Cat Grooming Guide: How Often Is Just Right?

Cat Grooming Guide: How Often Is Just Right?

Feb 9, 2024

Cat Grooming Guide: How Often Is Just Right?
Cat Grooming Guide: How Often Is Just Right?

Cats are the paragon of cleanliness and self-care. They are notorious for their cleaning habits and can spend anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of their waking hours grooming themselves. Just imagine if you woke up and spent half your time combing and brushing your hair. It sounds crazy, right? For a cat, however, that is totally normal.

So, if cats are already accomplished groomers, do they still need to be groomed? And how often is just right? Let’s untangle these mysteries below.

How Cat Grooming Works and Why It Matters

Cats have a meticulous grooming regimen. Their small tongues, which are covered in tiny, hook-shaped papillae, are adept at removing loose hair, dirt, and parasites. They use their front paws to wipe their face and ears, while their claws are efficient at scrubbing away dead skin cells. Cats may even engage in “sunbathing” to help dry and warm their fur after grooming.

Grooming is essentially a spa day for cats because it does more than just keep their fur clean, it also helps spread all those good natural oils produced by their skin that keep their coat soft, shiny, and waterproof. And, it helps them self-soothe and reduce stress and anxiety.

When and How Often Should You Groom Your Cat?

We know now why grooming is so vital to the well-being of our feline friends. But because they seem so perfectly equipped to handle it themselves, is it still necessary to groom them? The answer is yes.

Before we dive into our cat care tips, it is important to note that grooming requirements are not the same for every cat and kitten.

Short-Haired Cats vs. Long-Haired Cats

In general, cats vary between short-haired and long-haired breeds. Short-haired cats have smooth, sleek coats that lie close to their bodies. Several cat breeds, such as the British Shorthair, Bengal, and Siamese, are known for their shorter coats. In contrast, long-haired cats are fluffier with flowing, dense fur, such as the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat.

Short-haired cats generally require less grooming maintenance compared to long-haired cats due to their shorter fur. For short-haired cats, brushing their fur once a week with a soft-bristled brush helps remove loose fur, dirt, and dander. This routine helps minimize shedding and keeps their fur smooth and shiny.

Long-haired cats, however, have more extensive grooming needs. They typically require daily brushing with a wide-toothed comb or a slicker brush to prevent mats and tangles from forming. Additionally, long-haired cats may benefit from regular trimming to keep their fur manageable, especially around the hindquarters and belly.

Why Seek Professional Cat Grooming

Why Seek Professional Cat Grooming

There are many reasons to establish a regular grooming routine for your cat. On top of keeping them clean and healthy, regular grooming will habituate your pets to having their coats brushed and their nails clipped. If you’re unsure where to begin or how to find the right tools, consider enlisting the expertise of a professional cat groomer.

Stress Reduction for the Anxious Cat

Not every feline is fine with being handled. Many cat owners may feel hesitant to sit their kitties down for a nail trim or a quick brush down for fear of being scratched. Grooming professionals are equipped with different handling techniques and proper tools to groom your cat without causing any discomfort.

Preventative Care

Some cat breeds are more prone to infections and allergies than others. To the untrained eye, it might be difficult to spot the earliest signs of skin problems. During a grooming session, professionals are also tasked with a thorough examination of your cat’s overall skin health, alerting you should they find any abnormalities or issues. It is incredibly helpful at reducing the risk of health issues in the future.

Expert Handling and Equipment

Beyond brushing off loose fur and hairballs, a full cat grooming session also involves nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing. These important steps require specific tools to ensure safe and efficient grooming. Cats are also bathed and brushed, which calls for skilled and adept handling to minimize stress levels as much as possible.