An introduction to cat grooming

Posted by Coco Dolci. February 22nd 2014.

Watching a cat grooming itself is a pleasure for any feline lover. It uses its tongue, paws and flexibility of body to access tricky parts with ease. A healthy cat is so good at taking care of its own cleanliness it’s hard to see how its owner can help out. However, regular grooming is beneficial not only for the pet’s looks, but for its health.

The process of cat grooming is straightforward and easy to master and here we go through the basics you need to know.

ginger cat 1

The benefits of cat grooming

Left to themselves, cats will manage perfectly on the sprucing up front but help from its human companion will assist on all sorts of levels.

Firstly, when a cat grooms itself, backward-pointing spines on the tongue pick up dirt and moulting fur. This can create fur balls which the pet should eventually cough up. Regular grooming by its owner will reduce this aggravation by ridding the coat of loose fur.

Grooming a cat also stimulates circulation which improves muscle tone greatly. One important advantage of grooming a cat is the opportunity this gives the owner to inspect their cat regularly for any signs of ill health such as infected eyes or ears, flea, mite or tick infestation.

Grooming is an activity that any cat will soon come to enjoy as, if it is done carefully and gently, it is an act of love and care.

Grooming kit

A cat grooming kit includes several brushes and combs for different types of fur and parts of the body. It will also include a set of clippers but any cat owner who is worried about cutting their cats claws can leave this to the experts. The important part of grooming is regular brushing.

Method of grooming

How to groom a cat depends on the part of the pet’s body and the length of its fur. While there is no one way of grooming a cat, the basics are as follows.

A once-weekly grooming for a short-haired cat starts with examination for the presence of fleas with a fine-toothed comb. If there are any black flea droppings, a vet can advise on the best treatment.

Loosening a cat’s dead fur is done by using a soft brush and rubbing it towards the animal’s head. This is followed by brushing in the direct of the tail in order to get rid of any remaining fur and to leave the coat glossy.

A long-haired cat needs daily grooming as they are prone to matting. These are knots of fur which can be gently teased apart with the fingers rather than cut off with scissors which can be risky.

Some individuals groom their cats to allow them to take part in pet shows and competitions.

Fluffy ginger cat

Happy cats

If a cat is not enjoying being groomed then it will let its owner know through hissing, or growling.

It’s important to stop grooming if your cat shows any signs of discomfort and you should always end a productive grooming session with praise and perhaps a treat. This will help reinforce the process as a positive experience for a pet, making them more comfortable with it in the future.

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