One of the great things about cats is that they do a fairly good job of grooming themselves, but don’t take that to mean they are completely self-sufficient. While they could get by without your help, they would surely appreciate it if you could lend them a hand with a couple of key issues.
Brushes and Deshedding Tools
These are pretty much vital items to own if you have a cat, because the number of benefits you get out of the deal are many, and your cat will appreciate it too. In fact, most cats love to be brushed or combed, so there really is no downside. One of the greatest benefits is simply that brushing your cat helps to remove their excess fur, keeping it from getting into your carpets and furniture. A brushed cat leaves a whole lot less fur lying around.
Combing not only helps to keep your home clean, but your cat as well. You really help to maintain their coats when you do this. It’s one of the best ways to help keep your cat clean, and they will normally handle the rest of the job with their tongues, which leads us to the third and potentially greatest benefit…
Hairballs! An unbrushed cat is going to ingest a lot of fur while they try to groom themselves, and in many cases you can expect to see the results in a matted, gooey lump on your floor later in the day. For this reason alone, it’s a good idea to give your cat a good brushing or combing now and then. Here are a few products we recommend for brushing and deshedding:
Left unchecked, a cat’s claws can grow quite long and very sharp. This can be a nightmare for the owner for a number of reasons, and the cat really doesn’t like it either. Of course, the number one reason to keep your cat’s claws trimmed is to spare your furniture their wrath. It’s not just that clipped claws do less damage to furniture, but that cats are actually less prone to scratching when they don’t really have to.
Some people think it is selfish to clip a cat’s claws, but as I mentioned in the last paragraph, the main reason cats scratch furniture to begin with is to wear their claws down. They don’t want long claws, and if you have carpeted floors it can even get to the point that it is difficult for your cat to retract their claws and walk around without sticking to the floor like velcro. Good claw clippers are a bit rounded on the blade, you don’t want to crush their nail with a rounded clipper! This might be painful and damage the healthy nail. Check out my article about seven steps to trimming your cats claws correctly.
Shampoos For Your Cat
I also recommend investing in a good quality cat shampoo. I purchased a bottle for about $28 at my local pet store and its just lovely, a natural oatmeal based shampoo that won’t hurt if it gets into my cat Oscar’s eyes… and it smells simply delicious! The brand I prefer to use is Rufus and Coco. Here are some of their great products (they also have a dry shampoo – useful if your cat detests water, as well as a special pet towel called the Rufus & Coco Bone Dry Pet Chamois which is designed to get your cat dry ASAP!). It looks a little expensive, but the bottle has lasted me about 6 months so far and its only half empty so well worth the investment!
Remember – taking care of these little things will help keep your cat happy and healthy in the long run, so try to keep on top of things regularly. I hope you have enjoyed this article, please share it or leave some feedback on my Facebook page if you would like to hear more about a specific topic. Main image is by Pete, 2011.