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The cat’s lifestyle is usually organized and schematic. Cats eat, hunt, sleep and care for their fur. Contrary to popular belief, it is the last activity (and not sleep) that takes them the most time. Most cats do not need to be bathed, so they are less demanding in this regard, but that doesn’t mean they can be neglected. Cat care is first and foremost looking after the condition of their hair, teeth and claws.
How do you need to take care of your pet so that these parts of its body look aesthetically and healthy? There is no simple answer to this question, which is why our article was written. Check what you need to know about cat care, how to prepare for it and what it involves in practice. Read on!
How to get your cat used to grooming?
The care treatments will accompany the cat throughout its life alongside humans. Therefore, it is very important to start getting your pet used to all of them as soon as possible.
Of course, you are in the best position to have a little kitten in your home. Cat babies are very open to new experiences and willingly adapt to new conditions.
A handful of tips on how to tame your cat with grooming
The basis for successful cat care is building positive associations.
- Regardless of the cat’s age, never throw him into deep water. First contacts with a claw brush or scissors should be short and in a friendly atmosphere. After a short while, reward your pet with a treat.
- Important in the process of getting your cat used to grooming procedures is to accustom him to touching his paws. These are very sensitive elements of the cat’s body, so it is worth getting them used to the touch of human hands. This will be useful not only for claw clipping, but also for many veterinary procedures – for example, taking blood.
Domestic cat care – how to care for its fur?
Domestic cat care is most often associated with combing its fur. Importantly, combing should be a necessary procedure not only for long-haired cats, but also for those with short hair. Some animals like combing, but others need to get used to it for a long time.
Grooming short-haired cats
Grooming a short-haired cat is not as complicated as in the case of long-haired cats. After all, it must not be neglected.
- Once every two or three weeks, it is enough to comb the cat with a brush with soft tips.
- The easiest way to collect dead hair is with a rubber glove.
- Some breeds do not have an undercoat. Then a brush with soft bristles or just a glove is enough.
Grooming cats with a dense undercoat may require slightly more complex procedures, especially during the shedding period. It is best to reach for a furminator – a specially designed brush that is used to comb the undercoat.
Grooming long-haired cats
As you can easily guess, the issue of taking care of long-haired cats’ hair is definitely more complicated. The selection of tools and the method of caring for long-haired cats, however, need to be adapted not to the length, but to the type of hair of the animal.
Grooming long-haired cats without an undercoat
Some longhair cat breeds do not have an undercoat. Their hair is long but very fine. Rather, they are not prone to fogging. In this case, a comb with widely spaced teeth and a soft brush will work best. Use the comb to untangle any tangles, and use a soft brush to pick up excess dead hair.
Grooming cats with a thick undercoat
Long-haired and semi-longhair cats with a thick undercoat (e.g. Norwegian Forest and Siberian cats) need much more regular care. If you have such a cat at home, you will need to stock up on:
- comb with widely spaced teeth – for combing tangles;
- a comb with curved needles – necessarily secured with round tips that do not irritate the skin;
- furminator for long-haired cats.
Care for long-haired cats with dense undercoat should be carried out at least once a week, brushing the pet.. Otherwise, the fur will start to felt and, unfortunately, you will not be able to cut it.
Cat Grooming – Claw Trimming
Claws are used by the cat to climb, scratch and balance. Taking care of them is very important and depends to the greatest extent on you.
Why trim a cat’s claws?
Claw trimming on indoor cats is a very good idea. Does this mean that the pet does not need a scratching post? On the contrary. Scratching is very important. Contrary to popular belief, the scratching post is not used to rub claws.
Outgoing and free-living cats touch their ends on hard surfaces – for example on asphalt. At home, this is probably not possible. Claws sharpened on a scratching post are usually quite long. It is uncomfortable for the cat, who gets caught on upholstery and fabrics. In extreme cases, the finger may even be pulled out of the joint.
What to trim a cat’s claws?
You already know why trimming claws is an important step in cat care. How does it work in practice? This activity is extremely disliked by cats. However, the pet needs to get used to it. If the socialization process is successful in this respect, the cat will consider claw-trimming a necessary evil. You should also obtain the appropriate tools. Human nail scissors will definitely fail.
Which pruning accessories should I choose?
Most good pet stores have special tools for clipping the claws of pets. The most popular are guillotines and scissors. However, choose the accessory that is easiest for you to operate on. It should be stable, sharp and not too big.
How to trim a cat’s claws?
The very process of trimming a cat’s claws is scary in many people. Meanwhile, there is nothing to be afraid of! You just need to remember a few important details. Check how to go through this stage of cat care!
- Remember that cat’s claws consist of two parts that can be seen with the naked eye. To do this, lightly press the pads of the cat’s paws. When the claw appears, you will see that the part of it closer to the body is darker. There are nerves and blood vessels. Only cut the lighter area that is not in motion.
- You don’t need to cut all claws at once. If you see your pet getting more and more irritated, let go and come back to it later. It is most convenient to cut the claws of cats that are relaxed. Best do this when you are in deep sleep.
- If you do not feel able to trim your cat’s claws yourself, you can contact your veterinarian. The service costs a few zlotys and everything takes just a few seconds.
Cat hygiene – how to care for cat’s teeth?
Tartar in a cat is very dangerous to its health. It leads to diseases of the oral cavity, and with great neglect also to diseases of the kidneys and heart. That is why cat care should not omit the teeth.
What meals are good for a cat’s teeth?
It should be emphasized that dry food does not clean cat’s teeth. This is a very common myth that harms the health of the purr. However, the diet has quite a big influence on the condition of the teeth. Provide your cat with bone in meat on a regular basis. However, it must be raw bone (they are brittle when cooked and can injure the digestive system). The cat separates the meat from the bones and bites the cartilage, thanks to which it mechanically cleans the plaque.
Cat care – preparations for cleaning teeth
You will also find effective preparations for removing plaque and cleaning the oral cavity on the market. These are, for example, wipes moistened with deionized water with the addition of zinc gluconate. Wrap them around your finger and gently put them in the cat’s mouth, rubbing your pet’s teeth.
Another solution in such cat care are toothbrushes and toothpaste. For many caregivers, brushing a cat’s teeth may seem like an exaggeration. However, this is the most effective way to prevent gum disease.
Excess tartar – how to deal with it?
Many breeds are genetically vulnerable to tartar. This does not mean, however, that they are free of plaque. No way. With age, the risk of developing problems in this context increases.
Stone, which is abundant, becomes hard and presses against the gums, causing irritation. This leads to gum disease and is associated with pain. When the situation is serious, you may notice that your cat is having trouble eating. Sometimes, however, a pet’s behavior doesn’t change at all. However, you can see the stone with the naked eye:
- the teeth then turn yellow;
- the gums around them are very red.
The effects of neglect in this aspect of cat care
In such a situation, neither home methods of cat care, nor prevention will help. The cat must undergo tooth brushing under anesthesia. Only a veterinarian can safely and effectively perform such a procedure. Never entrust it to a groomer or anyone who claims to be able to remove the stone by hand.
Cat care – summary
A cat’s behavior and lifestyle can often suggest that it is a self-contained animal. A domestic cat, however, requires from its guardian not only nutrition and shelter, but also proper care. Some of its forms are adapted to individual characteristics – fur thickness and length or characteristics of a specific breed. However, there are several common aspects to cat care. This is about brushing, brushing your teeth and trimming claws.
All treatments require delicacy, patience and taming the animal. Cutting claws and cleaning the cat’s teeth should be preceded by proper preparation and accustoming the pet to touch, accessories, opening its mouth or exposing its teeth. You can do all of these activities at home with the right tools. However, if you are concerned about your own or your pet’s safety, you can seek help from a veterinarian or groomer in caring for your cats. You will get practical help and find answers to all your questions.