A series of educational pet nutrition blogs written by pet experts, just for pet parents.

Cat Grooming

Posted on 05.19.2023

Do Cats Need to be Groomed?

At the end of the day, cats -especially long haired cats- do need to be groomed, as self-grooming can only go so far. Grooming routines help to keep your cat's coat healthy and free of mats and tangles while also removing dirt, debris, and parasites. It is important to instill a grooming regimen to ensure their beautiful coat stays healthy. Grooming can also help to prevent your cat from ingesting hairballs, which can lead to choking and stomach upset.

Tools for Grooming a Cat at Home

There are a few basic tools that you will need to groom your cat at home:

  • A brush: A good brush will help to remove dead hair and tangles. There are many different types of brushes available, so choose one that is appropriate for your cat's coat type. There are soft brushes for overall coat work, brushes that help with shedding, and slicker brushes to aid with de-matting and brushing out long and thick coats. Cats with short hair should be brushed 1-2 times a week while cats with longer hair might require a more regular brushing session (sometimes as often as once or twice a day!).
  • A comb: A comb can be used to help remove mats and tangles that your brush cannot reach. Look for a comb that has rotating teeth to ensure that your cat's skin isn't being pulled or irritated. Many combs are dual sided - half of the teeth being close together and the other half being wider apart. This allows for more detailed comb work in terms of matting or tangles.
  • A nail clipper: Nail clippers are essential for keeping your cat's nails trimmed. Trimming your cat's nails will help to prevent them from scratching you or your furniture. It's important to ensure that your cat's quick isn't being clipped and that they aren't being too frightened when it's time for a nail trim. Every cat is different when it comes to a nail trimming routine. For the most part, plan on trimming your kitty's claws every 2-3 weeks.
  • A toothbrush: A toothbrush and toothpaste can be used to clean your cat's teeth. This will help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Is your feline a little too finicky for teeth brushing? Use a water additive or a plaque-off powder or chew for an easy dental hygiene routine.
  • An ear cleaner: Ear cleaning is important to help to prevent ear infections. Over time, debris and discharge can be seen in a cat's ears. However, make sure to only clean your cat's ears as needed - approximately every 2 to 3 months. Over cleaning can lead to irritation, so it is important to keep an eye on their ears as time passes. 

Cats typically only need baths when they are dirty. If you plan on making baths a part of your cat's routine, start introducing water in short increments at a young age. If your cat needs a "spot clean" pick up a pack of all-natural grooming wipes to for a quick wipe down.

There are also different supplements that benefit a cat's skin and coat health. Products like fish oil and goat milk are jam-packed with all-natural vitamins and nutrients to aid in overall skin and coat maintenance. Fish oil is high in omega-3s and omega-6s reduce inflammation while enhancing skin and coat health - making your cat's fur shiny and smooth. Goat milk is an all-natural supplement with enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics that benefits joint health, gut health, and skin and coat health.

How to Get a Cat Comfortable with Grooming

The best way to get your cat comfortable with grooming is to start when they are a kitten. Start by brushing your cat for a few minutes each day. As they get used to being brushed, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend brushing them. Make sure to keep grooming a positive experience - offering words of praise, yummy treats, and pets/cuddles.

How do you proceed with grooming when you get your cat later in life? Start off the grooming experience as if they are a kitten - assume that they have never gone through a complete grooming experience. They might require a slower introduction to brushing/baths, so don't get discouraged if they don't love it the first time around. 

It is also important to be gentle when grooming your cat. Do not pull on their fur or ears. If your cat seems uncomfortable, stop grooming and try again later.

When Should a Cat See a Professional Groomer?

There are a few times when you may need to take your cat to a professional groomer:

  • If your cat has long hair that you cannot manage at home. If your cat has long hair, they may need to be groomed more often than short-haired cats. This is because long hair is more likely to become matted and tangled, which can be uncomfortable for your cat and can also lead to skin problems.
  • If your cat has mats or tangles that you cannot remove yourself. Mats are tightly tangled clumps of hair that can be difficult to remove at home. If your cat has mats, it is important to take them to a professional groomer as soon as possible. Mats can cause pain and discomfort for your cat, and they can also lead to skin infections.
  • If your cat is extremely fearful of grooming.

If you are unsure whether or not your cat needs to see a professional groomer, it is always best to err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment. A professional groomer will be able to assess your cat's needs and provide the best possible care.

Make an Appointment with a Professional Groomer

If you need to take your cat to a professional groomer, it is important to make an appointment in advance. This will help to ensure that your cat gets the attention they need without having to wait. When you make an appointment, be sure to tell the groomer about your cat's personality and any special needs they may have. This will help the groomer to provide the best possible care for your cat.

Call your local Treats Unleashed if you're in need of a grooming appointment for your furry feline. If your closest location doesn't have a groomer who specializes in cat grooming, they can direct you to one who does!

Grooming is an important part of owning a cat. By following these tips, you can help to keep your cat healthy and looking their best.

Tagged: Cat