Queen for a day!

Cats love to look their best. Most of them have self grooming down to a science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pamper your feline friend from time to time. In fact, there are certain times when you should intervene in your cat’s grooming routine. How often you spruce up your kitty, and what tools and methods you use, will vary depending upon your cat’s coat type and health, and your skills as a groomer. But they are all intended to improve the beauty and well being of your feline friend!

When and why you should groom

  • Maintenance: Long-haired cats require daily brushing and combing to control shedding, prevent mats, and alleviate hairballs. Short-haired cats should be brushed and combed at least once a month to remove dirt and dead undercoat. And hairless varieties may need a bath several times a year to keep them in proper health.
  • Skin issues: Some cats may need special grooming or medical attention to control parasites or address skin conditions. Working in conjunction with a veterinarian or professional groomer, you can help keep these conditions in check.
  • Accidents: Outdoor cats can encounter sticky or smelly substances such as tree sap, burrs, and even skunks. Even indoor cats can get themselves into trouble with paint, gum, or fireplace soot, necessitating a thorough grooming.
  • Age and illness: Advanced age, disability, and obesity can cause felines to lose their ability to self-groom. In these cases, you must assume your cat’s grooming duties in order to maintain her health.
  • Human allergies: People with allergies may benefit from giving their cats weekly or monthly baths to control dander.

Self-grooming skills

Cats may spend up to one-third of their waking hours engaged in grooming activities. Outdoor cats tend to require less grooming than their indoor counterparts. Wind, precipitation, and vegetation help naturally cleanse the skin and coat and remove dead hairs. In addition, exposure to vitamin-rich sunlight and the increased opportunity to exercise help keep outdoor cats in condition. If you have an indoor cat, you must assume the role that nature would otherwise play in her grooming care.