Mats, tangles, shedding, oh my! Depending on the cat, grooming a feline can be an interesting challenge to say the least. Just because a cat self-grooms, doesn‘t mean they don‘t need additional TLC.
Before your Persian gets matted hair, or your calico gets a rash, here are some mistakes to avoid while grooming your cat:
Brush Before a Bath, Not After
Cats are notorious for not being a fan of bath time. Sometimes pet owners make the mistake of never bathing a cat, while others do it too frequently. To avoid making a bad situation worse, brush out your cat‘s fur before the bath and not after. When mats and tangles get wet, they get worse and often impossible to untangle. When this happens, taking your cat to a groomer is often the only option to dematting fur carefully.
Brushing before the bath avoids needing to cut out matted fur and risk agitating or cutting the skin by accident.
Using the Wrong Brush / Brushing the Wrong Way
Long and shorthaired cats require different grooming tools to ensure the fur health of your pet. For longhaired cats, groomers recommend a wide-toothed metal comb and a pin brush to collect loose fur afterward while for shorthaired cats, a grooming mitt or a fine-toothed comb works well.
When brushing your cat out, it‘s better to be safe than sorry. Brush with the grain and direction of the fur so your cat will feel more comfortable and avoid getting hurt. When you brush against the grain, you are risking having the hair being pulled too tightly.
Don‘t Miss the Ears
When brushing, bathing, or trimming your cat‘s fur, it‘s easy to overlook their ears regularly. Make checking the ears part of the grooming routine automatically to avoid infections. Balance is key, though: over-cleaning your cat‘s ear could lead to infection as well as it will agitate the skin and dry out their natural skin oils. It is recommended to do a check once a week for any abnormalities in smell, or redness and agitation.
Paws Need Grooming Too
Many cats need extra attention around the paw area when grooming. Every couple of weeks, the Humane Society suggests trimming a cat‘s claws to avoid your cats using your furniture as a nail filer. There are special cat claw trimmers, and one should never use tools that aren‘t meant for pets to avoid injury.
Beyond claws, sometimes hair grows in between the paws, and that needs to be carefully trimmed down as well.
Don‘t Be Afraid to Go to a Groomer
When there are too many mats in your cats‘ fur, or you‘re looking for a summer cut so your cat doesn‘t overheat, taking them to the groomer is the best way to go. Groomers know what parts of the fur to leave longer so your pet feels comfortable, how to avoid clipping whiskers by accident, and they have all of the tools and experience needed to create a safe environment for your feline friend.