Grooming (page 1) - Keeping A Cat

More fastidious than dogs in keeping up appearances, cats will groom themselves regularly and often. Rows of hooked, horny and backward-pointing scales (papillae) on the tongue form an efficient comb for raking the skin and fur.

As well as keeping the coat clean, neat and glossy, grooming serves to remove dead hair and skin cells and to tone up the superficial blood circulation and underlying muscles.

Domestic cats, and particularly Longhairs, do need extra grooming beyond the cleaning which they give themselves or one another, and it has to be provided by the owner. Longhaired cats moult all the year round and need daily grooming. In good weather, groom outdoors. If you have to groom indoors, choose the bathroom or porch, and stand the cat on a sheet of plastic or newspaper.

These three picture show various classic stages in a cat’s self-grooming routine. Sometimes the fussy self-cleaning of cats anxious to remove foreign substances from their coat can lead them to swallow toxic things. If you see your cat spending an unusually long time grooming itself, you should investigate to make sure it hasn’t for anything nasty stuck to its coat and that it isn’t suffering from any skin problems.

Grooming preliminaries
Particular attention should be paid to the cat’s head when grooming. Begin with the ears, eyes and teeth.

Picture 1: Ears cleaning

1. look insides each ear for any signs of dirt or the accumulation of dark-coloured wax. Clean out the ears using one or two twists of cotton wool lightly moistened with olive oil.

Picture 2: Eyes cleaning

2. Check the eyes. If there is any overflow of tears, caused particularly in Longhairs by a blocked tear duct, there will be dark staining of the face below the innermost angle of the eyelids. In the corner of the eye, crusts of dried mucus may have accumulated. Clean the area gently with a warm, weak solution of salt in water. Persistent “tear-staining” or marked eyes discharge requires veterinary attention.

Picture 3: Teeth cleaning

3. Inspect the teeth for encrustations of tartar. Is the breath sweet? Ideally get your cat accustomed to having its teeth cleaned once a week with a soft toothbrush (its own!), salt and water, or by using one of the special pet toothpastes now available. Once formed into a chalky deposit on the teeth, tartar will need to be removed by the veterinarian using de-scalling instruments or an ultra-sound machine.

Care of the claws
If in any doubt as to how to trim the claws, let the veterinarian show you how, or let him clip them himself.

Use either very sharp scissors, human toe-nail clippers or veterinary “guillotine-type” claw clippers. Hold the animal firmly in your lap and press the pad of its paw with your fingers to make the claws extend. Examine the claw carefully. The main part includes the pinkish-coloured quick which contains the nerves and blood vessels. You must not cut this. The white tips are head tissue and can be cut, but not closer than 2mm ( a tenth of an inch) to the quick.

Read More..
Grooming A Shorthair & Grooming A Longhair