No More Fears: Follow These Quick and Simple Cat Grooming Tips

All you need is a dose of confidence and our experts' tips to make your cat shine.

By Kathy Swanwick | Posted: Fri Mar 30 00:00:00 PST 2001

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Sprinkle cornstarch on mats to help loosen the hair. If the mats are dense, have the cat professionally groomed or take it to a veterinarian.

"Each year we see a few cats that require stitches after their owners tried to remove mats with a scissors," says Anne Sassen, DVM, of Cats Preferred Veterinary Hospital, in Plymouth, Minn.

After the cat has had its claws clipped and mats brushed out, it's ready for its bath. The need for bathing varies. Show cats may require a bath a day or two before showing. Indoor-only cats rarely, if ever, need one, unless they get into something they need your help in removing. In fact, Dr. Weigner says he hasn't bathed his own two indoor cats since 1993. But whenever bath time comes, try following the routine Salzberg has perfected over the years to make nervous cats comfortable. Remember, starting a bathing routine when the cat is still a kitten helps reduce its fear when grown.

Follow these short steps for clean, sudsy shampooing:

1. Place the cat in a tub or sink filled with only a couple inches of water. You may want to enlist the aid of a partner.

2. Use a portable shower head or the sink's spray nozzle to feed the tepid water (test the temperature with your hand before putting your cat in the tub) gently into your cat's coat. Hold the water source close to your cat's skin so it doesn't spray and startle it. "They can panic and hurt themselves and you," Salzberg says.

3. Apply shampoo designed specifically for cats or kittens. Do not put any shampoo on your cat's face.

4. Use a sponge to lather the shampoo deep into your cat's fur.

5. Hold the head of the shower head or spray nozzle against your cat's body and rinse out all of the shampoo.

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