to be sedated in order to have their mats safely brushed out, or they may even have their mats shaved if the matting is too severe to be detangled. Therefore, owners of long-haired breeds should keep a careful eye on the coats of their cats and intervene early if mats are found to be forming.

Cat Nail Trims

It’s important to keep your cat’s nails trimmed. If your cat likes to knead you, then having clipped nails will make that a less painful and more pleasant experience for you. Cat claw trimming will also prevent the painful broken claws that may result if your pet’s sharp tips get caught in the carpet.

Most cats will tolerate nail clipping at home; if you are not sure how to trim your cat’s nails, a veterinary team member will show you how to do it. However, if you prefer not to trim your cat’s nails or your cat won’t tolerate you handling his or her paws, veterinary staff can certainly clip your cat’s nails for you.

Cat Ear Cleaning

Some groomers offer ear cleaning as a service. Other than gently wiping out any excess wax or debris that is easily visible, there is no need to do any more than that on a regular basis. If you notice your cat excessively scratching or pawing at their ears, or an odor or sensitivity around the ears, you should take your cat to see your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Never attempt to flush your cat’s ears without being specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian, nor allow a groomer to do so as a routine service. Cats’ ears are very delicate and sensitive and could easily be damaged.

Speak With Your Veterinarian About Your Cat’s Grooming Needs 

Unlike dogs, cats are fairly independent when it comes to grooming, but there can be some cases in which they are not able to fully take care of themselves. Reach out to a veterinarian near you if you have any cat grooming concerns.