Grooming Your Cat

Hairballs are common for many cats, but a routine, thorough grooming can help reduce the amount of hair your cat will swallow during self-grooming and, ultimately, minimize hairball formation in your cat’s stomach. Brushing and combing will usually suffice, but an occasional bath might be necessary, especially with long-haired breeds. Cats generally hate water, so before bathing your cat, check with your vet.

Start Brushing

Brush first, then comb. For long-haired cats, you can start with a wide-toothed comb to unsnarl matted hair and remove dirt and debris. Work in small sections from front to back using a wire brush to remove dead hair, paying close attention to the rump.

Use Talcum Powder

Brush in some talcum powder to separate the hairs. Keep brushing until all of the powder is removed.

Grab a Comb or Toothbrush

Then, use a fine-toothed comb if your cat is shorthaired. Comb a few inches at a time, starting with the muzzle and moving back. Follow up with a toothbrush or rubber brush to groom the short cat hairs on your cat’s face.

Don't Use the Bathtub

Bathtubs are far too large and intimidating. Most pet stores now sell special mesh “cat washing” bags. Alternately, a kitchen sink, laundry sink, laundry tub, plastic dishpan or large, shallow pail will work fine, too. Put a rubber mat or towel on the bottom and fill it with lukewarm water. Hold your cat very firmly, and place them in the water.

Lather and Rinse

Wet them down, starting from the head and working back to their tail. Next, apply a cat shampoo. There are some specifically made for cats. Your breeder, vet or pet store manager can make recommendations. Avoid getting lather in your cat’s eyes or ears. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. A spray hose works best, but a second tub that's pre-filled also can be used.

Dry Off

Dry thoroughly with a heavy, fluffy towel. Keep your clean cat indoors and out of drafts until their coat is dry to the touch.

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