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Grooming Tips for a Happy & Healthy Cat

by Erin Platt May 05, 2016 0 Comments

Grooming Tips for a Happy & Healthy Cat

Spa day. Hair. Nails. Massage. Teeth. It’s on.

Who doesn’t want to get a little spoiled? Regardless of how independent Princess acts on a daily basis, she will love getting pampered.

Cats are obviously into personal hygiene. Heaven help you if you decide you want to play with Princess while she’s grooming her paws or sharpening her claws. Yet, even a professional groomer like Princess needs some help.

Regardless of where you start on Princess’ home spa day, you have to ease into it. Of course, that’s really up to you. Just be ready for some furry tornado action if you try to just grab her and start brushing without warning.


Keeping your cat’s fur sleek and healthy

Girls know hair. They know styles. They know how to rock difference styles. Dudes also know a thing or two, even if they won’t admit it. Drive by an old-school barbershop and see a grown man walk out strutting his stuff due to his confidence from a good haircut. Your fur babies gain confidence and a health upgrade with a solid hairstyle.

Feisty is a short-haired kitty with a beautiful black, shiny coat. Frosty is a long-haired beauty with a glowing white look. Both need a little TLC, but while Feisty may only need a brush session once or twice a week, Frosty might need a daily stylist since her fur can get knotted and excess hair can build up and cause all kinds of problems. One being hair balls which are not fun for parents or kitties. I don’t suggest trying to eat dinner after witnessing your poor fur child hacking up a hair ball. Just a friendly word of warning.

To start, grab Frosty when she’s mellow. She's about to fall asleep with her recently filled belly sticking out contentedly. That’s the time to gently run a comb from front to back to get rid of all the dust and debris she’s decided to track through the house. When she’s soothed into sleep, use a rubber brush to get rid of all the extra, dead hair. The comb also gets out all of the tangles, but be gently. It hurts more on her than on your scalp when you’re tacking a particularly gnarly knot.

On Feisty, using the rubber brush to get rid of the extra hair would be the end of it. For Frosty, start at her legs and gently brush towards her head. Get all those crazy knots out (again, gently!) and use long strokes to smooth all of her gorgeous out to prevent knottiness from becoming a health hazard. This may have to happen every day to keep Frosty’s fur healthy.


Nail Care for Your Cat

My absolute favorite part of getting a manicure is the massage. They work out all the stress I carry in my hands from typing all day and it feels absolutely wonderful. Most importantly, it relaxes me in a major way.

Nala’s nails are a little more complicated. She needs the relaxation at the beginning. Work with her paws. Massage out all of that stress and press gently until a claw comes out. Now is not the time to start clipping. We’re working up to that. Patience Mom, your fur baby needs a few days of massages and lovin’ before she’ll be up for some nail care.

During those build-up days, clip some uncooked spaghetti noodles near Nala so she gets used to the sound. If she’s a little freaked out at first, a treat goes a long way to buying her love and trust so she doesn’t go crazy when it's time for the real deal.

Another major tip: DON’T TRIM THEM ALL AT ONCE! You and Nala will not come out of that experience unscathed. She needs a trim every ten days or so, so do a couple today, a couple tomorrow and so on until she’s fully trimmed and then start over ten days after the first round of trimming. Trust me when I say you and Nala will both be much, much happier with this arrangement.

Last, but definitely not least, only trim the white part of her nail. This is the most important part of this entire section, so I’ll forgo the normal snarky tone. If you cut the quick, the pink part at the bottom of her nail, she will bleed. This part of her nail has blood vessels and will hurt if you cut it. Err on the side of too short before cutting the quick. Needless to say, if it does happen, just gently apply a little pressure with a clean, cotton stick and soothe Nala as best you can.


Oral Care for Your Cat

You brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once. Well, you’re supposed to brush twice a day, and if your breath smells as bad as mine does in the morning, it's for your health and the sanity of those around you. We’re taught from the time we can walk and talk that we have to brush and keep our teeth pearly white. Why shouldn’t Bingo get the same treatment?

I’m not saying you have to necessarily brush his teeth every day (I’m pretty sure he would have some choice hissing to do if you tried that), but checking his gums and brushing on a regular basis can prevent some pretty savage gum and mouth diseases.

If Bingo’s breath seems to take over the room, or if his gums are red or puffy, he needs a vet visit and some oral hygiene upgrades. That morning breath isn’t just unpleasant to wake up to when he’s using your face as a pillow, Bingo may have Gingivitis or another mouth disease.

Toys are a great way to help with keeping Bingo’s teeth and gums happy and healthy. There are a crazy number of dental-care chew-toys that he can choose from to help you keep him out of the vet (and help you keep hold of your hard-earned cash…vets aren’t cheap!).

We all love our furry children. Brushing and vacuuming up extra hair and a paw massage with her nail time are all ways to help keep our babies healthy and confidence. Maybe spa day was a slight exaggeration since Princess needs more than just one day of pampering…


What are some of your  best grooming tips? 

Erin Platt
Erin Platt

Erin has 6 years experience working directly with Cats in a Chicago based VET. Since 2014, Erin has also contributed to various pet magazines including AGE, NY times and LA weekly writing pet related articles. Her focus is mainly of health issues, pet food and housing.

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