cute kitten taking bath

How to Groom a Cat: 14 Tips for New Cat Owners

How to Groom a Cat: 14 Tips for New Cat Owners

Now that you have your own cat, you’re probably thinking that they’re independent and known for being able to groom themselves without your help. While it’s true that cats are famously self-sufficient, they also need our assistance from time to time to help shed any excess fur. If your cat is so busy bathing and grooming themselves, they’re more likely to get hairballs. According to the ASPCA, a little maintenance — including everything from trimming their nails to bathing (yes, really!) — for your cat can go a long way! If you’re new to being a cat owner, use any of these 14 tips to learn about the benefits of grooming your cat and how to properly groom your cat.

Tips for Cat Skin and Fur Care

First things first — you want to make sure you’re helping your cat with proper bathing and brushing. Start with basics by being able to recognize that your cat needs a bath, how to brush your cat’s fur with a pet hair removal tool and if they have any skin problems. While shedding is a natural part of your cat losing old hair, you also need to stay alert if it seems like your cat is shedding too much.

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1. Taking Care of Your Cat’s Skin and Fur — When you’re taking care of your cat’s skin and fur, give them a thorough brushing so that you remove loose hair and excess fur. Grooming your cat on a consistent basis will ensure you get rid of their old coat to allow for new hair to grow. At a minimum, you should brush your cat at least once or twice a week. If you’re able to brush your cat on a daily basis or every other day, that’s even better.

Signs Your Cat Needs a Bath

2. Signs Your Cat Needs a Bath — The signs your cat needs a bath are similar to the signs that we need to take a bath. Your cat will smell like they need a bath. If your cat is an outdoor cat, they are much more likely to need a bath than if they spend most of their time indoors. If your cat gets itself into something smelly or sticky, you’ll need to give them a bath to get rid of any foul smells or sticky substances. 

3. Tips for Bathing Your Cat — Bathing your cat can be intimidating, but it is necessary to bathe your cat from time to time. First of all, trim your cat’s claws and give them a little cat manicure before bathing them. Your cat, like most cats, may not like bathing, so trim their claws in advance to protect yourself from their displeasure about taking a bath. You’ll also want to bathe your cat when they’re feeling more mellow. Consider having a little play session with your cat before their bath or letting them play with a toy that will tire them out before you give them a bath.

4. Tips for Brushing Your Cat — There will come a point where your self-sufficient groomer will age and won’t be able to groom as thoroughly on their own anymore. Even if you have a little kitty that’s years away from their geriatric stage, it’s a good idea for you and your cat to get into the habit of routine grooming and brushing. Before you brush your cat’s coat, take a look at the condition of their coat. Ensure that you’re brushing gently through any tangles on their bellies.

5. Signs Your Cat Has Skin Problems — There are signs to look out for if your cat may have skin or hair problems. Ideally, your cat should have healthy-looking fur that is naturally glossy. When you put your hand under their fur, the hair should spring back as you touch it. If you see your cat has bald patches or what appears to be fleas or ticks, you should bring your cat to the vet. Be wary of any wounds or odd bumps on your cat’s skin as well. Always speak with your vet if you’re unsure if their skin or fur seems abnormal.

Tips for Proper Cat Grooming

Once you know the signs of what kind of cat skin and fur quality is normal for your cat, it’s time to get into the habit of properly grooming your cat. When grooming your cat, don’t just get any brush you find down at the pet store. Get your kitty the best pet hair remover to ensure that you’re not only grooming your cat but you’re also removing any dead hair from your cat’s coat.

6. How to Groom Your Cat — When you groom your cat, whether weekly or daily, there are a few things you should do before you start running a brush through your cat’s fur. First, you should run your hands along your cat’s body to check for bumps and wounds. If you feel bumps or spot any wounds, you’ll want to address those and get advice from your vet on how to deal with them. If you find any clumps of hair or hidden tangles, you’ll want to brush out those clumps and tangles gently. Signs that your cat may be affected by fleas or ticks are remnants of flea dirt, like black specks of dried blood.

7. How to Make Grooming Enjoyable — Grooming doesn’t have to feel like such a chore. Help make grooming fun and efficient by doing it on the go. For example, if you have to bring your cat to the vet and the last thing your cat wants to do is end up going to the vet, try helping them calm down by petting them and grooming them with a portable pet hair remover. You’ll get some bonding in with your cat, they’ll feel a little less on edge and you’ll get rid of any clumps of excess fur. To make grooming enjoyable, keep grooming sessions to no more than five or 10 minutes. Get your new cat into the routine of grooming.

Make Grooming Enjoyable

8. Brushing Cats with Short Hair — If you have a short-haired cat, you don’t need to groom your cat nearly as frequently as you would need to groom a cat with long hair. Take a comb or brush and work it through your cat’s fur, starting from the head down to the tail. Brush in the direction of your cat’s coat and brush all over your cat’s body, including their chest. Concentrate on one section at a time to properly remove tangles and dead hair.

9. Brushing Cats with Long Hair — Long-haired cats need to be groomed more frequently than short-haired cats. While you can get away with grooming a short-haired cat just once or twice a week, a long-haired cat should be groomed several times a week or every other day. If your cat is an indoor cat, they’ll be shedding indoors all through the year. With a long-haired cat, take a comb or brush and work it through your cat’s fur, starting with their abdomen or legs, and work your way up towards the head.

Tips for Your Cat’s Ear and Nail Care

You’d be surprised to learn about how amazing your cat’s hearing is, but you’ve probably seen it with your own eyes as you opened up a bag of treats from one side of your house and saw your little cat scamper across the room to paw at you for those treats. As self-sufficient as cats are, they can still use your help when you take care of their ears. As for their nails, your kitty needs healthy and trim nails and paws that need to be long enough to scratch and climb, but not too long that they can accidentally scratch you or themselves. Here’s how to help your furry friend have the best ears, nails and paws.

10. Understanding Ear Care for Your Cat — While the best person to examine your cat’s ears is ultimately your vet, there are still some things you can look out for at home. That way, you know when you should bring your cat to the vet in the first place. You’ll want to do both an outer ear and an inner ear exam. For the outer ear, your cat’s ear should be clean and light pink. The ear flap has a layer of hair on it with no bald spots. If you see discharge or swelling on your cat’s ears, they should be further examined by your cat’s veterinarian. As for the inner ear, your cat’s inner ear should be pale pink. If you see any debris or ear wax, or smell some kind of mysterious odor, it’s time to bring your cat to the vet.

11. Helping Your Cat with Paw and Nail Care — There are plenty of important reasons to help your cat with paw and nail care. Your cat’s feet should always be clean. If your cat’s paws aren’t clean, it can cause your cat pain because they have debris, dirt and other substances on their paws. You can wipe your cat’s paws with a damp cloth one day and check around their toes and paw pads.

Identifying Healthy Cat Paws

12. Identifying Healthy Cat Paws — A healthy cat paw should be free of any cuts or sores. If you see any splinters or other debris in your cat’s paws, you can remove them with a tweezer. When you find a small cut on your cat’s paw, be sure to clean the cut and disinfect it. If you see your cat’s paw swelling or notice any blood or some unusual odor, be sure to bring your cat to the veterinarian because it may be a sign of an infection.

13. How to Clip Your Cat’s Nails — Just like bathing your cat, clipping their nails can feel like an intimidating chore. However, it’s still important for you to help trim your cat’s nails. To clip your cat’s nails, bring them into a quiet room where they can relax and sit on your lap. Take their paw and give their paw a little press so they extend their claws. When cutting the nail, avoid the pink part of your cat’s nail, which is known as the quick. You want to avoid this pink part of the nail because this is where the nerves and blood vessels are, and it’s a very sensitive area. Trim your cat’s nails about every two weeks. If you have trouble clipping your cat’s nails, you can get help from your vet or a professional groomer.

Tips for Your Cat’s Eyes and Dental Care

Take a look at your cat’s eyes from time to time at home. Do you notice that there’s any crust or cloudiness around their eyes? If you’re concerned that your cat’s eyes are inflamed or if they’re getting more teary-eyed than usual, it’s helpful to ask for guidance from your vet, but the first step is to notice these things at home. Your cat also needs healthy gums and clean, sharp teeth. Just like humans, any damage to their teeth or gums can lead to serious health risks to your kitty. Do any of these regular at-home check-ups and help them keep healthy eyes and teeth.

checking cats teeth

14. Taking Care of Your Cat’s Eyes and Teeth — It’s important to be able to identify healthy cat eyes and teeth. To identify healthy cat eyes, they should be clear and bright. The area around their eyeball should be white, and their pupils should be about the same size. If your cat’s eyelid is red or white, it could be a sign that your cat has an infection. If your cat has tear-stained fur, it could be a sign they have some eye distress. Bring your cat to a veterinarian to be sure. As for brushing your cat’s teeth, all you need to brush their teeth are cotton swabs, a small toothbrush and special kitty toothpaste. Your veterinarian can help guide you on how often to brush your teeth and the best supplies for brushing your cat’s teeth. You can also get help from a professional groomer to help brush your cat’s teeth.

With all of these tips for grooming your cat, even the newest cat parents will feel more confident when they’re taking care of their cat. Remember that your cat can only do so much by themselves. Keep an eye on your cat to assist with their overall health. Our kitties give us so much love and companionship that the least we can do for them is to help look after them and help them continue looking their best. With a simple tool like the Uproot Cleaner Pro™ to help remove any excess fur and brush their nice coat, your kitty companion is well on their way to becoming well-groomed and well-loved in your care.

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