How to Groom An American Ringtail Cat

Reviewed by Grooming Expert: Clarissa Stevenson, CFMG

Table of Contents

Body Type: Foreign

Coat Type and Length: Semi-long

Coat Texture: The American Ringtail has a soft and silky coat that is medium in length. It is also known for its unique tail that curls and bends like a question mark.

American Ringtail Cat

If you’re lucky enough to have an American Ringtail cat in your life, you know how special these feline friends can be. But with their unique coat and tail, grooming them can be a bit of a challenge. Don’t worry though, with a few tips and tricks, you can keep your Ringtail looking and feeling their best. Let’s dive into the world of cat grooming!


American Ringtail Cat Characteristics

The American Ringtail Cat is a unique breed known for its distinctive tail that curls and twists like a question mark. This breed is medium-sized with a muscular build and a short, plush coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

American Ringtail Cats are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. They are also highly intelligent and playful, often enjoying interactive toys and games with their owners.

Overall, the American Ringtail Cat is a charming and delightful breed that is sure to bring joy to any household.


Essential Grooming Tools for American Ringtail Cats

cat grooming tools

Before we begin the grooming process, we need to have the following tools:

Grooming ToolDescriptionPrice
Slicker brushPerfect for removing tangles and mats from your cat’s coat, leaving it smooth and shiny.$10 – $20
Grooming glovesCarefully eliminates loose fur as it offers a soothing massage$10 – $25
Nail clippersSafely trims your cat’s nails to prevent overgrowth and injuries$5 – $15
Ear cleanerEar cleaning solutions effectively eliminate unpleasant odors in your cat’s ears by removing wax, debris, and bacteria, thus maintaining cleanliness and promoting overall ear health.$8 – $15
Cotton ballsGently cleans the ears in combination with the ear cleaner$1 – $5
ToothbrushRegular toothbrushing keeps your cat’s mouth clean and reduces the buildup of odor-causing bacteria, resulting in fresher breath$3 – $10
ToothpasteRemoves plaque and freshens breath; specially formulated for cats$5 – $10
ShampooUse shampoo that’s made specifically for cats. Shampooing your cat will help remove any dirt deep in its fur$3 – $12

Equipped with our grooming tools, we’re ready to start grooming our cats!


Step-by-Step Guide to Grooming Your American Ringtail Cat

Brushing Your Cat

Brushing a cat's tail
Credit: cottonbro studio

Frequency: Brush your American Ringtail once or twice a week

Brushing Technique: Use the slicker brush or grooming mitt and brush in the direction of hair growth.

Regular brushing helps to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

Bathing your American Ringtail Cat

The American Ringtail is a unique breed with a distinctive curly tail. When it comes to bathing, this breed is fairly low maintenance.

  1. Start by brushing their coat to remove any loose fur or debris.
  2. Fill a sink or bathtub with warm water and add a gentle cat shampoo.
  3. Gently wet your American Ringtail and lather up the shampoo, being careful not to get any in their eyes or ears.
  4. Rinse thoroughly and wrap them in a towel to dry.

The American Ringtail’s coat is naturally water-resistant, so they may not need to be fully submerged in water. Just be sure to keep their tail dry to avoid matting.

How Often Should I Bathe My American Ringtail Cat?

You should bathe your American Ringtail cat only when necessary, such as if they get into something dirty or smelly, as cats are generally able to groom themselves effectively.

How to Trim the Nails of an American Ringtail

  • Gather your supplies: cat nail clippers, styptic powder (in case of bleeding), and treats.
  • Find a comfortable spot for your cat, such as a table or your lap.
  • Hold your cat’s paw gently but firmly and press on the pad to extend the nail.
  • Use the clippers to trim the tip of the nail, being careful not to cut the quick (the pink part inside the nail).
  • If you accidentally cut the quick and your cat starts bleeding, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
  • Repeat with the other paws, giving your cat breaks and treats as needed.
  • Aim to trim your American Ringtail’s nails every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort.

Remember, trimming your cat’s nails can be a stressful experience for them, so be patient and gentle. With practice, you and your American Ringtail will become pros at nail trimming!

How to Clean the Ears of an American Ringtail

applying cat ear cleaning solution
  1. Gather your supplies: cotton balls or pads, ear cleaning solution (make sure it’s safe for cats), and a towel.
  2. Hold your American Ringtail securely in your lap or on a table.
  3. Gently lift one ear flap and inspect the ear for any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.
  4. Saturate a cotton ball or pad with the ear cleaning solution and gently wipe the inside of the ear flap and the ear canal. Be careful not to insert the cotton ball too far into the ear canal.
  5. Use a fresh cotton ball or pad to wipe away any excess solution and debris.
  6. Repeat on the other ear.
  7. Reward your American Ringtail with a treat or some playtime to make the experience positive.

Things to Watch Out For:

  • Never use any sharp object to clean your cat’s ears. This can push debris further into the ear canal and cause injury.
  • If your American Ringtail shows signs of discomfort or pain during the ear cleaning process, stop immediately and contact your veterinarian.
  • If you notice any unusual discharge, odor, or redness in your cat’s ears, contact your veterinarian. These can be signs of an ear infection or other health issues.

How to Brush the Teeth of an American Ringtail:

  1. Start by getting your American Ringtail comfortable with having their mouth touched. Gently lift their lip and touch their teeth and gums with your finger.
  2. Once your cat is comfortable with having their mouth touched, introduce them to a toothbrush. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for cats.
  3. Apply a small amount of cat toothpaste to the toothbrush. Do not use human toothpaste as it can be harmful to cats.
  4. Gently brush your American Ringtail’s teeth in a circular motion, focusing on the outer surfaces of the teeth. Be sure to brush the back molars as well.
  5. Brush for about 30 seconds to a minute, gradually increasing the time as your cat becomes more comfortable with the process.
  6. Reward your American Ringtail with a treat or praise after each brushing session to reinforce positive behavior.

Recommended Frequency:

Brush your American Ringtail’s teeth at least 2-3 times weekly to maintain good oral hygiene. Regular brushing can help prevent dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Preventing and Addressing Common Coat Issues

As part of the grooming post-care process, you should pay attention to the following potential issues:

Fleas and Ticks

American Ringtails are prone to flea and tick infestations, so it’s important to regularly check their coat for any signs. To prevent these pests, use a flea and tick preventative treatment recommended by your veterinarian and keep your cat’s environment clean and tidy. If you do notice fleas or ticks, consult with your vet for the best course of treatment.

Matted Fur

American Ringtails have a unique curly tail that can easily become matted if not brushed regularly. Use a slicker brush to gently detangle any knots and prevent future matting.

Allergies and Skin Irritations

American Ringtails are generally healthy cats, but they may be prone to skin irritation due to their long, fine fur. Regular brushing and grooming can help prevent matting and skin irritation. If you notice any redness or itching, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grooming American Ringtail Cats

How Often Should I Brush My American Ringtail Cat?

You should brush your American Ringtail cat at least once a week to prevent matting and tangles in their unique curly coat. However, if your cat has longer hair, you may need to brush them more frequently to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Can I Use Human Shampoo on My American Ringtail Cat?

You should not use human shampoo on your American Ringtail cat. Human shampoo is formulated for human hair and can be too harsh for your cat’s delicate skin and coat. It can strip away natural oils and cause dryness, itching, and irritation. Instead, use a cat-specific shampoo that is gentle and pH-balanced for your cat’s skin.