Many kitty parents often wonder whether or not they need to bathe and groom their cat. The assumption is often a resounding “NO” and well, that’s almost true. Cats are excellently self-sufficient when it comes to the bathing and grooming process. In fact, the house cat has physical adaptations to help him to do it in the form of the rough, sandpaper like tongue and sharp teeth. However, there are times you need to bathe and groom your cat.
Generally speaking however, you only need to bathe your cat if he gets something sticky or messy in his fur and can’t groom it out on his own. This will probably be a very rare occasion. Short haired cats will require less grooming help from you. However, long haired cats tend to get matted and messy a little bit more frequent. Similarly, outdoor cats may need more grooming as opposed to indoor cats because they are exposed to more dirt, dust, muck and grime and whatever else they get themselves into. If you choose to bathe your cat at home, follow these great tips from the ASPCA.
While baths may not be necessary for the most part, staying on top of your cat’s other grooming needs is essential.
Brushing your cat is beneficial for many reasons. Skin condition is greatly improved via weekly brushings. It helps remove the dirt, dander and grime from the coat and skin. Brushing also promotes healthy blood circulation. Brushing your cat is important at any age but it’s always a smart move to start when your cat is a kitten. Also when your cat reaches senior status, your aid in brushing and grooming becomes even more vital as senior cats can have trouble self-grooming due to arthritis.
Shedding is no joke with cats. In fact, many cats will shed more than some dogs do. You can expect your indoor cat to shed all year. While shedding is completely normal, it can sometimes signal that there is some kind of underlying health issue at play. Diet, ringworm, fleas and sunburn are just a few examples of excessive shedding due to health issues.
Ear checks are also necessary for cats. A cat can’t really clean his own ears so he’ll need your eyes and hands to help him out in this department. Your cat’s ears should be light pink in color and show little to no signs of ear wax. If you do notice ear wax or odor, please take him in to see the vet. Also, any signs of redness or swelling, sensitivity to touch, bleeding, head shaking or loss of balance means your cat needs further examination from the vet as soon as possible. Ear mites, infections and hematomas are common culprits of many of these symptoms.
So while bathing is not at the top list of grooming concerns for cats, you must be diligent about staying on top of brushing your cat, cleaning his ears and noticing when shedding is out of the ordinary. Keeping your cat healthy and clean should always be a priority!