Your Complete Guide to Cat Grooming

How Should I Maintain My Cat’s Nails?

It’s important to invest in a pair of good stainless steel pet nail trimmers. Human nail cutters can split the nail and cause more issues. Be sure to cut only the end of the nail and not the “pink part”, which is the blood supply. Instead, trim a little at a time and more often. And again, if you cannot manage all four paws in one session, don’t worry. The best way to trim nails is to wrap your cat in a towel exposing only one paw at a time. This technique, known as the Kitty Burrito, will give you control over the situation. This is a two-person job! Your cat’s nails should be trimmed monthly.

How to Trim Nails:

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up a paw and massage the pads; then, press gently so that the nails are extended. The best way to decide where to cut is to look at the nail from the side. This way it’s easier to distinguish between nail and the quick, or blood supply that is an opaque pink color at the base of the nail.

Hold the clippers in a horizontal position, as this will prevent the nail from splitting.

While you are trimming the front paws, be sure to include the dewclaw: the slightly thicker nail on the side of the front feet. On longhaired cats, it’s a good idea to wet the fur to make it easier to see the claw.

During a pet-icure, if you accidentally clip into the quick, use styptic powder will stop the bleeding. Ordinary cake flour will also do the trick.

How Should I Care for My Cat’s Teeth?

A dental cleaning is considered part of a normal grooming routine at a professional cat groomer, or consider an annual professional cleaning at the vet’s office. Brushing teeth is not a process something most cats will tolerate pleasantly, so use finger gloves and special tuna-flavored pastes that make the job easier.

Just can’t do it? According to Dr. Jan Bellows, a board certified veterinary dentist with a practice in Weston, Florida, dipping a Q-tip in tuna juice and rubbing is across the teeth and gums is equally effective as brushing. She says it’s the movement along the teeth that helps to prevent a tartar build-up.

There are also additives that can be added to the water bowl if regular brushing is too stressful.

To Bathe or Not To Bathe My Cat?

Most cats are not keen on being bathed. In fact, many get really stressed when put in the tub and it can cause blood pressure to spike. Alternatives such as waterless shampoos and specially-formulated feline wipes, which will remove any dust and dander from the fur effectively and without fuss.

Whatever your grooming routine, be sure to have your feline’s favorite treats close at hand and reward before and after. Such bribery will ensure you get the job done!