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How to groom a cat and survive the experience

Updated on January 18, 2012

How to groom your cat

If you watch your cat when it is awake you wont have to wait long before she starts to wash herself.

When is a good time to groom a cat

Have you ever tried to make your cat do something that she does not want to do? I know its impossible and ends in tears, usually yours. If you need to groom your cat then don't force your attentions on her. Try and make the grooming session enjoyable for her and have her purr in delight as you groom her. It might not be the best thing to do if either you or kitty are in a bad mood- a hissing and scratching cat does not make the subject of a good groom.

Mother, we are not interested- grooming is a personal issue
Mother, we are not interested- grooming is a personal issue | Source

Why brush a cat's hair?

I brush my hair nearly every day as it keeps it in good condition and lets the natural oils from the scalp spread through my hair. Daily brushing keeps the tangles out of my hair and stops it from matting. Cats have just the same problems with their hair as we do, but they also have the added problem of the need to remove dirt particles and probably bits of undergrowth if they are allowed outdoors.

Choosing the right brush or comb is just as difficult as choosing your own. Metal combs are really useful to do that first comb through. Start at her head and move slowly to her tail, doing only so much as she will tolerate. When you have combed her, and she has probably run off, go and find her and use a bristle brush to remove al the loose and dead hair. Many cats have really sensitive areas- like humans, so be very careful if you find one. The usual suspect areas are around her chest and her tummy.

Long haired cats need a little more care. You need to pay more attention to their legs and tummy as this is where they can get large knots. She may want more attention on her tail,if so , let it spread out on your lap and brush the tail gently so that the hair brushes out to the side.

Bathing your cat

Bath your cat only if it is really necessary.

When I was a teenager we moved into a new home which had an unguarded chimney stack. My mother's white Persian ran up the chimney and came down, black, so amidst all the furniture arriving, we had to bath the cat.

Before you start, pop down to your local pet store and buy shampoo that can be used on cats. If you use your own mild shampoo you may have problems rinsing it out, which could cause skin irritation for your cat in future days and expensive veterinarian bills for you!

Firstly, make sure that the door to the room you are in is securely fastened and that you have a couple of soft, warmed towels available.

After you have brushed her to get all of the loose hairs out, deposit her on the sink in about 4" of warm water. She will be very surprised at this point. If you have a shower or spray attachment give her a quick shower, if not, use your hand and wet her coat.

Apply the shampoo and rinse in accordance with the manufacturers instructions- make sure that you manage to rinse the last of the shampoo out.

Pick her up in the towel(now you know why a thick towel is preferred) and dry her gently- the second towel will be useful to dry yourself off when the cat shakes herself over you.

Nail Clipping

I don't recommend this. If she is an outdoors cat then she should not need it doing. My mum's current cat, Bluebell has hers done professionally- she has to, she has nine toes on each foot and it its hard to keep track of her toenails. If , like Bluebell you have nail issues visit the veterinarian , perhaps making an appointment to have her nails done when she is having her annual booster injections


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    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Peggy W- thanks for your visit- Since writing this my boys are taking grooming much more seriously- last week the ginger one was cleaning behind his brothers ears!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I keep brushes in various places including one here on the desk when they like to join us at the computer. I generally get a little brushing of the cats done each day that way. Same with the nail clippers. If I get one or two done at one time I consider myself lucky. I have only had to bathe them once or twice and did it in the shower stall. I must say, they were pretty good at it...not that they had much choice. At least I came out unscathed by the experience. Ha!

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Nature by Dawn- poor you! but how wonderful you were so accommodating to your room mate, trying to solve the problem! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comment

    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 6 years ago

      Great information. I wish I had read it a few years ago when I had a roommate who was alergic to my cats. If I bathed the cats, it really helped her but I was left with a bunch of scratches and sometimes even a bite.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Joe Macho- I tend to agree but at the same time they are so independant, if they don't want to do it when you want, that's it

    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks for the great hub. I always hear people saying that it is torture for them to do anything with their cats. I say, you just haven't developed the right bond then. Once your cat has come to respect and trust you, nothing is out of the picture. I can brush, groom and bath my cat without any fuss at all.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Lucky Cats, CMHypno, Nell Rose

      Thankyou for your kind comments- yes they must be interested- one of my friends has just ordered a grooming mit as hers does not like grooming.I am seeing how she gets on with it as I may try one

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great info and made me smile, I remember years ago trying to groom our cat at my mums house, she was fine to start with, but then something caught her attention and she suddenly scarpered out of my arms, leaving scratches about an inch long on each wrist! Ow! she was looking lovely, but I had plasters all over my arms! lol

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      You are braver than me - I wouldn't even attempt to bathe a cat! Interesting tips in cat grooming, but as you say they will only let you groom them if they want you to.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, CAST1WORKER, for this great advice. You obviously love your kitty and take exceptional care of her...good for you and yours are such lucky cats. You've given us a helpful and sensitive hub with good steps so that we can properly care for our feline friends.

      UP Useful Interesting, Awesomne!!