How To Groom Your Cat, The Ultimate Guide

Approx Reading Time: 18 minutes

Cats are one of the best companions you can have. Cats can be very clean and tidy, they spend a lot of time licking their coats to keep it clean. However, you are still expected to groom your cat once in a while. Many people have the opinion that cats rarely require regular grooming and that it must be done by a professional; however, this is not always the case as you can do-it-yourself!

Cat grooming is pretty easy as long as you follow the right procedures and use the required tools. You should consistently inspect the cat’s ears, nose, mouth, claws, and the coat. Grooming your pet is the only way you can notice injuries or lumps on its skin. With the ideal grooming tools and the right way to go about it, you can easily take care of your cat and keep it healthy and clean.

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Veterinarian cutting toenails to cute little kitten in veterinary clinic. Unrecognizable woman working.

Have you been looking for ways to shave your cat but do not know where to start? Do you think cat grooming is difficult to do by yourself?

To understand how easy it is to groom your cat, we have compiled procedures and some tools you should invest in before grooming your pet. However, before diving into the grooming tips, here are the essential tools that you will need:

  • Brushes and combs
  • Nail clippers
  • Ear cleaning tools
  • Dental care kit

Brushes And Combs

One of the ways of removing dirt and letting natural oils flow throughout your cat’s coat is by using the combs and brushes. You should brush through your cat’s coat once a week if it has short hair and every day for those with long hair. It is not hard to keep the cat calm during those sessions as long as you do not use force and read its mood. Also, ensure that you have the right brushes and combs. The main types are:

● Slicker Brush

These brushes are meant for cats with short fur. It is smooth and helps to remove tangles, making sure that the fur spreads well, hence giving it a shiny coat. It is recommended for all breeds of cats that shed too much hair. However, you must see to it that you are careful with the metal parts to avoid scratching your cat’s skin.

● Soft Brush

A soft bristle brush is best when you are removing debris, dirt, and dead skin off your cat’s fur. You can also use this brush after the grooming session is over. The soft bristles give your cat smooth hair and help to distribute natural oil through its skin.

● Flea Comb

With this comb, you can remove fleas and also comb the fur. It has its teeth closely packed, making it possible to get rid of the fleas and give your cat a right look. As you use these combs, be careful not to pluck out your pet’s fur. Make sure that you put the comb in hot and soapy water before trying to get rid of the fleas.

● Grooming Comb

Unlike the flea comb that has its teeth together, this one has the teeth further apart. That helps you to comb through your cat’s fur without struggling. When shopping for these combs, pick one with narrow spaces if your cat has short hair and wide gaps for cats with long fur.

How To Brush Your Cat

Cats love being groomed and brushed as long as they get used to a specific routine. When shaving your cat, choosing the right brushes and combs goes a long way to improve your cat’s attitude to the grooming sessions. When you start grooming your pet, brush its fur depending on the direction the hair grows. That is the best way to avoid injuries and ensure it enjoys the sessions. Here are the ways you can have a successful grooming routine:

  • Make Your Cat Comfortable: The right way to get started is to make sure your cat is ready to be touched and is comfortable. Stroke it for a while to see if it is positively responding to the touch. If it is okay, then it is the right time to start brushing or combing its hair. 
  • Start Slowly: Start with the areas your cat likes being touched. That is mainly between the ears, the back, and under the chin. For cats with short hair, brushing it once a week and using a comb with fine teeth helps to remove the debris, dead skin, and also improve the circulation of natural oils and blood. Stroke the comb or brush gently on the cat’s skin to ensure there is no discomfort or injuries.

On the other hand, cats with long hair require more maintenance than merely brushing and combing their hair once a week. It is best to invest your time and groom it at least three or four times a week. That is the ideal investment because it helps reduce diseases and keep your cat healthy.

  • Proceed to Sensitive Areas: Once your cat becomes more settled, it should be the right time to move to sensitive areas such as the belly. In case they react and try to bite you, you should go back to the areas your cat seems comfortable with, then try again to get to the belly. That is the best way to build trust and have them allow you to brush their bellies. Use a comb with wide teeth as it helps to remove the knots.
  • Reward Your Pet: Cats love treats more than anything. It is the best way to show them that they behaved well and deserve something special. If they know that they can get special treats for behaving well after a grooming session, you will never struggle to groom your cat.

What About The Tail?

If your cat has a thick or fluffy tail, it can be confusing on how to groom it. However, it is pretty easy to brush. Gently start combing the fur on one side before proceeding to the other side. If there are tangles, use your hands to separate them. However, mat splitters are there to help you remove the stubborn knots. If the cat has short and thin fur on their tail, use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess fur.

Best Brands To Consider

In case you need help in knowing some of the brushes and combs to use, find out the top brands to consider:

● Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats

It can be used on any cat, no matter the length of the hair. With its rounded-tip wire bristles, it is easy to penetrate through the undercoat. That makes it easy to remove tangle, mats, and dirt. It is also the ideal tool for massage hence promoting blood circulation. Its handle is designed so that it cannot slide, making it easy to brush the cat.

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● Evriholder 2-Sided Lint Brush

It is an all in one grooming tool used on both long and short-haired cats. Through brushing your pet, you can remove loose hair and debris from the cat. It is suitable for anyone operating on a budget since it is very affordable.

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Nail Clippers

People use the term nail clippers and trimmers interchangeably. Before we breakdown ways of cutting your cats’ nails, here are some of the commonly used tools needed for trimming and clipping:

● Standard Nail Clippers

They have rounded stainless blades, and depending on the brand, one will get a nail guard feature, which helps you to avoid feeding a lot of nails into the clipper. That is a bonus for you and makes the grooming sessions perfect.

● Cat Nail Scissors

These tools have blades made of stainless steel and ensure that they can be used just like regular scissors. Look for scissors with an angled head so that you do not have to guess which the ideal angle is during a clipping session.

● The File

It is similar to that of humans and is used to give smooth edges. That way, your cat will not scratch you or the furniture since the nails are not that rough.

How To Clip Your Cat’s Nails

The right time to start trimming your cat’s nails is when they are young. That is because they get used to it, and it becomes much easier as they grow. It is never too late to start clipping your cat’s nails, so have great grooming techniques like:

  • Create The Right Mood: Cats want to be comfortable before you begin clipping their nails. Choose a quiet place with minimal noises, because that distracts your cat. Allow the cats to sniff the clippers, but do not let them get near the sharp edges to avoid injuries. The purpose of allowing your cat smell and play with the clippers is to show them that it is not harmful.
  • Find The Claw Nail: You should position your thumb to your cat’s claws to find the nail. Applying the right pinch motion helps you to find the nail bed that should be cut. That is called protraction, and you should practice it quite often with your cat. Use this time to massage your cat. After cutting its nails, leave the clippers near the cat so that it associates it with a massage.
  • Know Where To Cut The Nails: The translucent part of the claws is the nails. It does not contain any nerves, so it will not feel pain if you cut it right. Put the clippers on the translucent part of the cat’s claw and gently press to cut it the same way you do with your nails. If you have the right control, you will be in a position of getting a perfect cut, and repeat the same procedure for all the nails.
  • Places Not To Cut: If you look further down your cat’s paws, you will see the toes and claws, making it easy for you to see the blood. This area is called the quick, and you should avoid it as an assurance that you do not hurt your cat. If you cut that area, the cat will protest due to pain, making it hard to deal with the blood if the cut is deep.

However, you should not panic if that happens because it is pretty easy to deal with the situation. Corn flour can be a perfect thing to use when your cat is bleeding. It acts as a coagulant, but you can also buy some of the prescribed coagulants. Stay with your pussy cat for about 30 minutes so that it does not remove the coagulants. If you cannot stop the bleeding within 30 minutes, visit a veterinarian immediately.

Should You Cut The Claws?

You should also take care of the claws after a while, but it is not necessary. The cats use claws for hunting, climbing, and scratching; therefore, keeping them healthy is the best way to keep them protected. However, claws should only be trimmed if the cat is no longer active or if it gets injured.

Some Of The Best Top Nail Clippers

● BOSHEL Cat Nail Clippers And Trimmer

It is durable and one of those professional clippers you can easily use at home. These clippers are designed with you in mind, so you do not have to strain when cutting your cat’s nails. The handles are ergonomic, which makes it suitable for you.

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● Epica Professional Cat Nail Clipper

It is made of stainless steel, which means that it is resistant to scratches. These clippers have a superb semicircular blade design, which allows you to rest your cat’s claws on it. Again, this brand is easy to clean and can serve you for a long time if it is properly maintained.

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● Pet Republique Professional Cat Nail Clippers

These are the right tools to give you accurate precision. Made of thick stainless blades, you can be assured of using these clippers for a long time.

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Ear Cleaning Tools

Proper grooming does not only involve shaving a cat but also cleaning its ears. That is all dependent on the environment and the lifestyle. If you notice that your furry friend is scratching too many times or you notice there is excessive wax, cleaning the ears is essential to avoid infections. Before you begin cleaning, it is vital to move the matted fur around the ear to avoid discomfort. Here are some of the tools you might need:

● Feline Ear Cleaning Oil Or Olive Oil

A couple of olive oil drops or any other oil approved to clean the cat’s ears help remove infections and the dirt. It promotes healthy ears when used frequently on your cats. There will be no more irritation and also helps to remove the dirt.

● A Dropper

The dropper assists you in putting olive oil or any other oil in your cats’ ears. It can also be used for other things like administering medicine, so invest in the right one.

● Cotton Balls

The cotton balls are necessary to remove the cleaning solution and any fluid coming out of your cat’s ears. You can massage its ears for around 45 seconds to remove the dirt.

● Warm Water

It is needed to place the oil since you want to use warm oil for dirt to come out easily.

How To Clean The Cat’s Ears

  • Sit Comfortably: You want to be comfortable while cleaning your cat’s ears. Place them on your laps without hassle. If it is resistant to having its ears touched, wrapping it in a towel might calm it down.
  • Get The Cleaning Solution: After putting the cleaning oil in warm water, put it in the cat’s ears using a dropper. Placing it in water is the best way to ensure that the cleaning solution is warm and comfortable once you start cleaning your cat’s ears. Every cleaning solution has a recommendation on the number of drops to use. Pay attention to that.
  • Rub Gently: Use a couple of cotton balls to rub the cleaning solution gently in the ears. Ensure that you are not too vigorous when rubbing the ears as it can be uncomfortable for your furry friend. In case you are dealing with an infection, administering the correct dose is essential to ensure the oil is effective. Leave it for a while, and let a cat shake it because it helps to get rid of the stubborn wax.
  • Use Cotton Balls: Gently put the cotton balls inside the cat’s ears. Ensure that you do not push them too much into the horizontal part as it could touch the ear canal resulting in further complications. One of the ways of knowing if the eardrum has been damaged is if your cat loses balance or puts its head tilted to the side. In case you see such a thing, rush your pet to a veterinarian immediately for treatment.
  • Offer Treats: Like any other cleaning procedures, offering your cat treats after cleaning its ears is the best way to make it corporate next time. That is because they will sit through the cleaning procedure with treats in mind. It makes the cats excited and look forward to other sessions.

Best Ear Cleaners

Whenever you are searching for the best ear cleaning solutions and wipes for your cats, here are some of the brands you should consider:

● Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

It is one of the best solutions to use when cleaning your pet’s ears. That is because it has an anti-adhesive formulation that removes microorganisms in your cat’s ears. It can also be useful to prevent microorganisms from disturbing your pet.

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● Lively Pets Ear Cleaner For Cats

It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help to keep mites and other microorganisms from your pet. It is also enriched with aloe vera, which prevents itching and also provides relief if your cat has some discharge.

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● Pet MD Cat Ear Cleaner Wipes

When cleaning your cat’s ears, it is best to use wipes that will not irritate your pet. These are the ideal wipes for you as they do not contain alcohol. The wipes remove debris and effectively help you clean the cat’s ears, ensuring there are no infections.

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Dental Care

You need to make sure that your cat’s dental care is a priority. That is because the products can solve various issues, including gum diseases and other complications that should be curbed on time. Dental care is the ideal way to prevent your cats from developing mouth diseases that might require surgery. So which tool should you use?

● Dental Cat Food

It is often used to ensure there is no build up in the cat’s mouth. Your vet can recommend some of the foods that should be taken to prevent teeth-related problems.

● Dental Water Additives

These are products that help to remove the plaques from the teeth. They are added to the water, and if you use the correct brand, you will not have to deal with teeth issues. That helps to promote excellent oral hygiene and keep your cat healthy with no periodontal issues.

● Toys

The toys are also designed to help remove harmful bacteria from the cat’s mouth. It is the right way to ensure that they keep their hygiene on check since chewing the toys removes buildup.

Toothbrush And Tooth Paste

When you are selecting the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your cat, make sure that it is suitable for them. The toothbrush should have soft bristles to avoid harming it and also make the session comfortable.

Tips For Brushing Your Cat’s Mouth

  • Find A Comfortable Position: Place your cat on your lap or its favorite spot and keep it calm. It is one of the ways to make sure that your furry friend feels relaxed when getting their teeth brushed.
  • Pour Some Toothpaste In Your Cat’s Mouth: One of the ways to make sure that the cat gets used to the toothpaste is by putting a little bit in its mouth. Use feline approved toothpaste and never use human one because they have too much fluoride that might affect its teeth.
  • Lift The Lip And Start Brushing: Expose your cat’s lip and start brushing gently. It is the same procedure as to how you brush your teeth, but you should expect some resistance from your pet. If your animal does not resist too much, check the back teeth because there is a lot of tartar that builds up and must be removed.

Here Are Some Ideal Dental Care Products For Your Cats

Your cat’s oral hygiene is essential, and we have gathered a few top products you should have when cleaning your cat’s teeth.

● ZYMOX Oral Care Therapy Dental Gel

The toothpaste does not require a toothbrush and makes it easy to use. It soothes pain and eliminates irritation and also reduces redness. It is one of the effective gels you can use on your cat as it helps to remove plaque.

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● Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dental Kit

When you are looking for a dental kit to keep your cat’s gum healthy, this is the one to choose. It comes with the right toothpaste and angled toothbrush, designed to help you clean your cat’s mouth easily.

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● Petstages Catnip Chew Mice

In case you are trying to find the right dental toy for your cats, Petstages catnip chew mice might be the right deal. It has excellent texture and is shaped like a mouse, which attracts the cat to chew it and, in the process, clean its teeth.

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FAQs About Cat Grooming

Here are some incredible queries asked by most cat groomers who want to improve their skills.

● How Often Does The Cat Require Grooming?

It is all dependent on your cat. That is because long-haired cats require more grooming than those with short hair. If your cat is scratching its ears or has bad breath, it might be the time to do thorough grooming. Other people create a schedule which could be once or twice per week to have a cat cleaned.

● Is Grooming Your Cat Necessary?

Yes, it is. That is the right way to avoid ear infections or other health complications. You need to remove the matted fur and give your cat a healthy and shiny coat. That is best achieved through proper grooming techniques.

● What Happens If You Fail To Trim The Cat’s Nails?

Cutting your cat’s nails is not only beneficial to the cat but also your furniture. It is the best way to make sure that the cat’s nails do not leave marks on the floor, furniture, or even injure people.

Conclusion

Whether you are interested in shaving your cat or general cat grooming, you need to learn the ideal tactics to make your work easy. The most important thing for any pet owner is to develop a routine and stick with it. Also, investing in the ideal tools makes grooming enjoyable for you and your cat; therefore, be on the lookout for the right brands. That way, you can keep your cat happy and healthy for a long time.