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Grooming Your Cat
August 1, 2023

Cats are very clean, which is a definite bonus to choosing one as a pet. Fluffy will diligently care for her fur and coat every day. In fact, your kitty may spend as much as a third of her waking hours cleaning herself! However, she may still need a bit of assistance with her beauty routine. Here, a Las Vegas, NV vet offers some advice on grooming cats.

Brushing Benefits

Brushing is helpful for a few reasons. First and foremost, it traps dead fur and dander. Fluffy’s coat will be cleaner and softer, and will be more effective at insulating her from extreme weather. She’ll also ingest less fur and dust when grooming herself. That in turn means fewer hairballs, which are no fun for either of you. Plus, brushing gives you time to bond with your pet and make her feel pampered. You’ll also be able to discreetly check her body condition: keep an eye out for things like lumps, bumps, or bruises.

Do’s And Don’ts

There are a few rules to keep in mind about grooming Fluffy. You’ll need to convince her that she is being pampered, not punished. At first, just pet her. Get that motor going, then gently incorporate the brush. Don’t pull too hard: cats have quite delicate skin, so you run the risk of injuring her by using too much force. Also, don’t force your kitty to submit if she isn’t feeling it. It’s better to let her go, as otherwise she may become wary of being held or brushed, which will only make things more difficult.


You don’t have to bathe cats, though you can if you want to. Use a shampoo made just for Fluffy, and make sure the water isn’t too hot or cold. It should be lukewarm and, if you’re using a tub or sink, no deeper than your furry friend’s chest. Don’t get soap in her face or ears: you can just use a washcloth or pet wipe to gently clean her head. Rinse well, and then gently pat Fluffy dry with a soft towel. You don’t have to dry her completely: just get as much water out of her coat as you can. She’ll groom herself and redo her hairstyle as soon as you let her go.

Our Advice on Grooming Your Cat in 2024

Why do cats need assistance with grooming despite being naturally clean animals?

Cats are naturally clean, but they still benefit from grooming assistance. This is especially true for long-haired breeds prone to mats and tangles. Regular brushing removes excess fur, reduces hairballs, and keeps their coat healthy. It also helps distribute natural oils, enhancing coat shine and skin health. For elderly or overweight cats, grooming aids in cleaning areas they can’t easily reach themselves. Additionally, regular grooming allows for health checks and early identification of issues like lumps, skin problems, or parasites.

What are some important do’s and don’ts when grooming a cat?

Start slowly and gently grooming a cat to make it a positive experience. Use a brush suitable for their fur type and be gentle to avoid hurting their sensitive skin. Do regularly check for any skin issues or parasites. Don’t force grooming if your cat resists; keep sessions short and sweet. Never use human products, like shampoo, as they can be harmful. Only bathe your cat if necessary, as most cats self-groom adequately. Always reward your cat with treats or affection after grooming to create a positive association.

Is it necessary to bathe cats, and if so, how should it be done?

Bathing cats is usually optional, as they are proficient self-groomers. However, a bath may be needed if your cat gets into something sticky or smelly. Use a cat-specific shampoo, as human products can be harmful. Bathe in lukewarm water, avoiding the face and ears. Wet the coat gently, apply shampoo, and rinse thoroughly to prevent residue. Afterward, wrap your cat in a towel to remove excess water. Allow them to air dry in a warm, draft-free space. Keep baths infrequent and stress-free.

What type of shampoo is recommended for bathing a cat?

For bathing a cat, it’s essential to use a shampoo specifically formulated for felines. Cat skin has a different pH level than humans so that human shampoos can be harsh and irritating. Choose a mild, cat-safe shampoo free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. Hypoallergenic or oatmeal-based shampoos can be beneficial for sensitive skin. If your cat has specific skin conditions, consult a veterinarian for a medicated shampoo recommendation. Avoid flea shampoos unless a vet prescribes them, as some over-the-counter options can be toxic.

What steps should be followed for drying a cat after a bath?

After bathing a cat, gently squeeze excess water from their fur with your hands. Wrap them in a soft, absorbent towel and pat dry; avoid vigorous rubbing as it can tangle their fur. For cats tolerant of noise, a hair dryer in a low, warm setting can be used, keeping a safe distance to avoid burns. Ensure the room is warm to prevent chills. Let them finish drying in a calm, warm space. Some cats may groom themselves to rearrange their fur. Continuously monitor their stress level and comfort during the drying process.

Do you have questions about caring for your cat? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV veterinarians, today!