Brushing and Combing
Grooming should be an essential part of your cat’s life. Start when she’s young to get her accustomed to the process and make it easier as she matures. She may resist at first, but will soon come to enjoy the extra holding and petting you give her at grooming time. If you have fun, chances are she will too!
For longhaired kittens, use a long-toothed metal comb and a stiff brush to manipulate the haircoat against the way it lays. This way, the hair will be nice and fluffy when finished. Prevent shedding by following these practices every day.
Groom a shorthaired kitten with a soft rubber brush or hand mitt with short bristles. Help control your kitten’s shedding by grooming at least once or twice a week.
A cat sheds to a certain degree all year long, with heavy shedding in the spring and fall. Grooming is especially important during these seasons to help rid your cat’s coat of dead hair. A sleek, lustrous coat reflects the good nutrition and careful, good care you give her.
Most cats do not like baths and under most circumstances, you will not need to bathe her. Cats don’t really need baths unless they have managed to get into some sort of trouble or are seriously infested with fleas. Kittens under six months of age are extremely susceptible to illness, and should be bathed only if absolutely necessary. Always use a shampoo made especially for cats. Since cats clean their coats by licking, it’s possible they could groom off chemicals that have been applied.
Cats usually do an excellent job of keeping themselves clean. Sometimes even the neatest cat can fall victim to troublesome hairballs. One day, you might see her vomit a long, dark mass – commonly called a hairball – made up of hair your kitten has ingested. Both long and shorthaired kittens can have hairballs and the best solution is prevention. Help minimize hairballs by carefully and regularly brushing and combing your kitten. If hairballs persist, remedies are available from your veterinarian and from most pet shops. Proper nutrition can keep your kitten’s haircoat looking shiny and healthy too.
Never use scissors to trim your kitten’s claws. Use special cat clippers. Have your veterinarian or groomer show you how to handle these clippers correctly, to avoid cutting the vein in the claws. If you have any doubts, have your veterinarian or groomer do the trimming.