healthy pets animal hospital cat grooming tips

Everything You Need to Know About Cat Grooming

Do Cats Groom Themselves?

Cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves. Every day, they try to take care of themselves. They instinctively groom themselves to try to get rid of any scents that may tip off other animals that a cat is around. Their daily grooming regime also distributing natural oils that keep their fur clean and shiny. Cat self-grooming does not get past the topcoat. Some cats need more help. Especially in the case of bigger cats with long fur, cats may develop serious mats in their coats that aggravate the skin and develop irritating “hot spots” that cause discomfort and even pain.

Senior cats may have mobility problems that make their self-cleaning more difficult over time.

They can’t check for parasites (ticks) and fleas either. And their bottom fur needs some special care as well. Sometimes they even get eye stains.

Benefits of Professional Cat Grooming

While cats do a good job with basic grooming on their own, there are several grooming-related items that they need help with.
These include:

  • Flea/parasite check
  • Addressing fur mats
  • Identify dermatologic issues
  • Preventing mats and dermatological issues before they happen
  • Soothing medicated shampoos for clean, shiny, fur
  • Fresh smell
  • Calmer cat
  • Tracking weight
  • Keep your cat’s nails trimmed
  • Ear cleaning
  • Timing with medical bathing treatments

Do Cats Hate Baths?

Surprisingly, a cat’s reaction to baths varies quite a bit. In fact, some cats demand a light water bath while other cats can become quite stressed being near water.

at home cat grooming and bathing tips


Cat Haircuts

For some long-haired breeds, overweight cats or senior cats, the fur may become matted or tangled. Those tangles may not be brushable and need to be cut out.  As a cat’s skin can be very delicate, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian before attempting to cut out any mats on your cat.

You may also wish to have an attractive hairstyle, like the “lion cut” or other styles that are popular among owners of long-haired cats. These are familiar styles for our professionals and we can certainly accommodate you.

Our full-service cat spa package includes:

  • Bathing (if possible)
  • Brush out
  • Ear cleaning
  • Nail trim
  • Hair cut

What to Do if My Cat’s Fur is Matted?

Sometimes a cat’s coat can get a little neglected when there has been a recent change to their health. Mats can get hardened to the point of becoming a solid mass. That is when we must shave that area as a brush out is impossible and the skin must breathe. Your cat will be much more comfortable afterward.

Cat Claw Trimming

Cat claw trimming is a challenge. Often it is a two (or three) person job to not stress the cat. Use specialized cat nail clippers to make the job easier.

If doing it yourself, it is very important to understand there is a “quick” that delivers blood to the nail. In fact, much of the cat’s nail is occupied by the quick so the longer the nail, the longer the quick.

The more often the nail is clipped, the more that the quick will naturally recede. After several trims, you will get the claws down to the desired length. It is not unusual to have one or two of the nails bleed a little – there are twenty of them to trim.

When in doubt, cat claw trimming is a task that is best left to our Healthy Pets Animal Hospital professionals. It may save you some scratches and stress your cat less.

Home Care Tips for Cats

Cats with long hair need to be combed more often. Combing your cat’s fur a couple times per week is recommended. Use a fine-toothed comb to watch for small black specks that may indicate fleas or flea activity.

Trimmed cat claws keep them comfortable and reduce scratching. If you are comfortable, develop a trimming schedule to maintain your cat’s claws to the desired length.

Watch for grooming related issues and address them early. Grooming is important for good skin health. Make a veterinary appointment if you note itching, self-biting or skin conditions such as skin bumps or rashes, fur loss, scaly dry skin or any other dermatological condition.