Cats do clean themselves frequently, however, from time to time they may need assistance despite how independent he or she appears to be. Cats can be obsessive about their grooming and if you look over at your cat, at any given time, you’ll likely see them licking their paws or cleaning their back.
Cats groom not only to keep clean, but to cool themselves down throughout the day. Their saliva helps their body cool down during the heat of the summer (similar to a dog panting).
Your cat spends all this time grooming herself, so why should you step in to help? Most of us would think our cat cleans herself better than we could. For the most part, that’s correct, but there are times our kitty needs help with caring for her skin and coat. Especially when it comes to shedding.
There are some portions of your cat’s body that simply can’t be reached. For example, the stomach, back, and shoulders are often the most difficult areas to reach for proper cleaning.
Some cats are more flexible than others allowing them to clean these areas better. The ability to stay clean does generally depend on your cat’s weight, age, and health. However, even a healthy cat sometimes isn’t as flexible as she appears.
Since this isn’t discussed on a regular basis, you are probably wondering what you should use to clean your cat. Typically, a slicker brush that has thin and curvy bristles is perfect. A slicker brush allows you to get into your cat’s undercoat without pulling and damaging trust.
If your cat has long hair, the slicker brush should be used first, then you should transition to a shedding comb. This will keep your cat’s fur healthy and lead to less fur to sweep up in your home.
Speaking outside of health, grooming your cat helps increase their level of socialization. You’re spending time with your cat brushing her body and increasing the bond you share together. Most cats adore grooming once they become accustomed to the routine.
Now, the question comes, should you give your cat a bath? Generally, no.
Bathing is not necessary in most cases. The few cases bathing may be recommended are for treating a skin condition, removing mats or other matter from the fur, or in the rare case a cat does not groom herself at all.
If your cat does need to take a bath, the bath does not have to be performed by you as you can request a bath from your veterinarian. Some groomers also accept cats for regular grooming sessions. If you do decide to give your cat a bath at home, do not use regular human soaps. The soap should be veterinarian approved.
The water should also be warm and her face should remain above the water at all times. Be sure to only wipe her face with a washcloth as excessive washing in this area may cause extreme stress.
Now that you know how important it is to help your cat keep up on his hygiene, you can go grab the necessary tools to begin your bonding process and increase her health. The tools needed can often be purchased at any pet store or at your local vet's office. You should also be sure to check-in with your vet prior to using new products on or near your pet so that they can remain safe and healthy.
Here at MetLife Pet Insurance1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. MetLife Pet Insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of your pet’s care. MetLife Pet Insurance has cat and dog insurance policies2 as well as Routine Care Coverage2 to fit every budget.
Learn more here.