Purrfection: The Benefits of Grooming Your Cat

June 28, 2024

Cat guardians might notice balls of fluff or tumbleweeds of fur blowing around their homes in late spring and early summer. Both indoor and outdoor cats shed winter coats as the weather warms, and this lost coat can tax your robot vacuum and increase the incidence of furballs. It can affect nearly all cats, from Persians to domestic short hairs, but grooming can help you manage shedding, boost bonding, and promote cat health. Here’s what you need to know.

Cat Grooming: Is It Necessary?

Did you know the average cat spends about half their waking hours grooming? That means your cat spends at least five hours a day rubbing, licking, scratching, and cleaning ears, face, tail, and between beans. Do we also need to spend extra time grooming our kitty friends? The answer is yes.

Regular grooming has several vital functions. We can remove excess hair, which the cat would otherwise have to remove on their own. As we brush the cat, we stimulate the skin for healthy circulation and remove dead skin cells. Natural oils are distributed evenly throughout the skin for a healthier coat. This is all done through normal grooming, too, but young kittens and senior cats as well as ill cats and obese cats can sometimes struggle. Even healthy young cats can have difficulty reaching some areas.

Get your cat into a regular grooming routine by starting early. Offer ample positive reinforcement with each grooming session, including high-value treats and praise. Short-haired cats might only need grooming once a week whereas longer-haired cats might need daily grooming sessions.

Grooming as a Bonding Experience

Grooming isn’t just about keeping cats clean. If you have more than one cat, you likely already know that cats groom to bond. Mother cats groom their kittens, and cats groom one another to maintain group hygiene and reinforce social bonds. We can build and strengthen our bonds with our furry family members with grooming, too.

When you gently brush your cat, you can build shared trust during a loving routine starting in kittenhood and continuing through their senior years. During grooming sessions, you can calm your kitty with a soft voice as you begin brushing their cheeks and the top of their head, areas that can be tough for a cat to clean on their own, and gradually work your way down their body, petting them in between brush strokes.

DIY Grooming Tips

Pop your kitten or cat in your lap and let them sniff the brush. When they feel comfortable with it, run it gently down their sides a time or two as if you were petting them. If they show signs of overstimulation, stop. You can try again later.

Several tools can be useful when it comes to grooming your cat, including:

  • Slicker brushes
  • Soft bristle brushes and rubber brushes
  • Dematting combs
  • Grooming mitts
  • Nail trimmers

As you brush and comb your cat, check for signs of abnormalities: flea specks, sores, redness, or irritation. Look at their nails and trim them if necessary. Remember that cats shed their claw sheaths through scratching, so provide them with ample scratching options, such as cardboard, sisal, jute, and carpet scratchers. Trimming is still typically needed periodically, however.

Finally, look over your cat's ears for visible dirt, irritation, or bad smells. This could indicate mites or another issue that needs to be addressed by your veterinarian.

Professional Cat Grooming in Herndon

Regular at-home grooming can help you catch early indications of health problems and boost bonding. However, professional grooming can be beneficial for your cat, too, especially if you have a long-haired cat, a medium-haired cat, or a cat with a curly coat, such as a Devon Rex or LaPerm.

Professional cat grooming can take care of those less-than-enviable tasks, such as bathing. Professional groomers also have special tools to manage mats and thick, dense coats. At our cat grooming facility, we can work through the toughest tangles and leave your cat’s fur silky soft and ready to pet.

At Cozy Cat Suites in Herndon, we prioritize cats and offer comprehensive grooming services, including gentle grooming, de-shedding, nail trimming, and more. Contact us today to learn more about cat grooming in Herndon or to schedule an appointment for your furry friend!