20 Cat Grooming Tips

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Most cat parents know that cats know how to groom themselves. However, as we discussed in our cat grooming guide, we still recommend grooming your cat often enough to prevent fur matting, check for fleas, and bond with them.

In this article, we’ll give you 20 tips to make grooming your cat both easy and fun for both of you. Let’s begin.

1. Start Grooming your Cat at a Young Age

By getting your cat used to being handled and groomed at a young age, they will be more likely to accept grooming as a normal and positive part of their routine.

If you wait until your cat is older and already set in their ways, they may be more resistant to being groomed and may become anxious or fearful when you try to groom them. This can make the grooming process more difficult and may even cause injury to you or your cat.

Additionally, starting to groom your cat at a young age can help you identify any potential health issues early on. Regular grooming can help you detect any lumps, bumps, or skin irritations on your cat’s body, which can then be addressed by a veterinarian before they become more serious.

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Soft-Bristled Brush for cats

Using a soft-bristled brush when grooming your cat is important for several reasons:

  1. A soft-bristled brush is gentle on your cat’s skin and will not cause any discomfort or irritation while you are brushing their coat. This is especially important if your cat has sensitive skin, or if they are prone to developing skin irritations or allergies.
  2. A soft-bristled brush is effective at removing loose fur and dirt from your cat’s coat, without damaging or pulling out any healthy fur. This is important for maintaining your cat’s coat health and appearance, as well as for preventing any matting or tangling of their fur.
  3. Using a soft-bristled brush can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for your cat, as it can help to stimulate their skin and promote blood flow. This can be especially important for older cats or cats with mobility issues, as it can help to improve their overall well-being.

3. Brush your Cat’s Coat Daily (especially if they have long hair)

This may sound like a headache but, trust us, it’ll be worth it.

Daily brush can help do the following:

  1. Prevent matting: Matting occurs when fur becomes tangled and knotted, which can be uncomfortable for your cat and may lead to skin irritations or infections.
  2. Reduce risk of hairballs: Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, which can lead to the ingestion of loose hair. Regular brushing can help to remove loose hair and reduce the likelihood of hairballs.
  3. Bond with your cat: Brushing your cat can be a positive bonding experience, as it can help to strengthen your relationship with your furry friend. It can also help your cat become more comfortable with being handled and groomed.
  4. Detect Early Issues: Regular brushing allows you to monitor your cat’s skin and coat for any signs of irritation, parasites, or other health issues. Catching these issues early on can help to prevent more serious health problems down the line. Always consults your vet when you notice something strange.
  5. Improve coat appearance: Regular brushing can help to distribute natural oils throughout your cat’s fur, which can lead to a shinier, healthier coat. It can also help to remove dirt and debris, which can improve your cat’s overall appearance.

4. Use a Metal Comb

A metal comb is designed to help you work out stubborn tangles and mats in your cat’s fur. The metal teeth can reach deep into your cat’s coat and detangle knots without causing discomfort or pain. Additionally, unlike other tools, such as scissors or clippers, a metal comb is gentle on your cat’s skin. It will not cause any cuts, nicks, or irritation, making it a safer and more effective tool for removing tangles and mats.

5. Use a Flea Comb

A flea comb has tightly spaced teeth that are designed to catch fleas and flea dirt (feces) in your cat’s fur. This allows you to detect fleas early on, before they have a chance to lay eggs and infest your home. The best part about using a flea comb is that it’s a non-toxic way to remove fleas. Using harsh chemicals or pesticides can affect your cat’s health.

6. Use a Wet Cloth or Wipe to Clean your Cat’s Face and Ears

You can also use Q-tips and cotton balls. Whatever you choose to use, make sure it’s clean and soft.

7. Trim your Cat’s Nails Regularly

If your cat’s nails are not trimmed regularly, they can become overgrown and even curl under, which can be uncomfortable and painful for your cat.

Regular nail clipping also reduces the risk of injury. Overgrown nails can easily get caught in carpets, furniture, and other objects, which can lead to injury or even fractures in your cat’s nails. Trimming your cat’s nails regularly can help to reduce the risk of these injuries.

Regularly trimming helps protect your furniture. You know that beautiful white sofa you love so much? Well, if you don’t trim your cat’s nails regularly, your couch will be a thing of the past. Cats naturally scratch and stretch their claws (it’s not persona), which can cause damage to your furniture, carpet, and other household items. Regular nail trimming can help to reduce the damage caused by scratching.

8. Use a Scratching Post

cat scratching post
Credit: Anete Lusina

Speaking of your favorite white sofa, buy your cat a scratching post. Seriously, it’ll allow your cat to stretch its claws and do what it naturally does and will protect your favorite sofa.

9. Use a Cat Shampoo and Conditioner

Do NOT use a regular (human) shampoo and conditioner on your cat. Seriously, don’t do it. Get shampoo and conditioner that are specifically made for cats.

Human shampoo/conditioner may contain chemicals that are harmful to cats. Additionally, some chemicals can cause your cat’s hair to over-dry. Not good!

10. Rinse your Cat Thoroughly After Shampooing

Rinsing your cat thoroughly after shampooing is critical because:

  1. Skin irritation: If the shampoo is not rinsed out of your cat’s coat thoroughly, it can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions. This is especially true for cats with sensitive skin or allergies.
  2. Coat damage: Shampoo residue can cause damage to your cat’s coat and leave it looking dull or lifeless. Rinsing your cat thoroughly helps to remove all the shampoo, leaving their coat looking shiny and healthy.

11. Dry your Cat Gently with A Towel

This goes without saying but, you’d be surprised to know that a lot of cat parents don’t bother drying their cat after bathing them. Instead, they think that since the cat will shake off the water and groom itself that there’s no point of drying them.

Well, your should dry your cat after bathing it or even if it gets wet (outdoors cat). Remember that many cats don’t like the sensation of water.

12. Use a Pet Hair Dryer on the LOWEST Setting

This trick is super helpful if you have a long-haired cat like a Persian or Maine Coon. That said, use caution so that you don’t accidentally harm your cat.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the pet hair dryer you’re using is specifically designed for use on animals and has adjustable settings, including a low setting. It’s also a good idea to acclimate your cat to the sound and sensation of the dryer before using it to avoid startling or scaring them.
  2. When you’re ready to start drying your cat, use the lowest setting possible to start and gradually increase the temperature and air flow as needed. Keep the dryer at least 6 inches away from your cat’s skin to avoid causing burns or discomfort.
  3. Monitor your cat closely during the drying process and watch for signs of distress or discomfort, such as panting, shaking, or attempts to escape. If you notice any of these signs, turn off the dryer and give your cat a break before continuing. Feel free to give them a couple of treats to help ease the tension.

13. Use a Toothbrush and Toothpaste Specifically Designed for Cats

Using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for cats is important for a few reasons:

  1. Safety: Human toothpaste can contain ingredients that are harmful to cats if swallowed, such as xylitol, which can cause a drop in blood sugar, or fluoride, which can be toxic in large amounts.
  2. Taste: Cats may be put off by the strong flavors and foaming agents in human toothpaste, which can make brushing their teeth a difficult and unpleasant experience.
  3. Effectiveness: Toothpaste designed for cats is formulated to be effective at removing plaque and tartar from their teeth, while also being safe and appealing for them to use.
  4. Fresh Breath: Cat-specific toothpaste often comes in flavors that cats find appealing, such as chicken or fish, which can help freshen their breath and make brushing a more pleasant experience for both you and your cat.

14. Check your Cat’s Ears Regularly for Infections or Mites

Regular ear checking has many benefits:

  1. Early detection: By checking your cat’s ears on a regular basis, you can catch any signs of infection or mites early on, before they become more serious and difficult to treat.
  2. Prevention: Regular ear checks can help prevent infections and infestations from occurring in the first place. By keeping your cat’s ears clean and free of debris, you can reduce the risk of bacteria or parasites taking hold.
  3. Comfort: Ear infections and mite infestations can be very uncomfortable for your cat, causing pain, itching, and irritation. By catching these issues early and treating them promptly, you can help prevent your cat from experiencing unnecessary discomfort.
  4. Overall health: Ear infections and mite infestations can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health problems, such as allergies or immune system disorders. By catching these issues early, you can work with your veterinarian to address any underlying health issues and help your cat stay healthy.

15. Trim Excess Hair Around your Cat’s Bottom

Unless you want poop to get stuck in your cat’s fur, you should cut excess hair around your cat’s bum bum. Your carpets will thank you!

16. Keep your Cat’s Litter Box Clean

self-cleaning litter box

This one seems like common sense, right? And yes, indeed it is but, many people don’t clean their cat’s litter box frequently enough. This is especially true for people who have self-cleaning litter boxes.

If you have a normal litter box, clean it DAILY!

If you have a self-cleaning litter box, clean it every 2-3 days. If you use crystals, replace them weekly if you can.

Doing so will help prevent infections and eliminate odor.

17. Use a Hairball Remedy

Hairball remedies, such as specially formulated cat food or supplements, can help prevent hairballs from forming in the first place. These products often contain ingredients that help hair pass through the digestive system more easily, reducing the amount of hair that accumulates in the stomach.

18. Use Flea and Tick Prevention Products

You don’t need to use these products regularly, however, it’s a good idea from time to time (consult your vet first). Make sure the products you buy are non-toxic.

19. Moisturize Your Cat’s Paws

You may think we’ve gone crazy but we haven’t, I promise. Here’s why you should moisturize your cat’s paws:

  1. Prevent dryness and cracking: Just like humans, cats can experience dry, cracked skin on their paws, especially in dry or cold weather. Moisturizing your cat’s paws can help prevent dryness and cracking, which can be uncomfortable for your cat.
  2. Protect against environmental irritants: Cats walk on a variety of surfaces, some of which can be harsh or irritating to their paw pads. Moisturizing your cat’s paws can help create a barrier against these irritants, helping to prevent injury or discomfort.
  3. Promote healing: If your cat has already experienced paw pad damage, such as cracking or peeling, moisturizing can help promote healing and reduce discomfort.

20. Treats

Giving your cat treats can help reinforce positive behavior and make grooming enjoyable for both of you.

how often should i brush my cat?

You should brush your cat daily -if you can-.

How to groom a long hair cat?

Check our long-haired cat grooming guide.

How often do I need to groom my long-haired cat?

Refer to this article: How Often to Groom a Cat.

Can I use a human hairbrush on my cat?

It’s generally not recommended to use a human hairbrush on your cat. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Different hair types: Human hairbrushes are designed to work on human hair, which has a different texture and thickness than cat fur. Using a human hairbrush on a cat can be uncomfortable for the cat and may not effectively groom their fur.
  2. Risk of injury: Human hairbrushes may have bristles that are too hard or sharp for a cat’s delicate skin, which can cause discomfort or even injury.

Can I use regular shampoo on my cat?

Regular shampoo and conditioner products for humans are not recommended for bathing your cat for several reasons:

  1. Different pH levels: Cats have a different skin pH than humans, which means that using human shampoo and conditioner can disrupt the natural balance of oils and bacteria on their skin. This can lead to skin irritations and other problems, such as dry skin or fungal infections.
  2. Toxic ingredients: Many human shampoos and conditioners contain harsh chemicals and additives that can be toxic to cats. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, or even lead to more serious health problems.
  3. Over-drying: Using human shampoo and conditioner can strip your cat’s coat of its natural oils, which can leave their skin dry and itchy. This can also make their coat appear dull and brittle.
  4. Lather and rinse issues: Cats generally do not like getting wet, and they may become stressed or agitated during a bath. Human shampoo and conditioner can be difficult to rinse out of your cat’s fur, which can cause additional stress and discomfort for your cat.