While cats usually take care of their own grooming needs, they are among the cleanest of house pets, they still need some grooming. Brushing, nail care, and hair-trimming are just 3 of the grooming responsibilities of a caring owner. Cats spend around 10% of their time cleaning themselves, mostly focusing on removing dirt, debris, and dead skin from their coat. But cats will still shed and therefore need help. Nail care is really for the benefit of owners as it helps to prevent cats from scratching furniture and people!
Cats tend to enjoy being brushed, especially if they’re used to it. For this reason, it is recommended that you start brushing your cat daily from a very young age. This will help them grow accustomed to the grooming and will increase their enjoyment of the activity. If you try to brush an older cat, they may be scared or confused and this might lead to some defensive behaviour.
Brushing helps to keep your cat’s hair shiny and free of tangles. As mentioned, some cats are tactile defensive. Simply put, they do not like being touched. For this reason, it is best to start brushing when they are young kittens so that brushing becomes normal to them. In addition, regular brushing helps to reduce the amount of tactile defensiveness in a cat. Brushing helps to distribute natural oils throughout the cat’s hair which helps to keep it healthy, clean, and tangle free. In addition, brushing gives owner and cat an opportunity to bond and eventually most cats will enjoy this bonding experience.
Cutting your cat’s nails is also very important and should be started when they are young kittens as well. Not only tactile defensive cats will resist nail cutting. All cats will find this strange and uncomfortable but if you start trimming nails from a young age they will grow believing this is a normal activity. Neglecting to cut your cat’s nails will result in a few problems. Firstly, your cat will have to wear down its nails on its own. This means they will scratch furniture, carpet, and other viable places in order to wear down the nails. Also, if your cat’s nails grow too long, they will curve and grow toward its paw. This can be extremely painful for your cat.
The best way to cut your cat’s nails is to hold the paw and press the pad so the nails come out further. There is a quick (a pink vein) on the cat’s nails that is quite sensitive so you’ll only want to cut the tip of the nail. If you cut the quick, the cat will feel pain and will react making it more of a challenge to cut its nails the next time. Try to keep nail cutting sessions short. It is recommended to cut only one paw at a time, especially for difficult cats. If however your cat is calm and comfortable, it is acceptable to cut all nails. You might find that two people are better than one when cutting your cat’s nails. It might be difficult to control your cat and cut it’s nails at the same time so it would be beneficial to have one person holding your cat and one person cutting its nails.
Especially for cats with long hair, having regular cuts will help to prevent dirt from building up in their fur. Cats are usually very good at keeping their fur clean so biannual or quarterly cuts will be sufficient. Trimming also helps to prevent shedding.