Three Ways to Groom Your Cat
While cats are pretty good at keeping themselves groomed, they can always use some assistance from their two-legged companions.
Cats are notorious for their unique personalities and whatever-I-want-I-get attitudes. But don’t let that dissuade you from grooming your cat yourself. In fact, grooming cats is difficult, but not impossible for a do-it-yourselfer. You just need a little know-how, a healthy helping of grit and a few basic tools that will help keep your cat looking nicer than ever.
Some cats don’t like to sit still for brushing. And if you know much about cats, you know that if they don’t like something, they’re probably not going to put up with it for long. That’s where grooming gloves come into play. While some cats don’t like to be brushed, most like to be petted and stroked. Grooming gloves with a variety of surface textures are good for brushing, de-shedding and even removing mats from your cat’s coat, all while you pet and stoke it. When choosing grooming gloves, note that some are a nightmare to get cat hair out of after use. Those with rubber or silicone spikes work well and are much easier to clean than models with fur-grabbing fabric on the palms and fingers.
A good brush or comb might be all you really need to keep your cat well-groomed. The brush or comb you need depends largely on the cat’s coat type. For short-haired cats, use a soft slicker brush with short wire bristles for weekly grooming. For medium- to long-haired cats, it’s more effective to use a comb with both fine and coarse teeth. Two-sided brushes with wire bristles on one side and nylon on the other do double-duty to keep cats un-matted and looking sleek and healthy. Newer self-cleaning cat brushes work well for most cats and make cleanup a breeze after brushing. Once you’re done brushing, just click the button to retract the bristles back into the brush. Then it’s simple to wipe off the cat hair.
While many short-haired cats don’t need much clipping, some long-haired breeds require frequent clipping, both for their comfort and the protection of their owner’s furniture and clothing. Long-haired shedding breeds can make more of a mess than many people with short-haired cats can even imagine. If you want to clip your cat yourself, start by resisting the urge to use the old human hair clippers you have stashed under the bathroom sink. They get a lot hotter than cat clippers made specifically for felines, and also are very loud—not a good thing. Look for lightweight, powerful, quiet clippers made for grooming cats. They’ll typically run cooler than human clippers so are less likely to frighten your cat during grooming.