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
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
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.