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Pet Cat Grooming

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/28/2007 | Pets and Animals
Grooming is vital to keeping your kitten healthy, especially if your kitten is long-haired. Think of the coat as the fur and skin together: You cannot have a healthy coat unless both the skin and fur are healthy.
Cats naturally maintain well-groomed coats. Look at your kitten's tongue-notice the bristles facing backward. Cats use these bristles to groom themselves, often for hours at a time.
As much as kittens do for themselves, they do sometimes need your help. Your kitten's tongue cannot reach certain areas-like behind the ears and on top of their heads and backs. Also their bristles cannot always get through a tough mat of hair. That's where you come in.
Grooming a cat, long or short-haired, each step requires a bit of work and patience. These are guidelines are addressing to amateur; they are just tips and do not substitute for a professional groomer. Sometimes, you cannot do it yourself and need professional assistance, especially if you have a long-haired cat that mats badly, or a cat who becomes violent during grooming.
As kittens generally do not like water and can require special handling. Some cats object so strenuously to bathing that you you need sedate them. If that's the case with your pet, do not let your groomer do it-let only licensed veterinarians give your pet sedatives of any kind. Your kitten should not need a grooming until at least 14 to 16 weeks of age.
Grooming is necessary for all cats, regardless of the length of their coats. Long-haired cats in particular, however, call for a few special considerations. Tools are required for grooming of your pets. They are the brushes, specialty brushes, combs, bematting combs, scissors, clippers and nail clippers.
Several different types of brushes are available for pets. Most of them are wired slicker types with wire bristles or pin brushes with rounded tips. Pin brushes are good as they are gentler on the skin and do not scratch or hurt. A variety of specialty tools are available for grooming cats. You use these to remove excess fur and scaling, crusting or dead skin. They have rubber knobs that are effective, but gentle on the skin.
Electric clippers that have stainless steel blades can shave right through even the toughest mats. The finale of a thorough grooming is trimming the nails. There is a special nail clipper designed for cat nails. Dog nail clippers are too cumbersome and splinter cats' nails.