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Basic Grooming for Cats
April 1, 2014

New to cat ownership? Or just want to give your cat a makeover? Follow these basic grooming tips from a Ceres veterinary professional.


Regular brushing sessions will help remove dirt and debris, smooth out tangles or mats, and spread natural skin oils throughout the coat, keeping it smooth and shiny and the skin healthy. If your cat has short hair, once a week or so will do. Use a metal comb and go through the fur from head to tail. Be gentle and avoid pressing too hard or scratching your cat’s body.

If your cat has long hair, more frequent brushing may be required. Comb her belly and legs carefully, untangling any knots. Brush the rest of her body, including the tail, carefully. Consult your vet for more brushing tips pertaining to your cat’s particular coat.


If your cat’s fur seems greasy, or if she’s rubbed herself in something smelly, sticky, or dirty, you’ll want to give her a bath. Before you begin, make sure you have a shampoo formulated specially for cats—you never want to use human shampoo, as it is too strong for feline skin.

Fill the tub with about three inches of warm water. Put your cat in, using a hand to support her. Gently spray your cat down with the hose, avoiding her face. Gently massage in the feline shampoo, rubbing it through her fur around the body. Thoroughly rinse her with the hose, then dry with a soft towel.

Don’t bathe your cat too much—frequent bathing can actually remove essential oils from the skin, leaving your cat’s coat rough and dry.

Nail Clipping

It’s best to wait until your cat is sleepy or calm to try and clip her nails. When you’re ready, press the top of the foot with one finger while putting pressure on the bottom paw pad with another finger, exposing the nails. Use cat nail clippers to snip of just the tip of each nail. Avoid the quick, the vein running into the nail, as it will bleed if you clip it. If you do accidentally snip this vein, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

Contact your Ceres veterinarian’s office to discover more tips on grooming your cat. With regular sessions you’ll have your cat looking healthy and pristine in no time!


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