Every cat parent will tell you, with a touch of pride, that their furballs are meticulous groomers. Equipped with a barbed tongue (literally) that takes care of any dead fur or fleas they are troubled with, cats are known to be clean animals. But if you are one of those doting cat parents, you will know that things are a tad more complicated than their reputation lets on. Beyond your cat’s self-grooming, you will be regularly required to help with its fur, eyes, ears, claws, and teeth, among other things.
Every feline has unique grooming requirements – your cat might be young or old, or it may be short or long haired. Nevertheless, you will need a set of absolutely essential tools in your cat grooming kit.
Regular brushing will rid your pet of dirt and dead hair, and will prevent knots and tangles on its fur. If your cat has long hair, brush every day. Otherwise, once a week should suffice. A slicker brush or a shedding comb will do the job of keeping the coat neat and clean. Pay extra attention when you are brushing sensitive areas such as the stomach or the area around it. Use easy, gentle strokes – ‘purr-lease’ don’t be aggressive with your strokes, you can hurt the cat and make it nervous and restless.
Some cats hate being combed by their humans. There’s one way of tricking these smart things into getting combed. Grooming glove! Put on these silicone gloves and go about petting the fluffball, gently moving your hands in the direction of the hair growth. And there, you would have detangled and brushed the cat, all in one, genius, move! Gloved grooming imitates petting, so your cat will possibly purr away in contentment without throwing up its paws in frustration! Win-win, we would say (except the puns, that’s a win just for us!).
Matting fur is not just ‘ugh’ inducing, but is also quite painful for your cat. Having a de-matting tool in your grooming kit can be very helpful in untangling those messy clumps. Don’t be surprised if you are unable to ‘de-mat your cat’ in one shot. It should be done patiently in a couple of sittings. Typically, irregularly groomed younger cats with long hair suffer from mats. Make sure you have a de-matting tool with a comfortable handle and grip and with teeth well-spaced out so that it is apt for your pet.
Cat parents, we know that you adore your fur baby. But you cannot ignore the scratches on sofas, curtains, carpets, bedding and on er.. you. Trimming your cat’s claws should not just be to protect yourselves or your linens; cat nails are crucial for their physical and emotional well-being. Get a clipper that is either a guillotine type (yikes!) or a scissor-type clipper. These clippers are pretty similar to the ones meant for dogs (canines also have the ‘quick’, an area which houses blood vessels and are extremely sensitive). Be careful to cut a couple of millimetres away from the pink area which demarcates the quick area of the nail in cats.
We know that there are several reasons why you love raising a cat. And we are sure one of the reasons is the fact that cats do not require as many showers as any other furry thing would do. Experts recommend bathing the cat every 4 weeks or so. Cats detest bathing much more than, perhaps, your aggressive petting 😂. Consider lining the floor or sink with a non-slip mat, using cat shampoo , (preferably one that isn’t laden with chemicals or has a strong fragrance), and bathing your friend in lukewarm water. Place cotton in the cat’s ear to avoid water from getting in. And if need be, resort to waterless shampoos which will save you from the trouble of all the rinsing.
Toothbrush and toothpaste:
Dental issues are not the exclusive domain of humans. Your feline friends need dental care too, especially to avoid periodontal diseases. Be warned – cats hate brushing as much as they do getting a shower. So try your luck when your cat is calm. Get a soft toothbrush of a size that can fit into its tiny mouth, and use only veterinary or cat toothpaste. Toothpaste manufactured for humans might be toxic to cats. Also, toothpaste for kitties come in flavours such as chicken, beef or fish! Try and experiment to see what works for your little one.
So there! We have all just discovered a few basic cat grooming tools. You should start with some of these and slowly go on to add more to your grooming kit, depending what your cat does or doesn’t like. The point to remember is to try and not get on the wrong side of your feline friend with the wrong grooming kit. Otherwise, that scratch could be painful.
Apart from the tools themselves, there will be plenty of treats, rewards, and “my baby is the best!” involved. Remember, patience is a virtue. Good luck with grooming!