All cat owners will need to spend at least some time grooming
their cat. Grooming accomplishes much more than just making your cat's
coat look nice and shiny. It also stimulates circulation, removes
loose hair, and helps prevent matting.
Your cat will benefit by the proper treatment of their coat. Regular
brushing will keep the coat clean and healthy, stimulate the skin,
and allow the natural oils to circulate to the coat. It will also
help to prevent hairballs, which are the result of loose hair being
picked up by the cat's tongue and then swallowed. These hairs sometimes
accumulate in the cat's stomach forming hairballs which can be harmful
to the cat.
There are basic brushing techniques depending upon your cat’s
coat. The time you spend on brushing will also depend upon if they
are an indoor or outdoor cat. Indoor cats tend not to be brushed
• Short Haired.
Comb your short hair every three to four days using a small comb
with close teeth. Start at the back of the neck and work your way
down to the tail. Be careful around sensitive areas and the hindquarters
• Long Haired
You have to pay special attention to long haired cats and it will
require time to groom. Clumps of fecal matter can cling to the hair
and must be cleaned regularly.
To make it easier to groom, sprinkle corn starch or Fuller’s
earth through the coat. Use a wide tooth comb and remove tangles
paying special attention to britches, tail, and stomach.
Even with daily combing, her coat may get a greasy build up on
the tummy and mats will form. If you get mats, remove these with
a blunt scissor and avoid trying to detangle with a comb. If mats
are no removed they can twist into snarls and cause discomfort from
the skin pinching.
Use a soft brush on the hair framing her neck and brush away from
Long haired cats grow toe tufts. Trim this and brush as well.
Professional groomers can aid in trims every 6-8 weeks.
Trimming Claws and Declawing
It will be necessary to trim you cat’s claws from time to
time. If you plan on keeping your cat indoors fulltime this will
be necessary to minimize scratching damage. Clipping should be done
once a month.
How to trim:
• Firmly, but gently press down on the pad to extend the claw
• View the claws from the side to see the quick (pink area)
• Clip above the quick link
• Follow up with a nail file
There is much debate on this topic. It is a personal preference
and there as several considerations to take into account prior to
• Your cat will have to be a fulltime indoor cat
• Behavioral changes may occur with the loss
• Cat may start to using teeth on items to compensate for
loss of claws
If you do decide to proceed with surgery, find a qualified vet
to perform the procedure. Recovery time is usually a week following
surgery. We recommend that you speak with a vet prior to making
a decision as well as owners of other de-clawed cats.
Ears & Eyes
Clean her ears either before or after her bath. Use a cotton swab
dipped in plain warm water or an ear cleaning solution available
from your vet. Just remove dirt and excess was from the ear flap.
Never probe inside the ear canal. It’s important to take preventive
measures and check for problems before they become significant health
risks to your cat.
How to clean eyes:
• Wipe eyes with a moistened cotton ball
• To remove tear track stains, paint them with either cornstarch
or boric acid mixed into a paste with a little peroxide. Be careful
around the eyes.
• Apply the paste with a cotton swab.
• Rinse and dry.
• A litter petroleum jelly in the area will prevent further
• Wipe cheeks with a damp cloth or baby toothbrush to rid
If redness persists, cloudiness, swelling, excessive tearing, or
pus exists. Consult your vet.
Just like we need to brush our teeth daily, so does your cat. This
is often overlooked. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a number of
diseases in the mouth and ultimately infections can lead to internal
• Brushing is recommended daily, but twice a week should
• Yearly dental exams by your vet along with a professional
cleaning is recommended
• Start brushing routine as a kitten
• For older cats not used to cleanings, start with a little
food on a cloth and rub on teeth. Gradually move to cat toothpaste
on a cloth or small brush
• Don’t use human toothpaste! Buy special tooth paste
• Have your cat sit or lie on its side. Gently lift upper
lip and brush teeth a couple at a time. Work your way around the
upper teeth and then move to lower region
• Gum massaging is enjoyable by your cat and also helps prevent
disease and the build up of tarter
Depending upon if you have a long haired or short haired cat, some
cats will need to be bathed more often than others. The longer the
coat or more dense, the more often a bath is needed. Your cat’s
lifestyle and habits will also dictate frequency. Baths are necessary
when fleas occur or your cat has dandruff. Baths also wash away
allergies that can cause sneezing or itching for your cat as well
as you as owner.
Start bathing you cat at an early age and make it fun! Remember
to use shampoos specially created for cats. Human shampoos can irritate
ears and eyes as well as cause skin irritations.
There are two types of baths to give to your cat:
• Wet Bath
Wet Bath Bathing Techniques:
• Choose a warm draft free area for a bath. Bathtubs and
laundry sinks are good areas.
• Brush your dog prior to bathing to rid excess hair
• Use lukewarm, not hot water.
• Enlist a buddy to help into tub and hold still
• Lather from top to toe avoiding ears and eyes. Rinse thoroughly
to get rid of soap
• Towel off as much water and keep warm until coat is completely
• Don’t use your hairdryer on a hot setting; you can
burn your cat’s sensitive skin.
• Long hair cats will require continual combing so there are
• Dry Bath
If you don’t feel up to giving a wet bath, you can accomplish
the same with a dry. There are a number of dry shampoo products
on the market. Sprinkle the powder through the coat and brush it
through and off the coat. Use a towel to remove any excess.
Litter and Litter Boxes
Cats can be very fussy about their litter box, its cleanliness,
location and the type of litter used. If your cat is not happy with
its box, type of litter or location, they may relieve themselves
somewhere else. The remedy is to make sure that your litter box
is clean and located in a comfortable spot for your cat. And remember,
even the best cats may need reminders from time to time about their
litter box and appropriate use.
Choosing a Litter Box
A full-size litter box, available from your pet store is appropriate
for your cat. Kittens may use a smaller box. It should be made of
a non-absorbent material, like plastic, for easy cleaning with soap
and warm water and to prevent odors from being absorbed by the box.
It is recommended that you use a liner with any box for ease of
cleanup. Some boxes will come with a cover for added privacy of
your cat. Mechanical automated litter boxes are also available at
a premium cost.
Placing the Litter Box
When selecting a location for your cat's litter box, choose a quiet,
out-of-the-way place that is easily accessible and will ensure your
cat's privacy. Keep the litter box away from the cat's eating and
sleeping quarters, but still within easy reach. Once you choose
a location, don't move it or you might confuse your cat. If you
have more than one cat , ensure that each has its own box and they
are placed in separate areas.
There are two types of litters, clumping (sand) and clay litter.
Clumping litter will need to be disposed of after each use and some
can be flushed down the sewage system. Clay is the most common litter
and the least expensive. Your cat may have a preference for one
type or another.
At first, your cat may reject a new litter because it smells and
feels different. Ease your cat into the new brand slowly to reduce
stress and confusion. Begin by mixing one-third of the new litter
with two-thirds of the old. Then, gradually increase the amount
of the new litter until your cat becomes used to it.
How Much Litter Should You Use?
Maintain a depth of about three inches. Kittens will need less.
Cleaning the Litter Box
Cats do not like to use a dirty litter box and will choose another
location if they are dissatisfied with the environment provided
for them. Clay litter should be cleaned daily by removing the waste.
It should be completely changed once a week. The box itself will
need to be occasionally disinfected on a regular basis to remove
Disposing of Litter
When disposing of litter, wrap it in two bags and tie it securely.
Do not flush the litter down the toilet as it can be extremely harmful
to plumbing. As some clumping litter may be flushable, but may not
be friendly to septic tanks, it is a good idea to bag instead of
flush your litter.
Do not use cat box filler as a fertilizer in your garden. Dumping
cat waste in your garden will not only attract flies and neighborhood
cats, it will be unhealthy to you if you eat fruits and vegetables
fertilized by concentrated amounts of it.