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Cat grooming is often best left to the most fastidious of grooming experts: cats. Cats are their own “glam squad”. Of course, you definitely should brush your cat’s coat to help prevent hairballs and mats. Sometimes they need nail trims, too. But even the most dedicated of felines might find itself in a mess that requires some extra human intervention.
If the thought of giving your cat a bath or shaving matted hair seems like a breeze, you clearly haven’t consulted with Fluffy.
There are a variety of reasons that cats might need some extra grooming help beyond the home basics. They range from typical challenges with long hair to medical needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as having a cat who loathes baths, but there are some who do just fine!
Long-haired cats are likely to get matted hair if they aren’t being brushed frequently. This is especially true as they get older and are a bit less flexible to reach some areas. If you catch them early enough, they can be brushed out. The problem with mats, though, is that if left alone, they can get worse and worse until they are pulling tightly and holding moisture on the skin at the same time. This means pain and discomfort from pulled hair and the risk of skin infections.
Don’t try to shave the mats yourself! Cats have very delicate skin. It’s not nearly as rare as we wish it was for us to have to suture large wounds caused by clippers at home. Shaving a cat is a careful process to avoid injury.
For starters, even a bath that is purely due to kitty getting into a mess is not as simple as grabbing your dog’s shampoo and lathering up. Aside from the fearsome, flailing creature that some cats become at bath time, the most important concern is that some dog shampoos, especially flea shampoos, can be harmful to cats. The ingredients matter.
When it comes to skin conditions, veterinarians have a range of safe and effective medicated shampoos that can help to treat the problem. The causes can range from parasites to allergies, so check with your vet if you aren’t sure why your cat seems to have a skin issue. A proper diagnosis is important.
There are some cats who just get so stressed or are so difficult to handle for bathing and/or shaving that it is safer for all concerned to sedate the cat. Veterinarians can approve and oversee sedation cat grooming on a case-by-case basis. Any anesthesia for grooming requires the same approval process as with surgical cases. Your furry friend must have been examined recently by your vet, and recent blood work must show that the cat is healthy enough for anesthesia.
We understand that beyond the home grooming basics, grooming your little lion can be a challenge. We’re here to help with everything from ear cleanings to medicated baths.
Questions about dog or cat grooming? Contact us!