Cats are pretty good at grooming themselves. But while cats spend around five hours a day grooming, most can use a little extra help. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools on the market that enable pet parents to help their feline friends in the grooming department.
Cat Grooming 101: Products to Groom Cats Properly
Here are some of the must-have products and why they’re so important.
Brush or Comb
Help a cat with their grooming efforts with a quality brush or comb. Choosing the right cat brush or comb is critical. Short-haired cats have different fur than longer-haired breeds. Look for a tool meant for a cat’s fur type.
Regular brushing removes dirt and debris a feline might not be able to get themselves. It removes loose, dead hair, reducing her risk of hairballs. For longer-haired cats, brushing can also reduce the risk of painful mats in their fur.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Cat teeth can accumulate plaque and tartar, which can lead to gingivitis. Unchecked, gingivitis can progress into more severe stages of periodontal disease, which may require expensive treatment. A cat with bad teeth may even need tooth extractions.
One of the best ways to prevent gingivitis is with regular tooth brushing. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and specially-formulated toothpaste. Pet parents may also use a finger toothbrush or cat toothbrush. Cats will need time and patience to get used to an oral care routine, as it’s not something natural for them.
When a cat’s nails get too long, they become hazardous. Not only can they do some serious damage if they scratch people, but they can also ruin furniture and clothes. Long claws curve inward and may also pierce the pads of a cat’s feet, causing severe pain.
Good pawdicures are a part of cat care—and can help to keep a cat’s nails short, safe, and healthy. There are a few options as far as nail trimmers go, including:
- Human nail clippers
- Guillotine-style clippers
- Grinding tool
- Scissors-style clippers
Select a tool that works best for a feline’s sensitivity and personality.
Skin Care Products
A cat’s skin needs some love, too. If a cat develops itching or irritation, a topical medicated mousse or wipe can help to reduce these issues. As a result, a cat will have softer, healthier skin and fur.
If a pet parent applies any topical solutions to their cat's skin the cat will likely want to wipe it off, lick it, or groom themselves right away. Pet parents should try to limit this as much as possible to avoid ingestion of topical products which could cause gastrointestinal issues.
Flea and Tick Prevention Treatments
Even the cleanest cats can get fleas and ticks, especially if they spend any amount of time outdoors or around other animals that go outside. These pests aren’t just annoying—they can make a cat itchy and transmit disease. By being proactive and providing a feline with flea and tick prevention treatments, pet parents can reduce the risk of these issues.
Keep Your Cat Healthy and Looking Their Best
A well-groomed cat is more than just pretty—they’re healthier, too. Additionally, helping a cat with grooming can go a long way in increasing the pet parent-feline bond.
One thing to keep in mind is that cats may not be on board with all aspects of pet parent assistance. They might be resistant to tooth brushing or nail trimming, at least at first. Following a cat grooming guide and having patience will help pet parents keep their feline friends healthy.