Want a happy, healthy, beautiful cat? She’s within reach when you put together her own personal grooming kit.

Grooming tip: Place your hand under mats when brushing or combing to prevent scratching your cat’s skin.

Kess starts purring the moment she sees the slicker brush. She immediately jumps on my husband’s lap to enjoy a few minutes of intense bonding and grooming.

Whether your cat sports a thick, short coat like Kess, a super-sleek coat or long exotic fur, a grooming kit lets you care for her with ease. We found out what to get for Kess from certified pet groomer Stacy Stoneking.

Coat Care

  • The staple of coat care is the slicker brush with lots of bent metal pins. Slickers work well on breaking up mats, but some can be sharp enough to cause brush burn, so be careful. In our experience, loose hair mats up in this type of brush, though it easily pulls out in one chunk.
  • An alternative to the metal slicker brush is the GroomeeZ. It features short and long plastic bristles that work together to remove dead undercoat while grooming the topcoat. It also has a button that easily pushes the hair off the brush.
  • Pin brushes, designed like a woman’s hairbrush, work best for finishing long-haired coats. However, the plastic-tipped metal pins embedded in a cushion often miss matted areas.
  • A shedding blade or rake is good for shorthaired cats. It features a strip of metal with sharp teeth along one edge. It helps pull out dead fur.
  • To pamper a cat with a short coat, the KittySlicker is a grooming paddle designed to mimic a cat’s rough tongue. Different sizes of grain cover each side. “I think it goes back to when they are born – all they felt was the warmth of the mama and her sandpapery, sticky feeling tongue,” notes owner Barbara Trent. “It slicks their coat and stimulates oil glands.”
  • Wrap up grooming sessions with a comb to check that all mats have been removed.
  • Electric clippers are a last resort for severe matting.

Groomer’s tip: “The secret to easy nail trimming is to start when they are kittens,” says Stacy. Gently play with a kitten’s feet while she’s sleeping to get her used to the sensation.

Claws and Paws

The tips of a cat’s claws should be trimmed at least a few times a year. Outdoor cats get by with less frequent trimming than indoor cats.

Nail clippers for cats come in scissor and guillotine styles. Some offer safety guards to keep you from cutting the quick. “If you hit the quick, use cornstarch or flour to stop the bleeding,” Stacy advises.

Teamwork and rewards make the process easier. Try assigning one person to pet or gently restrain the cat while the other gently but quickly clips the nails. “Giving her a treat when you’re done is always a good enticement,” says Stacy. On longhaired cats, carefully trim paw pad hair with small scissors.

Eyes and Ears

Certain breeds are prone to tear stains, while others need assistance with earwax removal. A warm, damp washcloth works well in both cases. With Kess, we gently bend back her ears to wipe away dark wax with a quick, gentle swipe of facial tissue. Never use cotton swabs
in your cat’s ears.

To prepare for relaxing, successful grooming sessions, start assembling a complete grooming kit. You’ll spend as little as $25 on the necessities. Keep the kit within reach, perhaps in a old cosmetic bag, and you’ll always be ready to treat your cat like royalty!

Basic grooming kit

Simple inexpensive tools will keep your cat looking and feeling great.

  • Slicker brush
  • Nail clippers
  • Tissues
  • Petroleum-free hairball remedy

Deluxe grooming kit

For longhair and exotic shorthair breeds, try these deluxe, user-friendly tools.

  • Slicker brush with one-touch cleaning, such as GroomeeZ
  • Pin brush
  • Shedding blade
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Scissors for trimming pad hair
  • Nail clippers with safety bar
  • Washcloth
  • Petroleum-free hairball remedy

Pampered kitty kit

Add these to your kit for feline ecstasy!

  • KittySlicker grooming paddle
  • Gentle ear cleaning solution
  • Additional shedding tools
  • Electric clippers
  • Natural organic cat treats