Grooming is a learned behavior that is usually taught to kittens by their mother. Grooming primarily is a function of hygiene, yet it can also be a form of communication among cats or between cats and their human friends. Most cats do a credible job of grooming themselves. Yet there are areas of grooming where we can assist. In fact, grooming is a good way to expedite bonding between you and your cat. What follows are some tips that will help you when it comes to your cat's personal appearance and health.
A glossy, beautiful coat can be an excellent reflection of a cat's overall health and well-being. Cats should be brushed or combed at least two to three times a week. Longhaired cats should be combed more often - usually once a day, to avoid the development of hair mats and hairballs. Try brushing your cat when he is relaxed. Over time, brushing can become associated with comfort and relaxation. For shorthaired cats, a brush (natural bristles will keep static to a minimum) works best, while a comb (steel works best) is more effective with longhaired cats. Remember to be gentle with your cat while combing.
It is best to begin regular grooming while your little friend is still a kitten. By starting as a youngster, he most likely will become accustomed to and enjoy the process as he matures.
The following items are required for comprehensive cat grooming:
- Cat brush (for shorthaired cats); steel comb (for longhaired cats)
- Nail clippers made for cats
- Hydrogen peroxide and cotton swab sticks
- Cat toothbrush and toothpaste (be sure both are made specifically for cats)