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Kitty Grooming Tips

November 1 2022

One of the best things about our feline buddies is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will take time out of her busy napping schedule every day to clean herself and keep her fur looking soft and clean. However, your furball may still need a bit of help with her beauty regime. A Urbana, IL vet offers some advice on grooming Fluffy in this article.

Brush Regularly

Brushing is really the main thing you’ll need to do for Fluffy in this area. Brushing benefits kitties in a few ways. First, it removes dead hair and dander from their coats. This will keep your furball more comfortable in both hot and cold weather. It will also help protect her from hairballs, since you’ll be removing that fur before she swallows it. It’s also good for her circulation! The main thing is to time it right. Wait until your feline friend is feeling relaxed. If she’s a lap cat, just brush her when she’s relaxing on you. Brush gently, going in the direction of her fur. When your cute pet decides she has had enough, don’t fight her. Just let her go and try again another day.

Bathe With Caution

This isn’t just a warning for your physical safety. You can safely bathe (some) cats without ending up in the ER, though we do recommend wearing jeans and long sleeves for protection against those claws. The main danger is of overbathing your kitty. If you shampoo your feline pal too often, you could end up stripping the oils from her coat. This could leave her looking dry and even a little frizzy.

If you do bathe Fluffy, use just a few inches of warm (not hot) water, and a shampoo made just for cats. Take care not to get any suds in your furry friend’s eyes, ears, nose, or mouth! You may just want to clean her head with a washcloth.


Cats are pretty self sufficient when it comes to nail care. Fluffy should have a scratching post. However, if you want to, you can clip your furry pal’s nails. Regular nail clippers will be fine. We don’t recommend doing this for cats that go outdoors, though, as they need their nails for defending themselves. Kitties also often escape danger by climbing trees.

Our Advice on Kitty Grooming Tips in 2024

Why do cats still need help with grooming despite being clean animals?

Despite their natural cleanliness and regular self-grooming habits, cats still need help grooming for several reasons. Brushing removes dead hair and dander, reducing the risk of hairballs by catching fur before a cat ingests it during self-cleaning. It also helps distribute natural skin oils throughout their coat, maintaining health and shine. Additionally, grooming sessions allow for the early detection of skin issues, parasites, or abnormalities in a cat’s coat or skin condition. This extra care ensures that cats remain comfortable, healthy, and well-maintained beyond what their self-grooming can achieve.

What are the benefits of brushing a cat regularly?

Brushing a cat regularly offers multiple benefits: it removes dead hair and dander, reducing the likelihood of hairball formation by preventing cats from ingesting too much fur during self-grooming. It also stimulates the skin and improves circulation, contributing to a healthier coat. Additionally, brushing distributes natural skin oils evenly across the fur, enhancing its shine and softness. Regular grooming sessions keep the cat comfortable in varying temperatures and provide an opportunity to check for skin issues, parasites, or abnormalities, ensuring early detection and treatment.

What precautions should be taken when bathing a cat to avoid damaging their coat?

When bathing a cat, taking precautions is crucial to avoid damaging their coat. Firstly, use a cat-specific shampoo to prevent stripping their natural oils. Ensure the water is warm, not hot, and only fill the tub a few inches to avoid overwhelming the cat. Be cautious not to get water or shampoo in sensitive areas like their eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. Gentle handling is essential to prevent stressing the cat and causing them to resist or panic during the bath. Lastly, use a soft washcloth to clean their head instead of pouring water directly onto their face.

Why is it not recommended to clip the nails of outdoor cats?

Clipping the nails of outdoor cats is not recommended due to several reasons. Outdoor cats rely on their sharp claws for defense against predators and climb trees to escape danger. Trimming their nails may hinder their ability to protect themselves effectively. Additionally, outdoor cats use their claws for hunting and maintaining balance while navigating outdoor environments. Clipping their nails excessively can compromise their agility and instincts, potentially putting them at risk in their outdoor territory. Therefore, it’s generally advised to avoid nail trimming for outdoor cats unless necessary for medical reasons, ensuring their safety and well-being in their outdoor habitat.

How can owners provide for their cat’s nail care needs without clipping?

Cat owners can meet their cat’s nail care needs without clipping by providing appropriate scratching surfaces such as scratching posts or pads. These surfaces allow cats to naturally shed the outer layer of their claws, keeping them healthy and sharp. Regularly trimming excess nail growth with specialized nail clippers designed for pets can also help maintain nail length. Additionally, encouraging regular exercise and play can naturally wear down claws. Providing environmental enrichment and sufficient mental stimulation can reduce the likelihood of destructive scratching behaviors, promoting overall nail health and well-being in cats.

As your Urbana, IL animal clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!

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