How to Help Cats Shed Less
Nearly all cats shed. Some long-haired cats doff hair in equal amounts as short-haired cats, but others have double or triple coats that up the shedding ante by sheer (and shear) volume. Even when they shed an equal number of hairs as their short-haired brethren, longhairs’ coats yield longer hairs.
All About Shedding
Unlike human hair, cat hair grows in cycles.
Outdoors, cats typically shed their old coats twice a year—once in the late spring and once in the late fall—in response to changes in light and, to a lesser degree, temperature. Indoors, this process is disrupted by artificial lighting, and cats often continuously shed.
In addition to hair, skin particles called dander accompany shedding. It’s like dandruff.
Shedding is completely natural and healthy, but extreme hair loss or degradation can indicate an underlying medical condition. See a veterinarian as necessary. Causes include allergies, ringworm, bacterial infection, fleas, hormonal imbalance, poor diet, stress, medication issues, pregnancy or lactation and sunburn, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Long-Haired Breeds vs. Short-Haired Breeds
All furry creatures shed—humans included—but when it comes to cats, long-haired varieties run the gamut. That’s because there’s not so much a long-haired breed as there is a long-haired gene pool. Because the gene for long cat hair is recessive, both parents must carry it to spawn long-haired offspring.
Cats with undercoats shed more than those without undercoats. You can tell if your cat has an undercoat by examining his coat. Although some people talk about “medium-haired” cats, the term carries no objective delineation. Most so-called medium-hairs are probably longhairs.
Purebred long-haired cats first emerged in Europe in the 1500s, according to most accounts. Among them, Balinese and Siberian cats shed less than most and Maine Coon and Persian and Somali cats shed more. Long-haired breed coats are typically two to six inches.
Hair’s the Thing
Regular grooming quells excessive shedding. Short-haired cats and single-coat long-haired cats need only a weekly brushing session. Double-coat longhairs require brushing twice or thrice weekly, and triple-coat longhairs may require daily grooming. This extra attention can intensify your bond with your cat.
Many long-haired cats have double coats. The same is true of some short-haired cats.
Diet affects shedding. Vitamins A and E, omega-3 and omega-6, fish oils and linoleic acid are rich in antioxidants and, added to an otherwise balanced diet, may help combat excessive shedding.
Cat hair can induce allergic reactions, but it’s not the hair itself that’s the culprit. Cat saliva contains the responsible enzyme, which covers cat hair following self-grooming.
Balinese and Siberian cats are hypoallergenic despite their longer coats because their saliva contains comparatively low amounts of the enzymes responsible for allergies.
Two to three baths a week can remove more than 80 percent of allergens from your cat and diminish allergen production, according to some studies. Most cats don’t take kindly to bathing, though.
If you’re concerned about hair-covered furniture, consider leather upholstery, which is easier to clean. Your dryer’s lint trap captures bolts of hair, but must be cleaned after every load for maximum efficiency. Use tape rollers on your clothes.
When it comes to cat haircuts, some people flinch with terror. Everyone knows how capricious cats are. They seem to be ready to do only whatever they feel is right.
Not many cats realize that they need a haircut while the owners are sure they do! If you are one of the cat lovers, who think that your cat needs some styling, you might want to ask a professional groomer’s advice. Trying to give your kitty a cut can mean disaster for your hands and face. Only professionals with experience know how to do the job right.
It’s Summer… What haircuts are best for Cats?
If you live in a warm climate and suffer from heat in the summer, your cat does too, especially if its fur is long and thick. Remember that if you feel like shaving all of your hair off when the temperatures go up, it doesn’t mean your cat needs a shave.
A summer haircut for a cat might mean a lion’s cut or a belly trim. Keeping the fur on the animal’s belly short makes the groom easier and keeps your pet safer from fleas.
Sometimes owners decide to give their cat a hygienic cut that involves trimming the hair around the anus. This is a perfect choice for long-haired cats during any season since it keeps the waste from sticking to the fur.
This haircut is also a good idea for older cats that have trouble maintaining their fur in good condition. Most of the time, the purpose of a cat haircut is to make the owner happy. Ask yourself if your cat really needs it!
Most Beautiful Photos for Every Cat Lovers
As you are looking for the cat haircuts, you definitely own/love cats. Below are some of the most beautiful cat photos we wanna share with you. Hope you’ll enjoy!
Are Mats in Cat Fur Dangerous for the Cat?
Unlike humans, cat hair isn’t always coiffed to look beautiful. In most cases, cats get their hair cut for health reasons. Unfortunately for Ms. Kitty, a haircut doesn’t involve a full day of pampering at her favorite salon, but it can keep her coat healthy and tangle-free.
Just a Trim
Keeping kitty’s coat all natural is generally the best option. However, cats may need a haircut if they get a sticker burr or sap caught in their fur or, ahem, some feces stuck in long bottom hair. In these cases, it’s best to go for a quick snip of a small area as opposed to shaving an entire section of fur. This is because temperature changes can easily affect shaved kitties. A cat’s coat doesn’t just make her soft and fluffy; it’s nature’s way of regulating her body temperature. Most veterinarians advise against shaving Ms. Kitty. While this isn’t true in all cases, your cat’s fur is her best protection against sunburn and hypothermia; she’d like to keep the majority of it if possible, please.
Untangle Me, Please
Though her coat is needed to help regulate her body temperature, the kitty who just can’t shake uncomfortable mats will need a close haircut to rid her body of these tangled messes. You can try to gently brush out small mats with a slicker brush or comb but any sort of haircutting should be left to your groomer or veterinarian. Cats have very sensitive skin and it only takes one small nick from a pair of scissors to result in stitches. Long-haired, thick-coated cats as well as overweight or older cats who can’t groom themselves properly are prone to matted fur. Regular brushing can help prevent mats but a preventative haircut might be best if you have a cat that balks at the sight of a brush.
Medically Necessary Clips
Certain instances such as severe allergic skin reaction, bacterial infection and acute trauma may result in a haircut for Ms. Kitty. If she has any weeping, open sores or wounds your vet will likely recommend shaving the area to allow for airflow and quicker healing. This is especially true if kitty requires stitches. Though the “medically-necessary” haircut may not be the most fashionable, it can be one of the most important for her health.
A Little Flair
You may have encountered a house cat that looks more like a lion than Garfield. Some owners choose to have their cat’s fur styled in a variety of haircuts. One of the most popular is the lion cut. This haircut usually involves shaving the cat’s body but leaving a scarf, if you will, of fur around her neck and face as well as fluffy fur on her lower legs and tail; afterward she’s fancy and ready for her close-up.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Do Cats Groom Themselves?
Cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves. Every day, they try to take care of themselves. They instinctively groom themselves to try to get rid of any scents that may tip off other animals that a cat is around. Their daily grooming regime also distributing natural oils that keep their fur clean and shiny. Cat self-grooming does not get past the topcoat. Some cats need more help. Especially in the case of bigger cats with long fur, cats may develop serious mats in their coats that aggravate the skin and develop irritating “hot spots” that cause discomfort and even pain.
Senior cats may have mobility problems that make their self-cleaning more difficult over time.
They can’t check for parasites (ticks) and fleas either. And their bottom fur needs some special care as well. Sometimes they even get eye stains.
The great advantage of grooming at Josey Ranch Pet Hospital is that we can ensure that your cat is groomed stress-free. If you prefer, the groomer recommends, sedation to ensure that your cat has the most stress-free experience possible.
All sedations are approved by you beforehand and an estimate is provided. Sedation is a medical procedure requiring doctor oversight and is administered by our medical staff.
Your cat will have the best, stress-free, experience that is medically possible.
Benefits of Professional Cat Grooming
While cats do a good job with basic grooming on their own, there are several grooming-related items that they need help with.
- Flea/parasite check
- Addressing fur mats
- Identify dermatologic issues
- Preventing mats and dermatological issues before they happen
- Soothing medicated shampoos for clean, shiny, fur
- Fresh smell
- Calmer cat
- Tracking weight
- Keep your cat’s nails trimmed
- Ear cleaning
- Timing with medical bathing treatments
Do Cats Hate Baths?
Surprisingly, a cat’s reaction to baths varies quite a bit. In fact, some cats demand a light water bath while other cats can become quite stressed being near water. We recommend a bath when there is a very matted coat otherwise, stay with brushing.
For some long-haired breeds, overweight cats or senior cats, the fur may become matted or tangled. Those tangles may not be brushable and need to be cut out.
You may also wish to have an attractive hairstyle, like the “lion cut” or other styles that are popular among owners of long-haired cats. These are familiar styles for our professionals and we can certainly accommodate you.
Our full-service cat spa package includes:
- Bathing (if possible)
- Brush out
- Ear cleaning
- Nail trim
- Hair cut
What to Do if My Cat’s Fur is Matted?
Sometimes a cat’s coat can get a little neglected when there has been a recent change to their health. Mats can get hardened to the point of becoming a solid mass. That is when we must shave that area as a brush out is impossible and the skin must breathe. Your cat will be much more comfortable afterward.
Our groomer in Carrollton, TX will explain the process and help you understand what the result will look like.
Cat Claw Trimming
Cat claw trimming is a challenge. Often it is a two (or three) person job to not stress the cat. Use specialized cat nail clippers to make the job easier.
If doing it yourself, it is very important to understand there is a “quick” that delivers blood to the nail. In fact, much of the cat’s nail is occupied by the quick so the longer the nail, the longer the quick.
The more often the nail is clipped, the more that the quick will naturally recede. After several trims, you will get the claws down to the desired length. It is not unusual to have one or two of the nails bleed a little – there are twenty of them to trim.
When in doubt, cat claw trimming is a task that is best left to our Josey Ranch Pet Hospital professionals. It may save you some scratches and stress your cat less.
Home Care Tips for Cats
Cats with long hair need to be combed more often. Combing your cat’s fur a couple times per week is recommended. Use a fine-toothed comb to watch for small black specks that may indicate fleas or flea activity.
Trimmed cat claws keep them comfortable and reduce scratching. If you are comfortable, develop a trimming schedule to maintain your cat’s claws to the desired length.
Watch for grooming related issues and address them early. Grooming is important for good skin health. Make a veterinary appointment if you note itching, self-biting or skin conditions such as skin bumps or rashes, fur loss, scaly dry skin or any other dermatological condition.
Cats pride themselves on their meticulous self-grooming skills. Not only do they spend up to 50 percent of their day primping, they are born with the perfect grooming tool right in their mouths (more on the incredible feline tongue later).
Despite their built-in grooming skills, some cats require a little help from humans, especially long-haired breeds, obese kitties, and seniors.
Does your cat need professional grooming? What can you do at home to help your kitty stay clean and mat-free?
The Importance Of Cat Grooming
Grooming is about much more than cleanliness and vanity, it is an important aspect of feline health. Grooming helps regulate body temperature and stimulate blood circulation. It also helps remove parasites and allergens that may irritate the skin. Some cats even groom when they are feeling nervous as a way to calm themselves.
The Feline Tongue
The unique feline tongue is lined with tiny spines that give it a sandpapery texture. These hollow scoop-shaped spikes are known as papillae, and they expertly deliver saliva to the skin, loosen knots, and remove dead hair and dander. In fact, every breed of cat is equipped with the ideal grooming tool — with one exception. It turns out Persian cats have such long, luxurious coats their papillae cannot reach all the way down to the skin.
Grooming Persians & Other Long-Haired Cats
If you own a Persian cat or other long-haired breed chances are you have encountered a mat or two. Regardless of their personal grooming habits, these cats require frequent, if not daily, brushing to stay healthy. As with any cat, it is best to begin a brushing regimen during kittenhood. This will establish it as part of their regular routine and help ensure their cooperation.
Choose a high-quality slicker or pin brush to smooth and detangle your Persian’s long, baby-soft hair.
Grooming Obese & Senior Cats
Extremely overweight cats and those with injuries or age-related joint pain may have trouble grooming themselves. This often results in an itchy, greasy coat dotted with dandruff and dead hair. Longer cats may also become matted. Needless to say, this condition is uncomfortable and distressing for such meticulously clean animals.
These cats should not be groomed at home without first seeing a veterinarian. They need a gentle, trained hand to ensure the least amount of pain and distress. Your vet may opt to groom your obese or senior cat in-house or recommend an experienced professional groomer.
Bathing & Nail Trims
Most kitties only need a bath when they are suffering from a skin condition or unable to groom themselves properly. This task is best left to a professional groomer unless you have a very cooperative cat. Not only do groomers have the proper tools and products for your cat’s individual needs, they are trained to get the job done safely.
Depending on your cat’s scratching habits, their nails should be trimmed every four to six weeks. Some cats allow their humans to perform this task at home while others are better off visiting the vet or groomer. They can safely restrain your cat to prevent injury.
Be aware that older cats often stop routine scratching as well as routine grooming. This can lead to dirty, overgrown nails that make it painful to walk. Check your senior kitty’s toenails frequently.
When Should You Take Your Cat To A Professional Groomer?
If at any time you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed with the prospect of grooming your cat at home, seek out a professional. Not all groomers work with cats on a regular basis so make sure you choose someone with solid feline experience.
If your cat has become severely matted or you suspect a skin issue, visit your vet prior to making a grooming appointment. He or she may want to address any medical issues prior to going forward with the groom.
Professional groomers can provide a wide range of services to benefit your cat. In addition to bathing, brushing, and nail trims, professional cat groomers perform overall trims and hygienic grooms. They can also check and clean your cat’s eyes, ears, and teeth as well as offer recommendations for further care.
One of the major advantages of owning cats is that, for the most part, they do their own cleaning. They are very particular about their hygiene; spending a significant portion of their day grooming their fur and cleaning their skin. Our feline friends are so adept at grooming that it’s an important social activity for them. Some cats will even try to do this to their human or dog friends.
This makes it easy to think that cats do not need any help with grooming. But there are plenty of situations where they would benefit from your assistance.
If you’re not sure of how or when to groom your cat, keep reading below!
Table of contents
- Which cats might need special grooming?
- Light-coloured or long hair
- Reduced capacity to groom
- Health problems that affect skin or fur
- How do I groom my cat?
- Is there any way I can find help?
- You might also be interested in:
Which cats might need special grooming?
Like dogs, not all cats have the same needs for fur and skincare. Long hair, outdoor access and difficulty grooming themselves, to name a few, are all factors that will affect how much help your pet needs from you regularly.
Light-coloured or long hair
Long fur often requires consistent maintenance. It’s very easy for these cats to get tangles. Which is why it’s a good idea to get them used to regular, or even daily, brushing early on! Depending on how long the fur is and how it is distributed on your pet’s body, you might have to clip it once in a while.
Cats with flat skulls often have problems in their tear ducts. This causes an overflow of tears that stain the fur around the eyes much more easily. A light-coloured coat will also get stained quickly, particularly in places such as near the ears and mouth. You will have to, you guessed it, clean them frequently.
Reduced capacity to groom
Messy hair? Do care! There are plenty of reasons why a cat has stopped being able to groom as much as they did before. Injuries, osteoarthritis, loss of energy due to chronic illnesses, to name a few, are all conditions that can hinder your pet’s hygiene routine.
This situation is distressing for your pet, and it can have a massive impact on their comfort levels. If you notice your pet has stopped being able to groom themselves, it’s definitely time to break out the brush and the shampoo to give them a hand.
If this is a new development for your pet, make sure to book an appointment with your vet to figure out what could be causing this.
Health problems that affect skin or fur
Allergies, wounds, hairless skin and infections are some of the most common reasons a vet might prescribe medication that needs to be applied in the form of baths. While it’s usually a temporary situation, plenty of chronic conditions require regular care. Often, your pet is not used to getting bathed or brushed, making a challenging situation even harder.
How do I groom my cat?
We wouldn’t go so far as to say bathing and brushing your cat is an adrenaline-driven sport. However, it is not without its challenges!
The best way to make sure grooming is a pleasant experience for you and your cat is to get them used to it while they are young. If this isn’t possible, it’s important to take it slowly and ease them into all the essential bits of a good hygiene routine.
- Brushing – Be gentle and respect your pet’s boundaries as it’s likely they are not used to being handled this way for long periods. Gradually get them used to brushing sessions, and don’t forget to be generous with rewards and play time!
- Cleaning – Dunking your cat in a tub of water is not the only option you have. Especially when it comes to recurrent medication that needs to be applied externally. There are plenty of formulations in the form of wipes or powders that let you give your furry friend a thorough cleaning without needing to use the dreaded water.
- Nail clipping – Depending on your cat’s particular temperament, it may take a while before they are okay with getting their nails cut regularly. But don’t despair and keep trying. Vet Nurses usually offer this as a service. They can use their expert skills to do the clipping or even show you the best method.
Is there any way I can find help?
When your pets are not cooperating, or you do not have the time or the means to make sure all of their hygiene needs are covered, it might feel impossible to cope with.
Fortunately, there are pet groomers who will take excellent care of your cat and their particular needs. The fastest way to find a reputable professional is to ask your vet for a recommendation. Many pet groomers are often affiliated with veterinary practices or are a part of their services. There are many advantages to contacting a groomer, even when your cat is not impossible to manage at home. As they have all the proper facilities and equipment, as well as specific training, they can make bathing, clipping and brushing a much less stressful experience for your pet.
If you’re looking to bring a new cat into your life, consider what sort of resources and time they might require of you. Pets with long hair or with specific health conditions are liable to require a significant amount of time to help them with grooming. With time and patience, cats can accept being brushed regularly. But it’s best if they start with this as young as possible.
And don’t forget, if you are feeling out of your depth, don’t hesitate to contact a groomer and see what they can do for you!
By Deborah Hansen
August 31, 2019
Some cats can go a lifetime without a mat, or developing a greasy or dandruff-filled coat. Other cats become matted in a blink of an eye. While environment, nutrition and genetics play a role in grooming frequency, another key element is the cat’s role in life.
Let’s start with what I consider to be “groomed”. Groomed, to me, is a water bath with a high–quality degreasing product followed by hand–drying with a high velocity dryer. That is the best way to remove the problems that cause matting. As extras, I add a nail trim, face cleaning, ear cleaning and shaving, as needed or requested.
Living environment and a cat’s role in life play big factors in establishing a professional grooming routine. While some cats live in a spotless house and are more like decorative items, other cats are well–loved and active members of the family. Cats that are active family members tend to be picked up and cuddled by little gooey hands. Other cats live a more sedate lifestyle as the apple of their owner’s eye.
Every cat lives in a unique environment. The spotless house with owners that rarely touch the cat will remain cleaner than the house with multiple children under the age of five. While the spotless house has a cat whose role in life is to add to the atmosphere of the home, the well–lived–in house has a cat whose role is to be an active participant in family life.
The environment a cat lives in has a direct influence on the non–natural occurring substances and debris found on a feline’s coat. The role the cat plays in the family will dictate the grooming needs and expectations of the owners.
While I was showing my Persian, it was necessary to do a full groom (water bath with full drying) every few days. With the kitten coat coming out and the adult coat growing in, it was my only option. While this may be true for six–to eighteen–month–old show Persians, most of our clients are domestic long or short hair pet cats. Therefore, their needs are very different.
In my grooming business, I first like to discover the objective of the owner. Asking owners why they are seeking grooming helps to get at the root of the problem they are hiring you to solve. Once the problem is understood by you, the groomer, you can successfully make recommendations to solve the owner’s problems.
Many clients seek grooming because one or more of the human family members is allergic to the cat. If this is the case, a water bath gets the allergen causing proteins (Fel d 1 to 4 and IgA) off the coat and tends to decrease the symptoms the owners experience.
For these clients, I schedule the second bath in four weeks. At the second appointment, I follow up with the owner to see if the symptoms improved after the last bath. I am very careful with my wording, not to imply I can treat their medical condition. Owners usually volunteer that they feel much better or felt better for a period after the grooming took place.
With the owner’s input, I can suggest scheduling the cat’s next appointment at two, four or six weeks. At the next appointment, I check in again and see how they are feeling. If they are not complaining of symptoms, I move them out two weeks. If they are complaining, I move the next appointment up.
In my business, I have discovered cats that are groomed due to human allergies do best on a four–to six–week schedule. At each appointment, the cat will get a full water bath and a blow dry.
Another common problem owners seek help for is shedding and/or hairballs. Here again, I book the second appointment at four weeks and follow up with the owner. If things are good, I move them out to six weeks, then eight weeks. In my business, these clients also seem to be happiest on four–to six–week schedules where the cat gets a water bath with a blow dry.
Long hair cats with owners who prefer that someone else does the brushing are another group of common clients. Most of these clients own Persians, Himalayans or Long Hair Scottish Folds. The owners paid a lot of money for their cats and they want them to look picture perfect at all times. These owners will not actively participate in the routine maintenance of their cats. I have found these cats to do best on five–week bath and blow dry schedules with a professional brush out at week three.
The last group of clients I am going to cover is the owners who bring in a pelted cat and do not want their cat shaved. At the first visit, a lion cut is the only humane option. This type of cat gets a lion cut and water bath with blow dry at the first visit, then they come back at eight weeks for a no–charge consultation and a free nail trim and brush out. If they keep the eight–week, free appointment, the coat is almost always greasy with visible dandruff. Once again, I explain how mats form, and remind the owner that, without a water bath with a high–quality degreasing product and blow dry, the cat will mat.
These cats I start on an eight–to twelve–week bath schedule and, over time, usually get them down to a six–week bath schedule. This is the hardest type of client to get and keep, while it is the type of cat who needs you the most. By offering free or low–cost consultations and nail trims, you are usually able to groom these cats more often than once a year.
Everyone has a different ideal clientele. It is important to focus on your ideal client and fine–tune your approach to get the type of cats you desire to serve on the schedule that works best for you and your clients. Always keep in mind that environment, nutrition, genetics and the role the cat plays in the family’s daily life all factor in to establish the ideal grooming schedule to meet the needs of each individual cat. ✂️
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CONTACT U S
RICHARD LESTER , DVM
6501 132nd Ave NE
Kirkland , WA 98033
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At Groomit, we don’t only offer in-home dog grooming, but in-home cat grooming too. We excel in helping your cat feel and look at their best and keeping them as healthy as possible.
However, many owners don’t believe their cats need professional cat grooming. In this article, we will explain why professional grooming is a good idea and what we offer!
Professional Cat Grooming: Is It Necessary?
While many people understand the importance of grooming their dogs thoroughly and regularly, most do not realize that cat grooming is just as important.
Some tend to believe that it just simply isn’t as important for cats to be groomed by us; after all, they seem to do a good job of it by themselves when they give their coat a lick over.
However, this by itself is usually not enough. Cats do require a helping hand from us humans to keep them free from irritation and infection, matting, and discomfort. We have an article here that explores further into why your cat needs to be groomed.
Professional Cat Grooming: Why Is It More Expensive Than Dog Grooming?
This is a question we receive a lot at Groomit, and it is not something just limited to our grooming service. The price of professional cat grooming across the industry tends to always run more expensive than professional dog grooming.
But why is this? It certainly seems strange on paper; cats tend to be significantly smaller than most dog breeds, so surely it must be less work.
However, the reality is different.
Cats tend to hate being groomed a lot more than most dogs. If you have ever tried to give a cat a wash, you’ll understand that many cats will find the whole experience unpleasant. Because of this, grooming sessions can lead to either the cat trying to escape, or worse, the cat scratching or biting the groomer.
And cat bites are nothing to sneeze at. While a dog bite can be stronger, they usually have rounded teeth, leading to a cleaner wound. Cats, on the other hand, have much sharper teeth that are likely to sink deeply into the groomer’s skin.
For this reason, professional cat grooming tends to be more expensive due to the higher risk towards the groomer.
Professional Cat Grooming: What We Offer
Here at Groomit, we offer two different cat grooming services; Gold and Silver. See below for what each one entails!
Silver service – The basic package, which includes the below:
- Bath with shampoo
- Hand fluff blow dry
- Ear cleaning
- Dry brush out
- Nail trim
Gold service – Includes everything within the Silver service PLUS:
- Sanitary trim
- Pad and tail trim
- Haircut (lion cut)
With these services, your cat will be feeling great, looking fabulous, and be free of any potential infection. It’s a win-win!
Professional Cat Grooming: A Great Way to Keep Your Cats at Their Best
That’s everything you need to know about professional cat grooming and what we at Groomit have to offer!
Now that you understand that cat grooming is a necessity, why not give us a go ? Our professionally trained groomers are incredibly experienced at working with cats, making the experience quick and easy for all those involved.
We hope to see you soon!
Ryan is a freelance writer for hire specializing in Pets and Animals. He works closely with various pet sites with the aim to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally he is usually keeping his cat Snow out of trouble!
Last updated: Apr 07 2022
Cats are known for their impressive ability to self-groom. However, there is a line between healthy grooming and compulsive grooming. Likewise, some cats under-groom. Both compulsive grooming and under-grooming occur due to other underlying health problems.
Understanding what’s normal for your cat’s self-grooming habits can help you monitor its health and well-being. If your cat is over or under-grooming, you should contact your vet to diagnose potential conditions causing poor grooming habits.
Why Do Cats Groom Themselves?
Before we dive into what’s normal, it’s important to understand why cats clean themselves. Obviously, cats groom themselves to keep their fur and skin clean, but there are several other reasons why cats self-groom. Here are just a few other reasons:
In other words, cats self-groom for a number of reasons. You never want to discourage self-grooming because it is an important part of your cat’s well-being and socialization with other cats.
How Often Should Cats Groom Themselves?
Since self-grooming serves such an important purpose in a cat’s life, most cats spend anywhere from 30% to 50% of their day self-grooming. Can you imagine if we bathed ourselves this much? Needless to say, you should see your cat self-grooming quite a lot.
How Cats Groom Themselves
Image Credit: TeamK, Pixabay
Cats groom themselves using three parts of their body: tongue, paws, and forepaws. These body parts, matched with the cat’s flexibility, allow the cat to groom their entire body.
Have you ever been licked by a cat? If so, you know how prickly the cat’s tongue is. This rough surface helps to keep the cat’s coat and skin nice and healthy. The comb-like surface allows the tongue to pick up any debris or foreign objects on the skin’s body.
Cats can also use their claws and paws to clean their skin and coat. You can expect your cat to use its paws on locations its tongue won’t reach. For example, cats use their paws to reach their face, top of the head, and neck areas.
Cats can even use the back of their paws to help clean their bodies. This area is often used to help distribute the oil from the cat’s head to other locations. This oil helps the cat to smell clean and for the coat to stay nice and soft.
Under-Grooming and Compulsive Grooming
Image Credit: Hannah Oliver, Unsplash
Healthy cats will use their tongue, paws, and forepaws to self-groom up to half of the day. However, cats under-groom or compulsively groom due to a number of underlying health conditions.
Under-grooming is mostly a problem with senior cats. As the cat gets old, it is more difficult for them to reach all the areas on their body. Cats can also under-groom due to other conditions, such as obstructions or pain.
Under-grooming results in your cat not being as clean as it used to be. You might notice more mats or loose fur around your home. Dirt and debris may be stuck to the hard-to-reach areas as well.
If you think your cat is under-grooming itself, take it to the vet to see if there is an underlying condition. Additionally, help your cat groom by taking it to a professional groomer every month and helping the cat groom with daily brushes.
Compulsive grooming happens whenever cats groom so much that it results in additional hair loss, skin lesions, and skin irritation. Compulsive grooming can happen because of flea infestation, parasites, or a neurological disorder, but it can also be caused by stress.
If you are noticing issues with your cat’s fur and skin due to grooming, take your cat to the vet. The lesions may need treatment, and the cat will need to be evaluated to ensure there is no deeper root to the problem. You will have to treat the cause of the compulsive grooming to get it under control.
When To Contact a Vet
You should contact a vet if you notice your cat is grooming way less frequently or more frequently than before. Both under-grooming and compulsive grooming can be signs of serious illnesses that need veterinary treatment.
How To Help Groom Your Cat
Image Credit: RJ22, Shutterstock
Whether your cat is under-grooming or over-grooming, here are some tips you can incorporate into your cat’s routine to help the grooming process go smoothly.
Create a Stress-Free Environment
Always try to create a stress-free environment for your cat. If the environment is stressful, your cat may groom less often due to fear or compulsively groom due to stress. Try to create a calm and safe environment for your cat so that it grooms just the right amount.
Brush your cat regularly to help mitigate hairballs and excessive hair loss. This is especially important for long-haired cats, but short-haired cats can benefit from brushing as well. You might need to introduce your cat to the brush first. With proper introduction, cats will grow to love brush time since cats groom one another in the wild.
Only Bathe When Needed
Unless your cat is elderly and unable to lick itself, only bathe your cat when needed. For example, you should bathe your cat after it gets skunked, but leave most of the bathing up to the cat’s tongue. If you suspect that your old cat is unable to bathe itself, that’s when you should start bathing it.
Cats clean themselves 30% to 50% of the day by using their tongue, paws, and forepaws. That being said, some cats under-groom or compulsively groom due to stress or underlying conditions. It’s important to monitor your cat’s grooming to make sure it is as healthy as possible.
If you suspect your cat is under or over-grooming, contact your vet. In the meantime, try to create a stress-free environment and help your cat with the grooming process by brushing it regularly and bathing it when needed.
Based on the underlying cause for your cat’s grooming problems, a vet may offer some additional treatment tips.
State-Of-The-Art Full-Service Mobile Cat Grooming Salon
Your cat is part of your family, so we take the time to truly treat your cat with the love and tender care it deserves. That’s why Pawgo mobile cat grooming service never uses cages or harsh chemicals during its full-service cat grooming.
A mobile pet groomer can only complete a small part of the grooming that a mobile cat salon Scottsdale can do, as they have to multitask, and cannot devote adequate attention to your pet. Our well-trained local mobile cat groomers offer an exceptional cat grooming mobile service in a stress-free environment in their mobile cat salon Scottsdale with full comfort and safety of your driveway, and groom them right there. We have equipped our mobile cat salon with air conditioners/heat, power, clean hot and cold water, and hydraulic grooming table, to convert it into a fully equipped pet grooming space to provide your kitty with a heavenly experience while it is with us.
Our full-service cat grooming includes:
- Mobile cat claw trimming
- Eliminating fleas and ticks
- Cat safe shampoo and conditioner
- Medicated bath if needed
- Ear cleaning
- Hot oil treatment after bath
- Shedding solution
- Mobile cat nail trimming service
- Professional hair cut
- Anal gland express
- Full dermal inspection
- Brushing and combing
- Relaxing fluff dry by hand
Customized grooming services are available wherein you can include all or some of these services, or ask for extra ones. Regular cat grooming mobile service is important to keep your pet in the best condition, because if you wait too long, your pet will resist grooming, especially ear cleanings and nail trimming. Brushing service is beneficial for cats as it helps remove dead hair, dirt, dandruff, ticks, fleas, dry patches, or issues with claws, ears, nails, and eyes of your cat. It also brings the natural oils into the coat, and provides your cat with a healthy sheen.
Doorstep cat grooming service
For cats that can’t tolerate car rides and traffic snarls, having Pawgo mobile cat grooming service come to them will alleviate their stress and put them at ease. Our professional feline groomers and stylists pamper your furry friend to make them feel their best. Pawgo also offers convenient, home, office, and kerbside mobile cat grooming for cats, seven days a week. Our mobile cat salon can accommodate all breeds and sizes. All our mobile cat solons are properly cleaned and disinfected after every grooming service. Our full-service cat grooming will also help you save emergency veterinary bills as any issues and abnormalities with your pet are spotted early on, so the treatment can be started right away before it is too late.
Pawgo mobile cat grooming service brings a highly organized and professional approach to full grooming for cats with a personalized touch. You won’t even have to come to us, we will come to you, at a time and location of your choosing, to keep your cat feel fresh, squeaky clean, and happy.
Monthly maintenance at discounted price
Discounted full-service cat grooming is available for monthly maintenance plans. Monthly grooming also reduces the time for our cat grooming mobile service as your cat will become more comfortable with our local mobile cat groomers, and would be less likely to be scared. Having the same groomer for each appointment will help us build a relationship with your furry baby. A good choice for busy pet owners!
Cats basically groom themselves, right? Why would anybody pay to get their cat groomed by a stranger?
As it turns out, a cat’s tongue, teeth, and saliva can only do so much. Hopefully, your cat will allow you to groom them yourself, but sadly, that’s not always the case. That’s when a professional becomes needed. Here are the main types of grooming that cats usually need. If you are unable to do these things, it may be time to take your cat to a groomer.
#1 – Nail trims
Your cat’s nails need to be trimmed at least once a month to prevent them from becoming overgrown. Nails that are overly long are more likely to get stuck in bedding or carpet and may affect how your cat walks, which can eventually lead to pain and arthritis. If your cat runs every time you pull out the nail clippers, this might be a task best left to a professional groomer.
#2 – Brushing
Even short-haired cats need regular brushing to reduce shedding and help prevent hairballs in your cat.
Long-haired cats need even more brushing to prevent mats from forming. A mat is a tangled patch of fur, and severe matting is extremely painful for a cat. Imagine somebody pulling on your hair nonstop for weeks or months, and you can understand what a matted cat feels like.
Cats have extremely thin skin, so you should never try cutting mats out of your cat’s fur by yourself! Any knots and tangles that you can’t remove with a regular brush and comb should be handled by a professional.
#3 – Bathing
Cats do their best to keep themselves clean, but sometimes cat saliva just isn’t enough to really get thoroughly washed, and a bath becomes necessary. Any mats in your cat’s fur should be removed before bathing, because water will just make mats worse. Since most cats hate water, this may be a task that’s worth paying somebody else to do!
If your cat allows you to trim their nails and brush and bathe them and never develops mats, then you may never need to take your cat to the groomer. But if your cat refuses to allow you to do any of those things yourself, it is in your cat’s best interest to let a groomer handle those issues rather than wait until they become severe. Cat saliva added on top of already matted fur can turn into a sort of a shell on your cat, which must feel like torture. Don’t wait until your cat’s hair is crunchy before turning to a pro for help!
If you own a cat, you’re likely to own at least one scratching post. But gone are the days of one small, lonely, frayed, or bare post, hidden from view by some strategically placed furniture. Nowadays the selection of scratching posts and activity trees available is vast and there’s something to suit all spaces and budgets. But do cats really need one? And which type of scratching post will your cat enjoy the most?
Why do cats scratch?
Are you unfortunate enough to own a cat that scratches up your furniture? While frustrating for you, scratching is a functional behavior that comes naturally to all cats. There are three main reasons why cats scratch:
- Mark territory
- Sharpen nails
Scratching is also used as a means to stretch
An important part of cat behavior is marking territory. While scratching, cats leave their scent on the surface, which enables cats to recognize their own territory. Since scratching sharpens the nails, it is also a form of self-grooming that helps your cat keep its claws in great condition.
We can conclude that scratching is very much a functional behavior that can not be unlearned. You would be smart to accommodate your cat’s needs by placing a scratch tree somewhere inside your house. Else, they might satisfy their urges by destroying your couch or other costly furniture!
What kind of scratching post do cats prefer?
- The first thing to work out is whether your cat likes scratching horizontal or vertical rope (or both!)
- We mentioned that cats use scratch to stretch, so another important facet is to consider a post that’s tall enough for your cat- a safe guideline is to have at least 90 cm (or 35 inches). Strong climbers like the Abyssinian will prefer a very tall cat tree if your house can support it.
- A post should also have a wide base to avoid toppling over. Wobbly trees are dangerous.
- Cats may prefer different materials, but most tend to enjoy sisal fabric or tightly wound sisal rope.
Do cats like cat trees?
Cat trees are often a good option as they contain several levels with different scratching areas, perfect for finicky cats. In fact, one study showed that cats with cat trees were less likely to scratch elsewhere than those with other types of scratching posts! A young, active cat would likely prefer a tall, multi-level activity tree with various platforms, scratch surfaces, and hunting target toys.
On the other hand, an older cat with reduced mobility would prefer something lower to the ground, without very high platforms or anything requiring too much agility. That being said, an older cat still needs stimulation and would still enjoy some dangling mice, balls, or bells to play with.
Another thing to consider is whether your cat remains indoors or goes outside. If your cat goes outside, they will likely get a fair amount of stimulation, fun, and exercise in their outdoor environment, so there isn’t so much demand for an ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ cat tree as there would be for an indoor cat.
Some cats like to hide or survey their surroundings from a high vantage point, away from the hustle and bustle of human life. Take this into consideration when choosing a scratch post or tree, since there are many available that have hideyholes and high platforms.
The best places in your home for a cat tree
Generally speaking, giving your cat their own allocated space in a room of the house is often appreciated. This doesn’t mean you can’t approach them and play or interact with them if they seem keen, but it means they can retreat to their own space if they choose to.
However, cats also like to scratch as a way to stretch after waking, so providing a post near their favorite sleeping spot may be helpful. Don’t forget, a scratching post is a key resource for cats. That means you’ll need one for each cat, plus one spare. They don’t all have to be huge but making sure there’s a few posts dotted around the house increases the chance that they will use them.
There is a type of cat tree that has multiple components like shelves, tunnels, or hides that fix onto the wall. This can be a great space-saving way to allow your cat to exhibit their natural behaviors whilst indoors, without compromising floor space in your home interior.
How do you attract a cat to a cat tree?
Using an anti-stress spray like Feliway or Pet Remedy will cover the new smell and make your cat feel relaxed and safe as they explore their new activity center.
Leaving some treats dotted around the tree will also help to turn it into their new favorite spot. You can also praise and reward them for scratching in the correct area!
Indoor cats technically do not really need a cat tree. But if you don’t provide them with a place to scratch, there’s a good chance they will start scratching up other items in your house. Since scratching posts are so beneficial to both the physical and mental health of your cat, we highly recommend adding one to your home. If you happen to have a young, energetic cat, choose as large a tree as you have space for – they’ll thank you for it!
While declawing is a painful and unnecessary procedure that we do not support, there are plenty of declawed cats around the world who can still benefit from scratchable objects in their environment. In fact, the extra verticality is something most cats thoroughly enjoy! If you own a declawed cat, consider buying a tree with a ramp at the bottom, that way your cat can start the climb without having to rely on their absent nails for the initial pull.
If you have a single cat, make sure the post is at least 100 cm / 40 inches tall to provide plenty of space to scratch and stretch.
If you have multiple cats, go even bigger. Cats don’t like to share, so ideally you would have to buy a scratching post with multiple hangouts and hiding spots.
Most people think cats can take care of themselves—and they’d actually prefer it that way—but even the most fastidious feline groomers could use a helping hand.
Regular grooming—including brushing, bathing, shaving, and nail trimming—offers many benefits, including promoting a healthy coat, eliminating odors and matted fur, and reducing hairballs. In addition, it provides an opportunity for you to check your cat for fleas and ticks, lumps and bumps, skin problems, and other health issues you may not otherwise notice.
To establish a successful grooming routine with your cat, it is important to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Start slow and get your cat accustomed to the process by gently handling her as long as she will allow. Reward each positive experience with treats and praise and gradually repeat until your cat is comfortable.
Regular brushing removes dead hair, dirt, and debris from your cat’s coat, helping to prevent mats before they become unmanageable and reduce hairballs, which build up in your cat’s digestive system—and ultimately end up on your carpet. In addition, you’ll cut down on shedding and the amount of time you spend getting cat hair off your furniture and clothes. As a bonus, brushing is also a positive way to interact and bond with your cat.
To keep your cat’s coat in tip-top shape, aim to brush her twice a week, but keep in mind that long-haired breeds may require more frequent grooming than their short-haired counterparts. There are many different grooming tools on the market, from fine-toothed combs to rubber grooming mitts. In general, a wire slicker or bristle brush is a safe choice, but if you’re not sure which will work best for your cat, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
No matter what you choose, it is important to let your cat familiarize herself with each tool before using it. Begin brushing her slowly and gently, starting with the areas she likes to be petted, such as along the back or under the chin. As she becomes more comfortable, you can work your way to other areas, like the abdomen, tail, and legs. If your cat objects to any of these areas, stop and go back to an area she prefers. Remember that initially, grooming sessions should be short and sweet. With time and patience, you’ll be able to get into a more thorough routine.
Can you bathe a cat? And if so, should you? While not typically necessary, bathing may be recommended to treat a skin condition, remove unwanted substances from the fur, or improve hygiene for cats who cannot physically groom themselves.
Bathing can be performed at home, in the veterinary hospital, or at a professional grooming facility. If you decide to bathe your cat at home, be sure to use a mild, veterinarian-recommended shampoo and warm water. Stick to your cat’s body—her face should only be gently wiped with a damp washcloth—and keep the entire process as quick as possible to reduce stress.
If you have a long-haired cat, she may benefit from having her fur clipped—or in some cases, completely shaved—to keep her cool, comfortable, and mat-free. This is best left to the professionals, so contact your veterinarian for recommendations.
If your feline friend is particularly prickly or getting caught on your furniture, chances are her nails could use a trim. Regular physical activity and scratching behaviors wear down your cat’s nails naturally, but it’s a good idea to keep them trimmed for their own comfort—and yours.
Like brushing, it’s important to start slow and get your cat used to having her paws touched. At a time when your cat is calm and relaxed, gently press on each paw pad to extend the nail. It is important to only trim the white tips—the pink portion of each nail contains the quick, which is made up of nerves and blood vessels that cause bleeding and discomfort when cut.
Ready to start trimming? Place your cat on your lap facing away from you or enlist a friend to hold your cat while you trim. Gently extend each nail, trim the tips, and repeat every two weeks. Once you and your cat are accustomed to the process, it should be relatively short and painless—but if either of you are uncomfortable, you can always leave it to a veterinary or grooming professional.
When to call a veterinarian
Too much or too little grooming can signal an important issue with your cat’s health, so keep a close eye on her grooming habits. If she’s not keeping herself as clean as she used to, she may not be able to reach every area of her body due to arthritis or being overweight. On the other hand, if you notice your cat licking, biting, or scratching more than usual, it could indicate a skin condition or behavioral issue. If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
There’s a common misconception that shorthaired cats, with their much, much shorter fur, don’t need grooming because short hair = low maintenance. True, their short coats don’t require daily grooming like longhaired cats. And cats, being perfectly capable of grooming themselves (their bodies are designed to bend at impossible angles so that kitty may lick themselves clean in hard-to-reach areas) are able to keep their short fur relatively clean.
But believe it or not, the fur of shorthaired cats is just as susceptible to matting as longhaired cats so a proper and regular grooming session should be in order!
Why it is necessary to groom shorthaired cats
Even though shorthaired cats don’t usually get tangles in their fur, they can still benefit from the occasional cat bath! Bathing your cat helps her to remove all the dirt, saliva, excess oils and dander which will leave her coat smelling wonderful and looking sleek and shiny. Your cat will even shed less from regular brushing!
There are even some shorthaired cat breeds that even though yes, their fur is short (duh), it is still pretty dense so a regular bath would be very helpful in reducing hairballs, preventing matting and decreasing shedding.
Plus, there’s really no harm in grooming your cat (unless you do it excessively!). Not only do you get to check your feline for any skin problems or physical abnormalities, it’s also a great bonding session for you and your cat!
How often do you need to groom your cat?
As mentioned earlier on, shorthaired cats don’t require grooming as often as longhaired cats. They only need to be brushed once a week and take a bath once every 4-6 weeks!
Where can you go to get your cat groomed?
In the comforts of your own home of course! With patience, the right tools and the right skill set, you can definitely set up your very own mini cat salon at home. But if you’re a new cat owner or even an experienced one who finds grooming your cat an almost impossible task, fret not! There are several reputable cat salons in Singapore that would do wonders in transforming your cat from a grubby ball of fluff into a clean, nice-smelling and more shapely, ball of fluff. You’ll discover curves that you never knew your cat has!
How to groom your cat
If you intend to groom your cat at home, we’ve put together a simple guide with useful tips on how to groom your cat. Check it out here: Putting Together a Cat Grooming Kit
By Lindsay Lowe
Google “cats in sweaters,” and you’ll find countless adorable photos of kitties sporting miniature knitwear. It’s cute, to be sure, but do cats ever actually need to wear sweaters?
The answer is almost always “no,” says Dr. Susan Sikule, owner of the Just Cats Veterinary Clinic, which has offices in Guilderland and Saratoga, New York.
Sweater Risks for Cats
For one thing, wearing a sweater could put a cat in danger of overheating. “They have their fur coats for a reason,” Sikule says. “(A sweater) would cause some interference, perhaps, in their normal ability to regulate their body temperature.”
Wearing a sweater could also impede a cat’s ability to move freely, leading to accidents. For example, the sweater could catch on a tree branch mid-leap, or cats could get tangled up in the sweater if they’re trying to pull it off.
“We always say, if you leave a paper bag out for your cat to play in, take the handles off the paper bag so your cat doesn’t get his head stuck through it…It’s the same thing with a sweater,” says Mieshelle Nagelschneider, a cat behavior consultant and author of “The Cat Whisperer.” “Cats are like Houdinis… they can get in and out of things really easily, and then they can get themselves into trouble.”
Some cats may also feel stressed while wearing a sweater, and stress can lead to all sorts of problems. “I could see a cat having accidents all over the house because they’ve got a sweater on,” Nagelschneider says.
How to Safely Put a Sweater on a Cat
There are a few instances in which a sweater could be appropriate for a cat. Some hairless breeds such as the Sphynx do chill more easily, although even they probably don’t need a sweater unless they are in a particularly cold outdoor environment, Sikule says.
Some vets also recommend sweaters, or at least a T-shirt, for cats who have been shaved for surgery. In these cases, a sweater could keep a kitty warm and prevent him from licking incisions. Sikule also sometimes sends older cats home in sweaters after a grooming session if she has removed large areas of their coat.
If you do need to put a sweater on a cat, make sure it’s not too loose or too tight. “Too loose, and they can just get right out of it. Too snug, they’ll really want to get out of it, so you kind of want it to be more on the fitted side,” Nagelschneider says.
Many cats dislike wearing any type of clothing, so the key is to go slowly and not force a cat to wear a sweater if he really resists. “Put the head through, and then you can put the front feet in and see how the cat tolerates that,” Sikule recommends. “If they’re just backing out of it and trying to get it off at all times, then I think that’s not appropriate clothing that should be put on that cat.”
If a cat does tolerate the sweater at all, he will probably need some time to get used to wearing it. Initially, only ask your cat to wear his sweater for a short period of time, and then gradually increase the duration as long as your cat remains relaxed.
To help him adjust, Nagelschneider recommends playing with the cat while he’s wearing the sweater, using a wand toy like a feather on a string to activate his playful hunting behavior. “When they’re in their animated play stage, they’re in a very confident mood state,” she says. “We can kind of trick them into behaving confidently with confident movement…that can help them get used to the sweater, too.”
Above all, never leave your cat unsupervised in a sweater, she says. You simply need to be on hand to deal with any crises that develop.
Keeping Your Cat Warm
Ideally, though, pet owners should avoid putting cats in a situation where they need a sweater to begin with.
A simple rule of thumb? “If you’re cold, your cat is cold,” Nagelschneider says, noting that even so-called outdoor cats need protection from the cold weather and can suffer from frostbite if they don’t have adequate shelter.
If your cat trembles, tucks his limbs tightly under his body, or seeks out warmth from lamps, patches of sunlight, or other heat sources, those could be signs that he is too cold.
Keeping your cat warm often comes down to common sense. “When owners go away on vacation, many of them leave their cats at home and they turn the heat off…we don’t recommend doing that at all,” Nagelschneider says. “Keep the heat where it needs to be for your cat.”
And if it’s a cold, rainy day, instead of putting a sweater on your cat and taking him for a leash-walk, maybe just keep him inside that day. “The sweater just feels unnatural to a cat and it takes them time to get used to them,” she says. “We just usually say no.”
Home » Why Cats Need Pet Grooming Services Too
It is common for pet owners to bring in their dogs for grooming, but are less likely to take advantage of this type of service for their cats. Even though cat grooming may not be as popular as dog grooming, it is still a valuable service that cat owners should consider. It can help to keep their felines happier, healthier and smelling better.
Probably the main reason why people do not worry about grooming their cats is because of how fastidious these animals already are. Unlike many dogs whose happiness level often seems to be in perfect alignment with how odorous they are, cats are more particular about their care. However, even the most determined cat could use a little assistance with their cleaning routine now and then.
Regular grooming reduces the risk of flea infestations. The little pests can be discovered earlier, and eliminated before they become a problem. Shedding is another issue that can be problematic for a cat. During the spring and fall, when the most shedding occurs, cats can ingest a lot of fur. This leads to digestive issues and the least pleasant cat owner experience, hairballs. Grooming services also clean ears and trim their nails, something that most cats are not able to manage well on their own.
Older, heavier and long-haired cats all find self-grooming difficult. Older cats and those with more girth are not always able to reach everywhere on their bodies. Some senior cats may even lose interest in good grooming. Cats with long hair are often unable to remove items like a burdock or waste matter from their fur. Sometime the fur can tangle and become matted as well.
Another reason to consider pet grooming services is because of allergies. Regular grooming helps to remove dander from the pet. This can make people with cat allergies more comfortable around the pets. The home will also be cleaner because there will be less fur shed on carpets and furnishings.
How often a cat needs to be professionally groomed will depend on the cat, and the owner. If they are brushed regularly at home, most long haired cats can be kept looking and smelling their best with a monthly professional grooming. Cats with short hair often only need an appointment every three or four months. If they are older, unwell or have had the misfortune of meeting up with a skunk, additional appointments may be required.
What Kind of Cats Have Double Coats & Tufts?
The grooming requirements of dogs are extremely varied. A Japanese chin, for example, has a totally different coat than a miniature pinscher, Dalmatian, Samoyed or cocker spaniel. Haircuts, beneficial for some doggie breeds, are not necessary for the Japanese chin.
Japanese chins are wee canines who hail from China, rather than Japan, although they experienced great popularity in the latter nation, as well, hence their name. These small dogs were developed to serve as companion pooches for royalty and society women. Japanese chins generally grow to between 8 and 11 inches and typically weigh between 4 and 15 pounds. They have intelligent, faithful and jovial overall dispositions. They adore snuggling up to owners, and they also love spirited play sessions. The average Japanese chin life expectancy is between 14 and 16 years.
Japanese chins’ coats are one of their most distinctive features, with their lengthy, smooth and luxurious appearances. Their single-layer coat is straight and appears in numerous different color schemes, specifically white and black, white and black with beige elements, and white and red.
Despite their appearance, their coats are actually not too hard to maintain. Their fur isn’t particularly vulnerable to knotting. Japanese chins generally do well with brushing sessions once or twice weekly to ensure the fur is lovely visually. Opt for a pin brush to groom your Japanese chin. In times of shedding, additional brushing is beneficial for getting rid of loose hairs. Shedding in females tends to be heavier than in males. As with most other dogs, occasionally bathing keeps a chin fresh and clean — think one bath per month or less; but if your pet accidentally got something gooey and yucky all over his lengthy fur, you can give him a bath, pronto, without putting his coat at risk of dryness.
No Haircuts Required
Haircuts aren’t necessary with Japanese chins. However, it is important to regularly clip the fur below these big-eyed cuties’ feet and to routinely trim Japanese chins’ toenails, as well. Apart from trimming the fur in this region, doggies from this breed don’t call for any other clipping at all.
What Kind of Cat Looks Like It Has a Lion’s Mane? →
What Kinds of Cat Have Long Hair & Ear Tufts? →
All cats require some level of grooming and most of it can be done right in your house. The type of grooming that your feline needs is based on factors like her hair type or the climate. Cats require more grooming as the weather warms up, as they lose their winter coat.
Identifying Your Cat’s Grooming Needs
Hairless cat breeds don’t need brushing but still r equire bathing, nail trimming and nail bed cleaning, skincare and routine ear cleaning —like their furrier friends.
Most shorthaired cats are considered low maintenance and typically need to be brushed every one to two weeks, but some may only require it once a month . Cats with medium length hair need a weekly brushing to maintain their coats.
Longhaired cats typically require daily brushing and combing to help prevent matting and tangling of the hair. This practice also helps remove dirt and manages shedding.
And don’t forget to always use a gentle voice and give your cat treats periodically throughout each type of at-home grooming session to bring her comfort and put her at ease.
Brushing and Shedding Management
Brushing is one of the easiest ways to manage cat hair that can easily accumulate on your couches and clothes.
Brushing also allows you to bond with your feline while helping improve the health of her coat. Not only does it offer her physical comfort, but it lets you help her minimize issues from self-grooming like hairball accumulation or oil buildup in her coat.
Plus, brushing helps reduce the amount of hair and dandruff flakes that you’ll find on your furniture and floors—especially as the temperatures rise outside and shedding also increases.
Just simply brush from head to toe, as needed . Don’t forget to use a comb to remove fur from her undercoat, as well.
Bathing Your Cat
How often you bathe your cat depends on the type of fur she has and her lifestyle.
Hairless cat breeds need weekly baths to help manage oil, dirt and sweat buildup. You can use a wet washcloth or baby wipes to maintain skin hygiene between bath times. However, if your cat has fur but isn’t comfortable with baths, a wipe down is a less stressful alternative.
It’s no secret that most cats find baths agonizing. But, they can get comfortable with them over time. A few simple strategies can help make bath time easier.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started:
- Cat-safe shampoo
- Cat-safe conditioner (optional)
- Rinsing cups
- Non-slip mat
- Plenty of towels
- A helper (if available)
- A pair of old clothes for yourself and a helper
The key to a successful cat bath is preparation. After you’ve gathered supplies, you’ll want to prep the area. The bathroom is the ideal location for this because you can shut the door, creating a safe, and quiet space while limiting her ability to flee.
Have the water ready before your cat enters the bathroom because the running water might make her uncomfortable.
Make sure the water is shallow, meeting the bottom of your cat’s chest, and that the rinsing cups are already filled with water. You can place a non-slip mat in the tub.
Next, it’s time to prep your cat. Brush her from head to toe to remove any tangles, loose hair or debris. If your cat is not comfortable with brushing or bathing, try separating these two tasks with a break in between and lots of petting and verbal praise. When you’re done, grab your helper and bring your feline friend to the bathroom and close the door.
Keep calm as you ease her into bath time, using a relaxing tone of voice and a gentle touch.
Have your helper hold her or pass you the supplies as you rinse and then lather her up, avoiding the face. Complete the steps outlined on the products, rinsing with your cups of water. You can use a damp washcloth to wipe off any dirt on the face.
Be sure to rinse your cat thoroughly, washing away all products. Residual shampoo or conditioner can cause buildup. Finally, dry your cat off as much as possible before releasing her back to her routine.
Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
Trimming your cat’s nails at home can be intimidating. But we have some tips that may make it a better experience.
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed brings her more physical comfort. It also helps protect you and common household items like curtains, couches, and rugs from scratches, too.
Before you attempt to do this, you’ll want to engage in contact with her paws during a few play or cuddle sessions. Eventually, your cat should grow more comfortable with having her paws touched.
When you and your cat are ready for an at-home nail trimming session, enlist a friend to help you. You may want to try trimming them after she is tired from playing.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started:
- Styptic powder or cornstarch
- A helper
Find a comfortable spot where you, your helper and your feline friend can all get comfortable. Trim no more than a couple of nails at a time, followed by verbal praise and brief petting. It’s ideal to keep sessions short. And don’t forget to trim the extra fifth nail on each of her front legs, also known as the dewclaw.
Trim by gently squeezing the top of each digit with your thumb and index finger, exposing the nail. Go in with the nail trimmers from the side and not the top, just trimming the tip.
Be extremely careful not to cut the nail’s quick (it has nerve endings and blood vessels). It’s pink and you should be able to see it through the sides of the nail. You want to leave some space between the quick and where you trim.
As you trim, check the length by looking at the nail head-on. Trim about halfway between the tip of her nail and the tip of her quick.
If you unintentionally cut the quick and the nail starts to bleed, apply pressure right away. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, apply styptic powder or cornstarch to help stop the bleeding. End the session if this occurs, and follow up with verbal praise and petting.
If you or your cat are not comfortable doing this at home, take your cat to a professional groomer for help.
An additional tactic to maintain nails at home is to place scratching posts throughout the house. This allows her to naturally file her own nails down, sparing your furniture at the same time.
Like with humans, great skincare starts with hydration. Make sure your cat is getting plenty of water. If her gums seem pale, you may want to increase her water intake.
Also, consider adding high-quality wet cat food to her diet. If your vet approves, consider giving her small doses of Omega-3 fatty acids with meals.
Moisture in the air can also influence skin health. If the air in your home is dry, consider investing in a humidifier to improve the air quality.
The last form of moisture we recommend is topical—yes, there are skin moisturizers for cats. Using one can help during dry winter months. You’ll likely only need this if you have a hairless cat.
We hope this guide helps you with how to groom your cat at home. For more tips, visit our Pet Expertise page.
Home » Does My Cat Really Need To Be Groomed By A Professional?
Cats are natural groomers. They lick themselves when they wake up. They lick themselves when they eat, when they use the bathroom, and at so many other seemingly random times. It’s clear to see why so many people believe that professional grooming is unnecessary. Cats can do it all by themselves, right? Not necessarily.
The problem is that just because cats groom themselves doesn’t mean that they are particularly “clean” or that they don’t require a little extra maintenance. Like many other animals, cats can harbor smells, they shed, they can get matted fur, and their nails can be in desperate need of a trim.
Now you might be thinking that there’s no way that your cat will let you wash them without the claws coming out, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip the opportunity to give your fur baby a professional cat grooming session.
What Type Of Breeds Benefit The Most From Grooming?
Long-haired cat breeds like Birman, Himalayan, and Persian cats have really long, fluffy hair that gets matted easily and traps anything that’s unfortunate enough to find its way in there (fleas can be hard to find in there too!). These cats typically require brushing several times a day to prevent matting and to keep shedding at a minimum.
Because it’s so easy for them to get dirty, long and medium-haired cats definitely need regular grooming appointments. No matter how hard they try, there are certain parts of their body that can’t be reached by their tongues, and that’s where the groomer comes in.
What Can A Professional Groomer Do That I Can’t?
It’s no secret that many cats don’t take kindly to bath water and bubbles. If you try to bathe your cat yourself, struggles can ensue that can leave you with a half-clean cat and tons of battle scars after a few run-ins with their claws.
One of the added benefits of professional grooming is that eventually, your cat will get used to going to the groomers and being handled when it’s time for a bath or a brushing. Regular grooming is necessary for a shiny, healthy coat. It’s the best way to remove dirt and debris, and more importantly, it’s the best way to check for fleas and other pests. It’s probably a lot more difficult to check for these things on your own while struggling to give your cat a bath.
A professional groomer can take care of all of this by thoroughly checking your cat for pests. If your cat does need a special flea treatment, a professional groomer will have all of the tools necessary to kill the pests and give your cat a good scrub. Once your cat has been groomed, regularly brushing your fur baby should be easier. You won’t have to worry about there being any giant mats of hair, and it keeps the hairballs to a minimum.
How Often Should I Groom My Cat?
It honestly depends on the breed, and they may require more appointments based on the time of year. As stated before, medium and long-haired cats require more grooming than short-haired cats. Many cats tend to do a bit of shedding after winter.
If you’re someone who suffers from bad allergies in the spring, then it’s definitely a good idea to get your cat groomed regularly around that time to keep your allergies in check. This is just one of the many benefits that you and your cat may share when you have them groomed professionally.
Lucky Dawg Has The Experience You Want In A Cat Groomer!
Cats prefer to do a lot of things on their own, which is ok. But, it’s still a good idea to have your cat professionally groomed from time to time to maintain a clean coat. In addition to a bath and a good brush, groomers can also trim nails–something you may not want to tackle on your own at home.
The bottom line is that groomers have experience working with different breeds, fur length, temperaments, etc., that make them fully capable of taking care of your cat. Lucky Dawg Pet Services is one such grooming service. We work with dogs and cats, and we understand that there is a different approach to be taken with grooming each animal.
Cats are beautiful creatures with interesting attitudes and coats to match. Let Lucky Dawg Pet Services take care of your unique “Snowflake,” and we promise that your baby will be good as new. If you need cat grooming services, whether it be salon or mobile, be sure to contact us here. Also, be sure to like and follow our Facebook page for more cat and dog content and news!
If you want to kitty happy and healthy and prevent hair balls, the answer is “yes.”
My cat is throwing up hairballs and is matted on his back end. My neighbor said I should groom my kitty regularly. I thought cats did their own grooming. What should I do?
Hairball in Holliston
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Not only do cat grooming techniques help keep your cat healthy and happy and keep him or her from developing hairballs, grooming also provides a way for you and your cat to bond. The cat’s mom did this starting the day your pet was born, so this ritual may help your cat to feel bonded to you.
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A big benefit of regularly grooming your cat is that it gives you an opportunity to do a general check-up on your cat. You can check on the condition of his or her coat, skin, ears, etc. And you can feel for any unusual bumps or lumps.
Brushing is the most common way for you to groom your cat. A long-haired cat may need brushing every day to help prevent mats. Brushing will help cut down on fur balls, and there are also oral products – such as Petromalt – and cat food specifically designed to reduce hairballs. Grooming your cats and using the products mentioned will help reduce the amount of cat fur in your home and on your furniture, a must for people who suffer from cat allergies.
Giving your cat a bath is probably the least pleasurable part of grooming your cat. Fortunately, this is usually something that does not need to be done on a regular basis.
In my grooming salon, I often recommend a waterless bath. Waterless bathing is with a shampoo that is sprayed on and doesn’t have to be rinsed. It drastically reduces the stress level of the cat and usually saves me from a swat or bite from a very angry cat.
To help your cat and to protect your furniture, you should regularly trim your cat’s claws. This can be a daunting task for most people because it involves the possibility of slipping and cutting your cat. Many people prefer to have their veterinarian or a professional groomer take care of this part of cat grooming.
The best time to groom your cat is when your kitty is relaxed and comfortable. Your cat may not have the patience for an entire grooming session. That’s alright. Don’t force it. You can finish grooming your cat another day.
Also, you want to be sure to talk soothingly to your cat or kitten while grooming your pet (no matter which task you are doing). Try to be confident and comfortable. Your cat will pick up on this.
After the grooming session, reward your kitty with a play session or occasionally with a healthy cat treat. This helps to reinforce the experience as being a pleasurable one for your cat – and for you!
I don’t have to tell you that cats can be pretty finicky, so you might want to have a professional groomer remove mats, clip nails, and brush your cat. Not all groomers work with cats, so double check when you make the grooming appointment. And be sure that your kitty’s rabies vaccination is up to date.
Many cat owners don’t realize that cat saliva carries bacteria that can cause a nasty infection if the bite breaks the skin. This is another reason to consider having a professional groomer take care of these tasks. In my salon, cats are groomed only at certain times to ensure that there are no dogs around to stress your kitty.
So don’t wait for another hairball to appear, pick up that brush and go for it!
By: Chewy Editorial Updated: January 20, 2021
BeWell > Wellness > Lion Cut For Cats: Pros and Cons
Lion Cut For Cats: Pros and Cons
When someone calls me to make an appointment to have their cat groomed, about 50 percent of the time they are requesting to have their pet clipped in what is known as a “lion cut.”
Arguably one of the most popular and familiar styles for pet cats, the lion cut consists of a very short trim from the shoulder blades down the back, sides, thighs and underbelly. Normally, the tail is clipped close as well, leaving a tuft on the end. The legs may be clipped about half way down, leaving the lower legs fuller and looking a bit like the cat is wearing fluffy boots. The fur on the neck, head and chest is left full, resembling a lion’s mane. Pet owners can request variations on this theme. For instance, some choose not to have the tail clipped, or to clip more of the neck and chest, reducing the amount of long mane that is left.
Many pet owners report that their cats seem happier and more playful after they have a lion cut, and this fact alone keeps them coming back for regular appointments. Think your cat could benefit from a lion cut? Read on for some pros and cons of this trending trim.
Lion Cut Pros
There are a number of pros associated with giving your cat a lion cut. Here are some reasons why it’s a good idea.
1. It removes matted fur.
If the cat’s coat has become very matted, having the fur closely clipped is usually the kindest and safest way to remove the tangles. Mats and tangles are uncomfortable for the cat, pulling on and potentially damaging its skin, so removing them is necessary.
2. It helps reduce hairballs.
Removing much of the length of the body coat dramatically reduces the amount of hair the cat can ingest when self-grooming. Hairballs can be more than a nuisance; they can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages, and some veterinarians recommend shortening the cat’s coat if the pet is prone to repetitive hairball issues.
3. It keeps even the worse self-groomers looking sharp.
Some cats do not do a good job maintaining their coats. Occasionally, I meet a cat who just seems to be missing the gene that programs cats to be fastidious about their fur. These unusual cats tend to look rather scruffy, and putting them in a lion cut helps them maintain a neat appearance between professional grooming appointments.
4. It’s low maintenance.
The lion trim is easy to maintain between professional grooming appointments. If your cat (or you!) dislikes the process of combing and brushing, the lion cut could be a nifty solution to your problem.
5. It’s easier for senior cats to groom.
As cats age, some begin to experience stiffness and lack of flexibility. This can prevent them from maintaining their fur as they once did. In this case, a short trim can keep them looking nice and tidy in their golden years.
6. It’ll mean less tumbleweeds around the house.
Although your cat will still shed, they will shed shorter hairs, so it will seem like there are fewer fuzzy tumbleweeds around your home.
7. It makes a statement.
A well-executed lion trim makes cats look quite stylish. If you are a pet owner with panache, this could be appealing to you.
Lion Cut Cons
A lion cut is not for every cat (or cat owner). Here are reasons why it might not be a good option.
1. Cats may be more susceptible to sunburn.
Clipping the hair very short exposes the cats skin to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Without its dense fur to protect it, cats may experience sunburn. This is particularly true for white or light-colored felines.
2. Cats may not be able to thermoregulate.
Very short hair can affect the way cats thermoregulate, causing them to become chilled or overheated once their coat is clipped. If your cat has a chronic illness or is elderly, you might ask your veterinarians advice before having a lion cut.
3. Less hair = less skin protection.
Your cat’s fur helps to protect its skin from being damaged in tussles with other cats, or being scraped by thorns and such if it goes outside.
4. Some cats simply do not like the new ‘do.
Occasionally a cat has a negative reaction to having their hair styled this way. If the cat hides for days, hisses when touched, changes its eating habits, or acts unhappy after having its coat clipped, I would recommend you avoid future lion cuts for that pet.
5. Some cats are deathly afraid of the hair clippers.
Some cats object strenuously to having buzzing, vibrating cat hair clippers on or even near their body. In this case, a lion cut is quickly ruled out.
Some people argue that if the cat’s coat is clipped closely, it may not grow back properly. I have clipped thousands of cats over the span of my career and have never experienced a case when the coat did not grow back to its full glory on a healthy pet. I recommend that the hair not be clipped using anything shorter than a #10 blade, and that the fur be clipped with the lay of the hair, not against.
It’s important to find a groomer who is familiar with handling cats if you decide to have your pet put into a lion cut. Cats require specialized handling techniques to keep them safe, healthy and happy when being groomed. To find a cat groomer near you, ask for a referral from your veterinarian, cat owning friends, or check out an organization such as The Professional Cat Groomers Association of America. Their website lists affiliated groomers by state.
Daryl Conner is an award winning photojournalist and Master Pet Stylist who has loved making dogs and cats more beautiful for 30 years. You can find her plying her trade at FairWinds Grooming Studio. She shares her meadow hugged Maine farmhouse with her very patient husband and a lot of animals.
Some of us cat people are all too familiar with our cats’ claws. Those needle-sharp nails at the ends of their cute little toes have potential to do a lot of damage both to your skin and your furniture. Even if your cat doesn’t mean to do harm, claws still come out. That’s because your cat’s claws serve several important purposes, and they’re a vital part of your cat’s anatomy. At the same time, those nails never stop growing. They get long and sharp, and you might find yourself wondering if it’s time to give them a trim. Your feline friend needs their claws, but do cats need their nails trimmed like humans and even dogs? Keep reading to find out.
A Note on Declawing
Before we go further, it’s important to note that trimming a cat’s nails is not the same as declawing. Declawing is a surgical procedure that amputates the first knuckle on each of a cat’s toes. It’s a cruel and abusive practice that leads to long-term pain. It’s banned in many countries, and we hope the U.S. soon catches up and prohibits vets and cat owners from performing this inhumane procedure. Click here to learn more about it.
Do Cats Need Their Nails Trimmed?
It’s true that cat nails never stop growing, and they have potential to keep growing until they’re painfully long and sharp. With that said, however, not every cat needs their nails trimmed by a human caretaker. Cats are fairly good at taking care of themselves, and many of them use natural methods to keep their nails in check.
Outdoor cats file their long nails on things like tree trunks and fence posts. They also keep them maintained through all the running around they do. Indoor cats also scratch to keep their nails from getting too long. It’s a natural instinct that all cats have, and it’s why indoor cats need scratching posts and boards. (It’s also why they scratch up your furniture.)
Scratching posts don’t always get the job done, however. Some cats simply don’t like using scratching posts, or they don’t use them as often as they should. In these cases, it may be necessary to trim your cat’s nails.
There are certain signs that tell you when cats need their nails trimmed.
Their nails get stuck in blankets and carpet when they’re walking around. Cat nails are retractable, so that means they can pull them in when they’re not being used. But when the nails get too long, they start to cause problems. Once they reach the stage where they’re getting stuck in fibers as the cat walks around normally, you know they’re too long.
Your cat is older or has arthritis. When cats aren’t moving around much (like when their joints hurt or they’re slowing down with age), they’re also not naturally filing their long nails. These cats could use some help with their basic grooming.
You’re getting accidentally scratched. Cats are pretty good at controlling their retractable claws, but accidents happen. If you’re getting scratched up when your cat plays or climbs across your lap, trimming those sharp points will benefit you both.
Your furniture and walls are turning into scratching posts. Trimming your cat’s nails isn’t a guaranteed way to protect your furniture, curtains, and walls, but it’s worth a try. You cat is most likely scratching up the house because they know their nails are too long, and they’re trying to fix the problem themselves. Even if they keep scratching after the trim, at least the nails won’t be as sharp and won’t cause as much damage.
How Often Do Cats Need Their Nails Trimmed?
If you’ve determined that your cat needs their nails trimmed, how often will depend on their individual lifestyle. For indoor cats, it’s usually recommended to trim and maintain their nails about every two weeks. Doing it often can also help your cat get used to the procedure so it’s less stressful for everyone involved.
You might also have to do nail trims in stages over the course of a few days. If your cat doesn’t like you touching their feet, you might only get a few nails done at a time. This is perfectly fine. Trimming a cat’s nails can be a tricky business, and it’s always best to go at your cat’s preferred pace.
Click here for expert tips on how to best trim your cat’s nails.
by Taath · October 2, 2017
Do Indoor Cats Need Flea Treatment?
Many owners of indoor cats believe that their pets do not need flea treatment. However, veterinarians advise us to apply flea control on indoor cats, even though they never go out. According to them, cats can get fleas from other pets, people who visit us, or from us. We may bring in fleas on our clothes or shoes from the outside world. They do not suggest the same flea control as in outdoor cats, but some measures should be provided. Some of them believe that soap and water may solve the problem. In addition to this, less invasive treatment than topical flea control, they recommend grooming a cat with a special flea comb. These two methods might be enough to remove fleas and their eggs from a cat. However, indoor cats who live with dogs, which regularly go outside, need a flea treatment. In a case of flea infestation, feline experts recommend treating all carpets and furniture against flea. It is because fleas spread rapidly and may infest the whole area where the cats spend their time. To answer the question – do indoor cats need flea treatment – the article “Is It Necessary to Deworm an Indoor Cat?” gives us the following explanation.
Do Indoor Cats Need Flea Treatment?
The possibility of getting worms is a lot smaller in indoor cats compared to that of outdoor cats. However, most veterinarians suggest that indoor cats should be wormed almost as frequently as outdoor cats. Why?
The reason is that it’s not possible to tell when your cat will be exposed to worm eggs or larvae again. It could happen the minute after dewormer has stopped working; therefore, you must give preventive medicine on a regular basis.
How often should you worm a cat? It depends on several factors, such as where you live, what medicine is used, and whether your cat has been infected for quite some time. You may need to give your cat worming medicine as frequently as every three months (except in winter) or only once a year (administering drugs twice within two weeks) when the ground freezes.
Veterinarians warn us about tapeworms in cats infested with fleas. According to them, there are many indoor cats without flea control that get tapeworms. It happens when a cat eats an infected flea when grooming herself. For that reason, feline experts advise us to check a cat’s fur regularly against fleas. The best way to do so is to establish regular brushing routine. Using blank paper and a flea comb will easily show fleas and their eggs. And it can be the best flea control in indoor cats.
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Cats donвЂ™t actually have nine lives, so you need to do what you can to protect them. The key? The right vaccinations. Shots protect your cat from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. They can also strengthen theirВ immune system.
Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, your vet can help you figure out which vaccines are best and how often your kitty should get shots. It usually depends on theirВ age, overall health, and lifestyle. The vet will also think about how long vaccines are supposed to last and how likely your cat might be to come into contact with a certain disease. Also, many local and state governments have laws about vaccines like rabies.
When to give vaccines. Kittens should start getting vaccinations when they are 6 to 8 weeks old until they are about 16 weeks old. Then they must be boostered a year later.. The shots come in a series every 3 to 4 weeks. Adult cats need shots less often, usually every year or every 3 years, depending on how long a vaccine is designed to last.
Which shots they need. Some vaccines are recommended for all cats. They protect against:
- Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline viral rhinotracheitis
The feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia vaccinations often come in a combination shot (FVRCP), which is sometimes called the вЂњdistemper shot.вЂќ
Your cat may need extra shots depending on how much time they spendВ outside, how often they areВ around other cats, and the diseases that are common in your area. They include:
- Feline leukemia: This serious viral infection spreads through many bodily fluids like saliva, feces, urine, and milk.В The vaccine is recommended inВ kittens and then 12 months later. Future vaccine recommendation will be based on the cat’s lifestyle.В Feline leukemia cannot be cured, so prevention is a priority.
- Bordetella: Cats who go to the groomer or stay at a kennel may get vaccinated for this infection that spreads quickly in spaces where there are lots of animals. The vaccine wonвЂ™t prevent the disease, but it will keep your kitty from getting very sick from it. While it is no longer routinely recommended for grooming or boarding, it may be required by individual businesses.
If your cat stays inside all of the time, you might think they areВ automatically protected from these kinds of diseases. But theyВ could still catch airborne germs that might come in through a window or door. And even the most docile kitties sometimes make a run for it. If your cat gets outside, you want to make sure they areВ protected. Indoor cats may also pick up bacteria and viruses when they stay at a kennel and if you bring a new cat home.
Keep in mind that vaccines donвЂ™t offer total immunity from diseases. To help your pet stay healthy, limit their contact with infected animals and to environments where diseases may be more common.
Cornell Feline Health Center: вЂњFeline Vaccines: Benefits and Risks.вЂќ
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: вЂњVaccinations for Your Pet.вЂќ
American Humane: вЂњVaccinating Your Pet.вЂќ
By Carol McCarthy
As a cat parent, you probably dread that sound. You know the one: the ack, aaaccckkk, retching sound your beloved kitty makes when she is about to heave up a hairball.
While hairballs are a fairly common occupational hazard of being a cat parent, you might be surprised to learn that they are not a normal part of a healthy cat’s life. In the last five years or so veterinarians have been paying more attention to the underlying causes of hairballs, according to Dr. Cathy Lund, of City Kitty, a feline-only veterinary practice in Providence, R.I., and Dr. Neil Marrinan of Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital in Old Lyme, Conn.
“We used to think hairballs were pretty innocuous, but we have learned that cats who experience difficulty with hairballs may be cats who have intestinal issues,” Lund says.
Because while that hacking sound may make pet parents think their cat has allergies or asthma, hairballs don’t originate in the lungs. Hairballs originate in the stomach. “When you see a hairball, you know your cat is vomiting,” Marrinan says.
What Do Cat Hairballs Look Like?
You probably know one when you see one, but to be clear, hairballs are thick mats of hair that are usually tubular in form—not shaped like a ball, despite the name—and are covered in a slippery or slimy substance (mucus). The more-oval shape comes from passing through the esophagus. Hairballs can be as small as an inch or up to a few inches or more in size.
How Do Cat Hairballs Form?
Cats ingest hair as they lick themselves repeatedly while grooming their coats. Because a cat’s tongue has backwards-facing barbs on it, the tongue moves hair into the mouth, down the esophagus and into the stomach.
Even longtime pet parents of the most fastidious felines might be surprised to learn that a cat spends 30 percent of her waking hours grooming herself, Lund says. “Hairballs are a side effect of cats being obsessive-compulsive groomers.”
Any cat can develop hairballs, from long-haired breeds to domestic shorthairs, the doctors note.
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
Under normal circumstances, the grooming obsession that causes cats to ingest hair should not be a problem. The hair should move through the digestive system along with food and be eliminated in feces. Hairballs become a problem when the cat’s digestive system fails to move the hair efficiently through the stomach and intestines and out of the body as waste.
“It’s basically a mechanical problem, whether it (the hair) makes it past the stomach is a question of motility (how quickly matter moves through the digestive system),” Lund says.
A number of treatable health issues can cause motility problems. Some illnesses that can slow down digestion include hyperthyroidism and inflammatory bowel disease, Marrinan says. Other underlying gastrointestinal issues that can make your cat prone to hairballs include gastroenteritis, intestinal cancers and valve problems.
Cat Hairballs: How to Handle Them
An occasional hairball may not be anything serious—cats can vomit up hair and food if they eat too fast or develop a sensitivity to their regular food, Marrinan says.
“Occasional vomiting also may be due to eating plants outside, but if you notice it, and certainly if it is more than once a month, it is likely a problem,” he says.
Due to the seriousness of some of the potential causes of hairballs, however, Marrinan and Lund suggest pet parents take their cat to the vet if she starts producing hairballs. The only way to determine if a simple change in diet is enough to resolve the issue or a more serious health problem is present, is to have your regular vet examine your cat, both doctors stress.
Diagnosing Hairballs in Cats
To get to the bottom of the hairball issue, your vet will likely want to conduct some diagnostic tests, which can include bloodwork, X-rays and an ultrasound of your cat’s stomach and intestines, or an endoscopy—using a tiny scope to look inside your cat’s stomach while she is anesthetized and taking tissue samples to biopsy (examine under a microscope).
Treating and Preventing Hairballs in Cats
Treatment requires identifying and addressing the underlying cause, whether it is an inflammatory bowel disease, cancer or dietary issue. Some breeds, such as Maine Coon and Rag Doll, are susceptible to intestinal valve problems, which can contribute to the development of hairballs, Lund says.
The occasional hairball can be prevented by feeding your cat a flavored petroleum-jelly-based remedy that will help move hair through the digestive system. “Think brown sugar flavored Vaseline,” Marrinan says of the over-the counter remedies.
In addition, some vets may ecommend changing your cat’s diet.
The Bottom Line on Cat Hairballs
The most important thing to keep in mind is that vomiting up hairballs is not normal or healthy in cats, both doctors stress.
If your cat is throwing up hairballs, don’t try to treat the symptoms without knowing what is causing her to vomit. Take her to the vet for an accurate diagnosis and precise treatment.
A Lion Cut is not necessary for every cat, and is not always required for even some long-haired cats that do receive this grooming style. But there are reason why this cut is good for cats.
Cat getting a lion cut groom at Posh Pooches Toronto
Lion cuts are typically reserved for the long haired (and sometimes mid-length) cats that are more prone to matting in their fur. Anytime grooming on a cat requires cutting or shaving the hair, please see a professional to reduce the chances of injuring your cat. There are a few reasons why a lion cut might be useful. Here are a few that we experience in our grooming salon:
- The most common reason for obtaining the lion cut for your cat is due to matting of the fur. When a long-hair cat starts to get tangles in their fur that cannot be brushed out, they will need to be removed either by scissors, (not recommended) or shaving. The longer the mats exist, the more likely that the skin underneath will be irritated or damaged. The cat will become more and more uncomfortable with the matting, and eventually it will become painful if left too long. The matted fur begins to pull at the skin causing the irritation.
- Aging cats that no longer groom themselves. Some cats, as they get older, or some that don’t really care to groom themselves even though they are younger, can be more susceptible to dirty and matted fur if they don’t groom themselves regularly (if at all).
- Relief from heat in the warm months. Some will have their cat groomed with the lion cut in the spring or early summer to provide some relief from the heat. If your cat is indoor, and your home is warm in the winter, some owners will continue to have the lion cut all year long. Outdoor cats in the winter will typically let the hair grow long to maintain warmth in the colder months.
- Allergies! When one or more people in your home have allergies toward the cat, a lion cut will often reduce the effect allergies can have on those who suffer from it.
- Shedding! Some people have the cats groomed with the lion cut to reduce the shedding on the home. While many short-haired cats shed a lot of fur as well, they can be groomed with a good brush, bath, and blow-dry. This will reduce the shedding in the home for a period of time.
- Esthetics! There are a small number of cat owners that simply like the look of the lion cut on their cat.
What is a Lion Cut?
A lion cut is a shaved grooming style that removes most of the hair using specialized clippers on the body of the cat, but leaves the hair on a few small areas. The typical lion cut will leave hair on the face and head, lower-half of all four paws, and on the tip of the tail.
Lion cut complete. Time for a little chin rub.
As mentioned above, the lion cut is most useful for the long-haired cats, and not really required on the shorter haired. As the cat ages, and gets to be considered old, the lion cut can become more dangerous. Depending on the age and fragility of the cat, some will not be able to tolerate this type of groom. As the cat ages, their skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to nicks and cuts. Consult your groomer to see if your cat is a good candidate.
Do cats like the lion cut?
Usually cats are not very big fans of the grooming process during the lion cut, but like the feeling of the cut afterwards. We do not use sedation during the process of our groom, but are prepared with gloves and a cone for when a cat gets feisty. This will protect us from bites and scratches. Surprisingly, some cats are actually quite calm during the process, and some even enjoy when they receive a bath. Baths are not required, but are given upon request. Some cats do not tolerate the blow dry after a bath, so they are toweled down and dried as much as possible. (Make sure to bring a blanket or dry towel to keep them warm on the drive home after they have a bath.)