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How Often Should You Groom Your Cat?

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Cats are natural self-groomers; however, they may need a little help from time to time. Routine grooming varies depending on your pet cat’s breed. Grooming a cat is a little bit different from grooming a dog, especially when it comes to calming your pet cat before you begin. This guide has everything you need to know about grooming your cat, from the beginning till the end. 

Cat grooming also entails several activities that may be done during an entire grooming routine or individually at different grooming routine intervals. A complete cat’s grooming routine incorporates the following:

  • Bath
  • Blow drying
  • Haircut if necessary
  • Brush 

As a cat owner, there is so much to learn about grooming these cute animals. But first, let’s discuss how often different breeds of pet cats need a complete grooming routine.

Related Post: Why Does My Cat Groom My Dog? (Is it weird?!)

Long-Haired to Medium-Haired Cats

Persian cat

The routine bath for this group of cats should be at least four to six weeks apart to prevent their coats from getting matted. Daily hair brushing also helps get rid of the problem of hair tangles on their skin. 

During the shedding season, which occurs twice a year, these cats may need regular bathing to help get rid of loose hairs. You also need to pay attention to how often your pet’s coat gets tangled. 

Short-Haired Cats

Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian cat

These cats can sustain a weekly full-grooming routine. They may not necessarily need daily hair brushing because they self-groom pretty well. Generally, heavier cats have difficulties reaching some areas of their body during self-grooming; hence, they require extra help in cleaning those areas.

Hairless Cats

Sphynx cat

Despite being hairless, the Sphynx breed is high maintenance. These cats generally have oily skin, making them prone to dirt and dust accumulation from different surfaces. A once-a-week bathing routine is just suitable for this type of pet cat.

But because they have no fur, Sphynxes do not need a weekly brush. However, you may use a wet wipe or a damp towel to clean dust, dirt, or debris from their skin. 

Benefits of Grooming a Cat

Because cats are good at cleaning themselves up, many people think they do not need grooming as often as pet dogs do. If you are one of them, here are some reasons that will change your perception of cat grooming:

Preventing Hairballs

When cats lick themselves up, it is their way of taking a bath. As they do so, they swallow bits of loose fur from their bodies which accumulate in their intestines. 

Cat grooming itself

Consequently, the accumulated fur forms hairballs that may pose severe health problems depending on their size. Occasionally, you may notice your cat regurgitating a hairball as a way of getting rid of it.

Routine grooming reduces the amount of loose hair that a cat can swallow while they clean up. Consequently, it saves these lovely creatures from collecting excessive hairballs in their intestines.

Untangling Tangled Hair

This problem is prevalent in long to medium-haired cats. Their lengthy hair may form knots while rubbing on surfaces, making it difficult to brush through. With a good grooming routine, you can always get rid of those knots to keep your pet neat.

Preventing Painful Scratching

Grooming also includes clapping of the pet’s nails, reducing the painful scratches you may receive from your playful cat.

Smelling Good

A good bath will leave your cat looking fresh and smelling good. Sometimes, your vet may advise you to regularly bathe your pet cat to get rid of parasites on its skin. 

Step by Step Complete Grooming Guide for Your Pet Cat

Cute cat surrounded by grooming tools

Now that you’ve learned how often you need to groom your cat, you need to follow a step-by-step grooming routine. This guide helps you understand what to expect when you take your cat for professional grooming or if you plan on doing it by yourself from home.

The first thing you need to do is check your cat’s skin for wounds or any conditions that may irritate them during the process. If you find any open wounds, parasites, or rashes, you will need to consult your vet before doing anything else.

Your cat also needs to be accustomed to the grooming routine to help them stay calm during the process, especially if you do it for the first time. You may train kittens to be comfortable with occasional rubbing, gentle brushing, holding the paws, and a few sprinkles of water. As they grow older, they become accustomed to the routine.

Older cats can be tricky to handle if they are not used to grooming. However, with a little bit of petting to make them relax and be comfortable, they should do just fine.

If unsure, you may refer to our easy tips on how to relax a cat for grooming (coming soon).

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Prepare all the grooming equipment, including shampoo, nail clippers, warm water, brushes, and a drier
  • Exhaust your cat with a good play session before the grooming to help them stay calm and relaxed
  • You will need to clip the nails before running their bath
  • Brush the cat’s coat to detangle any knots
  • When ready to run a bath, apply shampoo and a little bit of water to the cat’s fur, avoiding the eyes, nose, and ears
  • Work from the head towards the toes
  • Massage through gently and rinse out with lukewarm water
  • Wipe the cat’s face, ears, and eyes with a damp washcloth
  • If your pet is furry, use a blow dryer on its lowest heat to dry off the water as you brush through the coat with a wide tooth comb. 
  • While at it, you may trim the cat’s fur if necessary
  • Do not forget to reward your cat with some treats for staying patient
Cat reaching for cat treat

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Avoid Slipping When Grooming My Cat?

To avoid slipping when grooming your cat, use a rubber mat on the surface where the cat takes a bath. You may place the rubber mat inside a bathtub, for example, to protect the tub’s coating from scratches from the cat’s nails. Outside the tub, you may use a regular mat to prevent slips and falls. 

What if My Cat Doesn’t Like Grooming?

Your cat may show signs of discomfort by flickering its tail, growling, or stiffening its body. If you notice these signs, you may need to take a break, but only if the cat becomes aggressive. Given that they are not used to grooming, you should expect a rough time the first few attempts.

However, things get better with time. You may use the calming techniques discussed earlier in this guide to make your cat feel more comfortable before and during the bath. 

How Do I Convince My Cat To Accept Grooming?

Do not ambush your cat into a grooming session; they don’t like surprises. Pet cat grooming should be enjoyable and satisfying for both of you. Start playfully to make them feel comfortable, give them treats, pet them, and then begin the grooming process.

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