Earlier this month we here at the Acoma Animal Clinic Blog changed focus to look at feline well-being and grooming. You may think that as long as your cat has a tongue, he’s doing all the grooming needed, but that is far Let’s talk about some more of the most common areas your pet could use looking after.
Two more important areas for top kitty health are the claws and teeth. Dental health is of utmost importance for your furry friend. Care consists of regular home check-ups and brushing. Keep an eye, and nose, out for anything discoloration (the gums should be pink and firm) or odor. Anything that would worry you if you saw in your mouth is cause for pause and discussion with your vet. Use a brush and toothpaste made for felines, never use toothpaste designed for people as the ingredients may be problematic for a cat. As with other aspects of grooming, this is an area where slowly introducing the process to your pet will increase the likelihood of you being able to perform these steps at home and not need to hire a professional. Start with a cotton swab or your finger and just get your pet used to the idea of their gums being touched. Then move on to a small amount of toothpaste on a swab before adding a whole brush.
Paws and nails are another important piece of grooming for a happy, healthy life of your best friend. The ASPCA recommends a trimming every ten days to two weeks. First, check the paws for any cuts or injuries. Those might include sores, splinters or even swelling. If you’re able, clean the small cuts or remove the splinters (or other debris) with tweezers. Again, gently is the keyword to this entire process but it bears repeating. You never want to harm your friend or make them scared of your care. The nail process is long but bears learning. Don’t expect to jump right in and be able to get all ten of your pet’s nails trimmed up. Start slow and acclimate the cat to having their paws and nails handled. The ASPCA and your vet can give you more information on how to do this process.
As always proceed with grooming in a cautious and calm manner, do not raise your voice at your cat or punish her if she responds poorly, she’ll only associate the process with stress, and you’ll never be able to get her to sit for a grooming again.