Sounds simple right? If it can be can done on a dog, why not a cat? People tend to buy a cat because they feel it is a low maintenance pet that doesn’t require any walks or grooming just feeding and playing. WRONG!
Cat grooming should only come into play by a professional when the matts on your cat have gotten bad enough that they can not be brushed out and the cat can not groom themselves. I don’t even mind when a client asks to watch or asks questions while I am there about how to perform this routine on a regular basis.
Nail trims are a very common and basic heathy habit that need to be maintained for your cat’s wellbeing. This way they do not stick to the ground when they walk, do not get ingrown nails into their pads, and do not lose a nail from it been scratched off due to length and then get an infection. Cat’s nails should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks depending on how fast they grow out. If you can not clip your own cats’ nails do not worry, it is usually a two-person job to be honest.
However, you should from a young age be touching your cats’ paws and showing them nail clippers with positive reinforcement so that they do not fear the process.
Brushing especially for a long hair cat needs to be done every day, and no your cat licking themselves every day is not the same thing. Short haired cats tend to shed the most and need to be brushed as well to get out all that excess dead hair. A Furminator is a great tool for this job as it is easy on the cat, they tend to enjoy this, and it collects A LOT of fur!
Bathing a cat. Clients do not realize that this is not something that a cat will typically tolerate in the least. Cat’s do not generally like water and especially if not done routinely since a kitten, they are not going to suddenly. An option that I have used many times for a cat is to spray waterless shampoo on a brush and brush it through the cat and let it dry. Another option is to spray down a towel with waterless shampoo and rub it all over the cat, brush it and let it dry. This is a wonderful option to not have to soak the cat and still get the dirt out of the coat and smelling fresh and clean again.
Lion cut shave downs. One of the most hated experiences for any cat. Most people have never seen a cat get shaved down until myself and my assistant come into play. I have been told that some people have watched their cat get scooped up, brought into a van or back room and returned looking like a teenage lion. Cats have very little patience to sit on a table and let a vibrating machine run across their body. If the cat starts to hiss, try and scratch or bite, urinate on the table or show signs of discomfort and stress I will not continue or let alone start a lion cut. This is not fair to the cat and means that if they truly need matts out of their coat then they need to go to a Veterinary setting where they can be sedated and handled with care and monitoring. This is something that people have to understand can sometimes be necessary and will be a bit pricier but the wellbeing and over all health of your cat should come first.
I hope this helps people out there understand some of the basics for cat grooming and to realize that it isn’t for the faint of heart. Cats do not understand commands let alone obey them the way a dog does so we just have to try and do what’s best for them and most comfortable. A cat’s coat and nails are extremely important for their health so please keep these routines in mind!