Cats are meticulously clean creatures.
When they’re not sleeping or eating, there’s a very good chance they’ll be grooming.
Regular grooming doesn’t just remove loose fur, dirt and nasty parasites – keeping your felines immaculate and healthy – it helps redistribute natural oils, so their coats remain smooth and shiny.
While cats are extremely accomplished groomers, we would still recommend taking them to a professional groomer every four to six weeks.
How to groom your cat at home – grooming guidance
- Make sure they’re comfortable. Some cats will just sit back, relax and treat the experience like a massage. Others will grow agitated with every touch, and you may find yourself having to stop/start a number of times. Always look to groom your feline when they’re feeling happy, relaxed and in a comfortable position. This should make things run a lot smoother.
- Be patient. As we’ve just mentioned, there’s a good chance your cat will react in a negative manner to having their coat brushed. Never force the issue. Instead, be aware of the signs, and if you feel your actions are distressing them, immediately stop what you’re doing. Signs to look out for include skin twitching, a sharp turn of the head towards you, and/or their body tensing up.
- Hold the brush close to their nose. Before you begin running the brush through their fur, hold it up to their nose, so they can become familiar with the smell. It’s also a good idea to use the back of the brush on their coat first as this will allow them to grow accustomed to the movement without the risk of you catching any tangles. Don’t be afraid to try different brushes either. Depending on the length of hair, some cats will respond far better to a certain comb or brush. We’d advise starting off with softer bristles before working up to tougher brushes.
- Start slowly. Cats enjoy being stroked around their face and the top of their head so spend a few seconds doing this with your fingers to help them relax. When they appear relaxed, gradually move onto their back, slowly running the brush through their fur. Trying to rush the grooming process will only unsettle them. A lot of cats find their stomach and tail areas sensitive, so start with their back and leave these until the end.
- Brush in one direction. Always brush and stroke in the direction your cat’s fur grows. Going against the grain can lead to painful pulls, and could see the grooming session brought to an abrupt end. Medium and long-haired cats do tend to experience regular matting. Be careful when trying to disentangle the area. Knots can be teased out with your fingers, using a damp cloth if necessary. Never use scissors. If you’re not having any luck, contact a professional groomer.
- Reward them. Good behaviour deserves to be rewarded. Treating your cat to a tasty, little surprise after they’ve undergone a thorough groom will see them develop a positive attitude towards the experience. Treats and soothing words can also calm a cat down mid-groom.
What’s the average cost of grooming for a cat?
You can expect to pay anywhere between £30 and £100 to have your cat groomed, with prices varying based on where you live, the services requested, and reputation of the groomer.
Your cat’s age, size, hair length and even their temperament can also play a factor.
How can I get my cat to be okay with going to the groomers?
If you’re going to be taking your cat to the groomers every four to six weeks, you’ll be wanting to make the whole experience as stress free as possible – for you and your cat.
Felines are not big fans of having their daily routine interrupted, so trying to coax them into a carrier for a car ride to the groomers is never going to be met with much enthusiasm.
There are a few things you can do to help make the journey more comfortable.
First of all, leave the carrier out around the house, so it becomes a familiar part of their environment. Encourage them to spend time inside by placing their favourite blanket or toy in there. As they start to become more relaxed in their new surroundings, begin closing the door, eventually working up to carrying them around the house, and then into the car.
Trips out in the car can be tough on cats, so, again, take things slow; only travelling around the block to begin with.
Once you’re confident your feline is ready to hit the road, you’ll need to find a groomer.
Do your research.
Read online reviews, speak to other pet parents; it’s even worth consulting your vet who will have a good idea of your cat’s temperament and their grooming needs, and should be able to recommend accordingly.
Remember, cats don’t like change. As soon as you’ve settled on one, and you and your cat have enjoyed a relaxing, trouble-free first appointment, book another session straightaway.
When should I start grooming my cat?
The sooner you introduce your feline to the world of grooming the better.
Brushing them while they’re still a kitten not only gets them used to the process, it also acts as a DIY guide.
We’d recommend grooming long and medium-haired cats every one to two days, whereas short-haired felines will only require brushing weekly.
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