As I said before, cats have a tendency to keep themselves extremely clean through self-grooming. They groom so often that they can actually dehydrate themselves from all the saliva they lose while grooming.
Even though they do a find job for an animal that might live out in the wild, they’re in your house now. Regular bathing and grooming will allow you to keep your cat from getting skin and fur conditions (such as fleas) as well as protect the people in your household from cat allergies.
Long-haired cats require the most frequent attention; I recommend a grooming regimen every other day and brushing every single day.
Short haired cats do not need to be groomed as often as long haired cats need it, but it is recommended to be done at least twice a week. The reason why is to make sure that the cat is free from fleas and ticks, and to check for any other abnormalities, such as bald spots or inflammations of the skin.
Your cat's overall health will be greatly improved by keeping its hair neatly combed and wash, and trimmed periodically. The best type of brush for a short haired cat would be one with very short bristles.
Too long of bristles, especially if the bristles are metal, can cut your cat's skin. Be sure when combing your cat that you use the proper comb for it.
Long-haired cats are notorious for getting hair balls and matts (chunks of cat hair stuck together or tangled), but even though a short haired cat is less likely to get them, it is still possible.
Be careful when trying to remove them, especially in older cats. Before cutting off a hair matt, make sure that you insert a comb underneath the matted hair, above the skin. Then, very carefully cut with a cat grooming scissors, and be sure not to scratch or puncture the cat's skin.
One brush contains extra small pins, and a small enough head to make brushing cats very easily. Be careful to brush the direction of your cat's hair growth, otherwise you may hear it snarl. (Washing your cat's hair in the wrong direction is like petting an animal's hair in the wrong direction, and causes discomfort to the pet.)
Another necessary step in helping keep your cat clean and well groomed is to give the cat a bath. It is recommended to take a towel and a small carrier into the bathroom with you in case your cat gets upset before, during or after the bathing routine.
The cat can be placed in it until he or she calms down.
When bathing the cat, it is best to use the proper shampoo. A gentle cat shampoo that lathers up pretty good is recommended. Either that, or if a cat has dandruff, it is best to use a shampoo that will help reduce the dryness and flaking of the cat's skin.
If the cat does not have dandruff, but instead has fleas, be sure to use a flea shampoo, and the proper flea comb to remove them.
Other grooming tips, when applied can help giving your cat a bath much easier, and safer. One tip to remember before putting your cat into the bathwater (usually in a sink or baby bath pan, because cats are too small to fit in a bathtub) is to make sure that your house temperature is at least 70 degrees, so your cat does not freeze when taken out of the water to dry.
Furthermore, before you put your cat into the bathwater, sure to check the temperature of the water, so it is not too hot or too cold for your cat. The part of the hand that provides the most accurate indication of water temperature is the on the back of your hand, or on the wrist.
Best results for providing the right water temperature is to make sure you periodically test it when you are filling up the sink or other bath basin with water, and not afterwards.
One more tip to remember when it is time to bathe your cat is to keep on hand at least two towels on hand.
One should be used for drying, and the other towel should be used for wrapping. For greater warmth, a blanket can also be used after towel drying to prevent the cat from getting a cold or sickness.
To protect the cat's ears while bathing, you can insert cotton balls into your cat's ears. Inserting these cotton balls can reduce the chance of ear infection from forming, especially immediately after the cat is removed from the bath water.
When you remove your cat from the bath water, be sure to quickly and thoroughly dry the cat off.) This, along with making sure the cat's ears are plugged will taking a bath will help fight against the possibility of cold or sickness when the cat's wet body is exposed to the air (even if the room temperature is 70 degrees, because the water is usually slightly hotter than that).
After you give your cat a bath, it is better to let your cat rest for a little while, especially if the cat is upset from having to take a bath. When your cat is calm, and then will want to comb and/or trim his or her hair, and check for matted hair.
Again, cats with short hair are less likely to have tangled hair, but if there is, you can use a cat hair detangler to spray onto the coat of hair. This will help make combing through the tangles easier.
When trimming a cat's hair, be sure that you have the proper grooming scissors, and be sure that you using a comb underneath the scissors, so you do not scratch or puncture your cat's skin.
If you do not feel comfortable cutting your own cat's hair, or if you do not have the patience you can hire a professional pet groomer who will do it for you. However, if you just keep in mind to just make sure you cut evenly, without hurting the cat, you will be just fine grooming your cat at home.