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Grooming Your Kitty

Grooming Your Kitty

Your cat does a fairly good job of keeping his fur free of mats and tangles with his tongue but you can help him out and help him avoid hairballs. Brushing and grooming your cat has multiple benefits: it can help develop a closer relationship and let him know that he is loved as well as maintaining a tangle-free coat.

Cat brushes are different from dog brushes; they have softer bristles and look more like a baby's hairbrush. You will also want to keep a small pair of scissors handy in case you find a sticker or mat in your cat's fur. If your cat goes outside or has contact with an animal that goes outside you might also want to keep a pair of tweezers handy in case you run across a tick.

Pick a time of the day when your cat is normally taking a cat nap (pun intended) as you don't want to be brushing your cat when he wants to play. Place your cat in your lap and stroke gently from head to tail and along both sides. Pay special attention if he seems to be tender anywhere. This could be an indication of a problem.

Once he is comfortable with being stroked you are ready to brush him. Run the brush along your cats back from his nose to his tail with a firm pressure. Repeat this step several times and then switch to one side. You will go over each area 4 or 5 times always brushing in the direction of the hair growth. Some groomers prefer that for cats with longer coats that a comb be used instead as it gets down to the undercoat better.

Now brush your cat's abdomen going from mouth to tail always gently. Some cats do not like to have their tummy brushed if your cat falls into this category then only brush quickly two or three strokes. Brush your cat's legs following the hair growth. Brush the backs of his hind legs very carefully looking for any problems and mats. Don't forget to brush the tail.

While you are brushing your cat watch for scratches and sores that could become infected. If you find any areas clean them as directed by your cat's veterinarian. Don't forget to check between your cat's toes for stickers and mats.

Your cat will enjoy the grooming and it will give you a chance to check for problems before they become too severe. This will also accustom your cat to being handled so when he sees the veterinarian he will not be as upset.