Importance of Grooming Kitty
Grooming is very important to the health and cleanliness of you feline friend. Brushing helps remove loose hair and prevents kitty from developing hairballs. These hairballs can cause digestive issues as they can become difficult to dislodge.
Long hair cats need brushing and combing daily, as they shed the fur gets stuck which can cause the fur to become matted. Once it is matted you will need help trimming the fur with scissors, or professional grooming. Shorter haired kitty's don't need brushing as often but if you both enjoy it why not. Use soft short gentle strokes with a brush or glove and the skin will not be harmed.
Brush along your cat's back from head to tail, in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid brushing their face or paws, they will let you know what the dislike and like. It is best to start out early in the relationship so your cat gets used to the routine. Slow and steady is best for older cats that are not used to the attention. When you cat stays still use praise and a treat to re-enforce the behaviour, eventually they will get used to it, some even look forward to the interaction.
It is not necessary to bath cats, most prefer not to be wet. For those that do make sure you use products specifically developed for cats. Avoid sensitive areas such as face, mouth, ears and eyes. Be sure to rinse well and towel dry, cats are sensitive to heat so no hair dryers please. Cats have a natural tongue bathing technique to keep their coat clean and shiny. You can also wipe the coat with a cloth after brushing to maintain lustre.
To keep you cat clean and healthy you will also need to monitor a few other things. Check their ears, eyes, teeth and claws often. Eyes should be clear and bright, checking for mucus building up in the corners. Ears, clean, pink and free of ear mites, caused by dirt build up - can result in ears shrivelling and deafness. Cats are susceptible to plaque and tooth decay, regular brushing or special chew treats will help.
Cats claws are important but keeping them short is best, especially for indoor cats. Seek a professional lesson before attempting it yourself the first time. Grooming can be an opportunity to build the bonds with each other and contribute to your kitty's health. It doesn't need to be a battle or an expensive exercise.