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Cat Grooming Tips: The Basics

Jun 25, 2008
Cats are very clean animals. They devote a large portion of their day bathing themselves by licking their paws and face, because they want to stay clean. However, there are many cat owners who don't even consider grooming their cat.

It's vital to remember to groom your cat. The grooming process takes loose hair away from your pet's coat, keeping it from being licked up into the cat's digestive tract. But since hair cannot be readily digested, they often turn into hairballs.

While cats, of course, can cough up these hairballs, these can still cause choking and a clogging of the bowels. Additionally, regular grooming will keep your pet dirt free, and will enable you to monitor your pet for flea and tick infestations.

If you thought your cat would hate to be groomed, you may be surprised to know that it actually enjoys the experience. Start grooming your cats while they are still young. As they grow up they will be accustomed to it and will long for the next grooming session with you.

Brush or comb the kitten's coat gently, neck to tail, in the direction its fur lies. Stop if it starts to get annoyed, and play with it for a minute or two until it calms down. Most cats don't like having their face or paws groomed, so avoid those areas.

If your cat rebels against regular brushing, try using a grooming glove. Your cat will think that it's getting a massage, but the glove will also be extracting loose hair or dirt from its coat, exactly like a regular grooming brush would do. The glove is gentle enough to use on your cat's face, though its paws might be a bit too sensitive for it.

Be sure to take a little extra time to look over your cat's eyes and ears while brushing your cat's coat. Make sure its eyes are bright and clear with no mucus or other matter in the corners. The ears need to be clean and pink.

Excess dirt in the ears can be a sign of ear mites. If not attended to, a cat can lose its hearing since these mites can cause the ear to shrivel up. Therefore it is imperative that you take your cat to the veterinarian if you suspect mites.

Next, if your cat's claws are not removed, you may want to use pet nail clippers to remove the hooks. If these hooks get caught on things, they can hurt your cat and damage your furniture.

Also look in your cat's mouth to see if any tartar has built up on the teeth. It is a good idea to brush its teeth daily with a special paste formulated for pets. You can use a small toothbrush that fits on the tip of your finger. Be aware that severe problems can result from untreated dental conditions.

Lastly, long haired cats must be groomed consistently. If your cat's hair becomes tangled and matted, there may be no other solution than to have it shaved. Because many cats become skittish if clippers are used, it may be necessary to sedate your pet in order to shave the affected area. If that is the case, you will have to take the cat to the veterinarian for this procedure. This experience is stressful for your cat, not to mention inconvenient and expensive for you, so it is best to avoid the situation entirely by grooming your cat regularly.
About the Author
Are you looking for cat grooming supplies ? How about visiting www.happycatstoday.com ? Get great deals on cat furniture, cat training aids and cat care supplies. Plus get more cat care tips.
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