How To Clean Your Cat When It Can't Do It
Although cats are skilled at grooming and often don't need regular baths, various medical disorders, including obesity, chronic illnesses, eye issues, and arthritis, make it difficult for cats to maintain their coats' cleanliness. You must act when your pet is unable to keep itself clean. The greatest strategy for this task is to make it a part of your routine. Maintaining a cat's coat is far simpler than dealing with one that is filthy and badly matted.
Visit the vet with your cat. If grooming your cat is difficult, your cat may have a medical condition that makes grooming painful. In this situation, resolving the underlying problem will make your cat more at ease, and your cat may even resume self-grooming. Treatment options for a cat with a painful mouth could include dental work or painkillers.
Consult a specialist to help remove the matted fur if your cat's hair is extremely matted. Large matt removal is traumatic for the cat; thus, it is frequently kindest to sedate him so that he is blissfully unaware of the surgery.
Make brushing a part of your everyday regimen. One of the best things you can do when your cat isn't grooming itself as well as they formerly did is to include frequent brushing in your regimen. Brushing your cat from head to tail removes loose fur, dirt, other particles, circulation, and sebaceous gland secretions. In particular, for long-haired cats, this avoids the development of uncomfortable mats and restores the coat's gloss and lustre.
Before starting a grooming session, wait until your cat is calm. When your cat is agitated, avoid brushing. Instead, gently pet your cat and use calming language. You'll get better results from him.
Your cat can dislike brushing if you don't groom it regularly. Keep the first sessions brief, so your feline doesn't lose patience, and try to explain to them that it is a pleasurable experience.
To help your cat, like brushing with receiving food rewards later, try to groom them shortly before you feed them. This way, it might make them more tolerant of brushing.
Remember that pet and owner bonding can occur during brushing. However, if your pet is agitated or under stress, he can begin to associate you with those unpleasant emotions instead.
Ensure your safety and that of your cat by taking precautions. In some circumstances, even if your cat resists, you may need to groom them straight soon. For instance, even though your cat is upset, it can be vital to groom him if he has soiled himself. There are several ways to assist you in calming and controlling your cat in these circumstances.
Apply a towel. If the cat needs to be groomed immediately and is agitated, try wrapping your cat in a towel, leaving only the unclean area exposed. You can cover its eyes to help it relax. Additionally, the towel should protect its teeth and claws, shielding your hands from bites and scratches.
Hold the grip on the neck scruff of your cat. Holding onto a cat's scruff or the skin on the back of its neck can help some cats relax. The calming effect of a mother picking up her offspring by the scruff lasts in some adults. Although you shouldn't lift the cat by the scruff, you can firmly hold a handful of skin over his shoulder as he lies on a flat surface.
Work at a comfortable height for you. Cleaning your feline can be simpler than placing your cat on a high table or the top of a dryer. You won't have to bend over and put a strain on your back because of this. Put a blanket or towel on the tabletop to give the cat a sense of security and make him less likely to slide around.
The frequency of cat brushing will depend. Long-haired cats should have their fur frequently brushed, ideally every day, to prevent it from becoming matted and filthy. It would help if you brushed your short hair cat less regularly, once or twice weekly or as necessary.
When grooming your cat's fur, use gentleness. To avoid pulling the hair or frightening your cat, take your time brushing it. Be aware that older cats with arthritis and sore joints may hiss if you approach their joints. Work slowly and gently over a bony cat's hips, shoulders, elbows, and knees because it is too simple to injure them by slapping a comb or brushing against them.
Examine your cat's skin during the brushing procedure. While brushing your cat, take some time to examine its skin for any irregularities, bare or raw patches, or other issues. Contact your veterinarian right once if you see anything out of the ordinary.
While combing your cat, be sure to look for fleas as well. They are tiny, shiny, brown insects the size of a sesame seed. Also, look for flea dirt. These appear to be little dirt flecks. Put the suspicious speck on some damp cotton wool if you discover it. You will notice an orange halo if it is flea soil since the liquid will rehydrate the dried blood.
Look for lumps and bumps on the cat's body by running your fingertips over it. Take your cat to the doctor as soon as possible if you see a new lump or an existing lump is expanding or seems to annoy your cat when you touch it.
Remove debris with a metal comb. Use a metal comb to remove dirt and other objects from your cat's fur. Additionally, it can assist in detangling the coat, which is particularly helpful for longer-haired cats.
Start by brushing your cat's legs and stomach. Afterward, comb its back hairs, moving up and toward its head. Also, brush the tail.
Remove any tangles you come across. Remove knots from your cat's long hair before they grow larger. Untangle any knots you come across gently. No matter what tool you use, try to hold the mat's base close to the skin to prevent pulling on the skin as you go through the matting. You can use a comb, a mat splitter, or your fingers.
To prevent harming the cat's skin, use clippers rather than scissors to remove any mats you cannot detangle. Cats have extremely delicate skin beneath their fur.
Your cat might develop an illness if it is scratched. Your cat may need stitches in more difficult situations. Contact your veterinarian or a cat-experienced groomer if you don't feel confident removing the mat yourself.
If you don't have clippers, be careful when using scissors. The most secure technique is to insert a comb between the skin and the knot's base. Then make a snip on the knot side above the comb. The comb protects the skin and lessens the chance of nicking it. Do not attempt to groom your pet yourself if you cannot get a comb under the knot; consult a professional groomer or vet tech.
Brush away any stray hairs. Use a rubber or bristle brush to remove loose hair after combing the coat. This step will get the rest of the hair and make your cat feel nice. Even cats with short hair need regular brushing to prevent shedding hair from becoming lodged in their coat.
Your cat's eyes should be free of crust. Cleaning the area around the eyes is necessary if your cat's eyes have crust or if an eye issue produces tears or other discharge. The cat will remain at ease and won't become more irritated. Additionally, it would help if you took your cat to the doctor so they may examine the discharge. Cats may contract colds and other illnesses that your vet has to treat with medication.
Clear the folds of the face. Large facial folds characterize flat-faced breeds like the Persian and Himalayan. Particularly for cats with persistent ocular discharge, you should clean them. Tears and other fluids can accumulate in these folds and put the cat at risk of developing skin conditions.
Check and clean its ears. Examine the ears of your cat. There shouldn't be any debris, wax buildup, or stink, and they should be soft pink. Compare one ear to the other; they should be the same if you are unsure whether there is a problem. You will be aware that something is wrong if one side differs from the other in appearance.
You can typically get a liquid ear cleaning at a pet supply store; ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Check your cat's face for any signs of illness. Examining your cat for any issues is an excellent idea while cleaning them. For instance, a trip to the vet is necessary if your cat has eye discharge, redness, excessive eye blinking, or wet eyes.
Consult a veterinarian if your cat is losing hair or the skin in its face creases is red, discoloured, or otherwise seems irritated.
If your cat is scratching his ears frequently, they can be itchy. Additionally, you can discover ear mite traces. Talk to your veterinarian if you are worried about your cat's ears.
Use a moist paper towel to clean the tail. Try removing the fecal nuggets from the fur if they are dry. If all else fails, clean the cat's back end with a wet paper towel. Additionally, there are kitty wipes, which you can buy in pet supply stores. You can use baby wipes, but make sure they are completely unscented. Your cat will lick his hair after being cleaned, and if there is any baby wipe residue on it, he will eat it.
Use a towel to pat your cat dry. It's crucial to dry the area after removing the excrement. If your cat is left damp, the fur may mat further and become itchy.
Think about having your cat's tail cropped. Consider getting the hair around the anus cut if the matted feces are difficult to remove so that feces won't get caught in the fur. Cat groomers carry out this treatment frequently. They call it a hygiene clip.
Clean up the litter box. Your cat can try to urinate in the corner of the litter box if it isn't clean, getting extra feces on its fur coat. He might also try to leave, raising the possibility of getting feces on its fur. Every day, clean the litter box. Every one to three weeks, change out the litter.
If you suspect an issue, call the veterinarian. Take your cat to the vet rather than a groomer if it has open sores nearby or is having trouble defecating because of matted fur. The sores and any other problems your cat may require medical attention.
Only bathe your cat if required. Cats rarely require thorough baths.  Cats can typically stay clean with routine brushing and spot washing. However, you will need to bathe your cat if he gets into something sticky, rolls around in the mud, experiences extremely unpleasant diarrhea, or does anything else that causes big parts of his coat to become soiled.
You can take your cat to a groomer if you don't want to bathe them yourself.
Pick a suitable moment to wash your cat. If you pick a moment when it is relaxed and at ease, your cat won't become worried while in the bathtub. Try playing with your kitty to get your cat tired and ready for the wash. Wait until your cat has calmed down before attempting to bathe them if they appear angry.
Trim the claws on your cat. You might want to clip your cat's nails before you put them in the bathtub. You won't get scratched as much if your cat resists during the bath; be careful not to clip them too short, or the tips may become sharp. If you trim too deeply, you risk cutting into the quick, which would be extremely unpleasant for your cat and also bleed.
You can take your cat to a groomer or your veterinarian to have their nails cut if you are apprehensive about doing it yourself.
Brush your kitty thoroughly. Your cat will benefit from having loose hair and debris removed by brushing them. Additionally, getting rid of mats is crucial because they could become entrapped with shampoo.
Get assistance from someone. Have a helper nearby to hold the cat in place or hand you what you need. Please don't attempt to bathe a cat alone unless you have no other option because it is exceedingly difficult.
Amass your resources. Gather the necessary materials before involving the cat in the process so that you are ready once you get your cat in the tub. These consist of the following:
- Cat shampoo (don't use dog shampoo on your cat)
- A plastic pitcher or cup
- Rubber mat
Prepare the sink or bathtub. If your sink is large enough, you can bathe your cat in the sink or the tub. Put the rubber pad in the bathtub or sink. The cat won't slip, thanks to this pad. Add 3-4 inches of lukewarm water to the tub.
The cat's bath should start. Put the cat in the tub while having a friend hold the cat's neck by the scruff. Then, thoroughly moisten the fur on your cat using the cup or pitcher. Just wet your cat from the neck down to avoid getting water in your cat's eyes, nose, or ears.
As you do this, speak calmly to your cat to keep him at ease. Be kind to him and reassuring.
Incorporate a shampoo mixture into your cat's coat. To wash your cat, use one part cat shampoo with five parts water. While you mix the solution, ask your companion to keep holding your cat's neck scruff. Do not get any solution in your cat's eyes, ears, or nose. Next, gently massage the shampoo into your cat's fur with your fingertips.
Put on a pair of latex or vinyl gloves if you need to clean around your cat's behind.
Rinse the shampoo off. Pour warm water over your cat's fur using the pitcher or cup. Do not touch your nose, ears, or eyes. Ensure to remove the shampoo residue from your cat's fur. To completely remove the soap from your cat's fur coat, you might need multiple pitchers or cupfuls.
Dry your cat off. Once done, ask your companion to help you carefully remove your cat from the tub and set him down on a towel. Then, cover your cat once again with a towel to help him dry off and warm up. Bring your cat into a heated space so he can air out.
If you struggle to keep up with your cat's grooming, consider hiring a professional. You can think about bringing your cat to a professional grooming service if you don't have time to groom your cat regularly or if you're too busy. A groomer can brush the fur, shave tough mats, cut nails, clean ears, and bathe your pet.
Search for a cat-specific groomer. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation, or go online. Look into the National Cat Groomers Institute of America to see if the groomer is a member. The organization establishes and upholds cat grooming standards.
Keep your cat's stress in mind. You must weigh how stressed out your cat might become if you take it to a groomer. Consider how well your cat behaves while being driven to the groomer. For a cat, grooming can be a challenging task. However, cleaning your cat up can be worth the hassle if his fur is in bad shape.
Consult your veterinarian regarding cat trimming. Consult your veterinarian about whether or not having your cat's fur clipped if daily brushing and occasional spot cleaning are insufficient to keep your cat clean.
Clipping is frequently unnecessary for cats with regular grooming routines, or their owners can easily brush them. But long-haired cats frequently mat. They often object to brushing every day and frequently lack proper grooming. These cats might fare better if you remove the majority of their fur.
Depending on the cat's temperament, veterinarian sedation may be necessary for this procedure.
I trust you enjoyed this article on How To Clean Your Cat When It Can't Do It. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
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