Your cat is constantly grooming, spending hours each day licking and smoothing their fur, and sharpening their nails, but their self-grooming may not be enough to keep their skin and fur healthy. Although your cat’s tongue often does a great job pulling out dead fur—as you see by the latest hairball they have vomited on your rug—they may need grooming assistance. Do you know which grooming tasks you can perform at home, and which are best left to the professionals? Read our Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team’s grooming tips to learn the ins and outs of at-home versus professional grooming for cats.
Your cat needs regular grooming
Although cats technically bathe and groom themselves regularly, they are unable to reach every body part. In addition, their tongue and tuna-flavored saliva are not nearly as clean or sweetly scented as a sudsy shampoo. Regular grooming assistance—whether by you or at the hands of a professional groomer—will clean those spots that are out of reach of your cat’s tongue, such as behind their ears.
In addition to keeping your cat’s fur smooth and shiny, when you brush them regularly, you help:
- Remove loose fur
- Reduce tangles and prevent mats
- Reduce hairball frequency
- Remove dirt and debris
When grooming your cat, you may discover issues that need veterinary attention, such as skin irritation or infection, lumps and bumps, or external parasites (e.g., fleas, ticks). If you detect an issue, alert your veterinarian right away, so they can treat your cat before the condition advances, and becomes more difficult to resolve.
Your cat may need special grooming
Like dogs, cats have unique grooming needs among their species. Some breeds are hairless (e.g., sphynx), while others have long, luxurious coats (e.g., Maine Coon). Cats who need special grooming include:
- Long or thick fur — Long or thick fur mats easily, and pulls on delicate skin. You should regularly groom your long- or thick-furred cat with a brush that removes dead fur.
- Hairless cats — Hairless cats may have greasy or extremely sensitive skin. To keep your hairless cat’s skin healthy, you may have to bathe them more often than a furry feline.
- Flat faces — Flat-faced cats (e.g., Persians) often have more eye discharge than cats who have more angled faces. To keep your flat-faced cat’s eyes and surrounding skin clean and infection free, you must gently wipe away the discharge regularly.
- Senior cats — Senior cats typically have osteoarthritis, which hinders their body’s flexibility during grooming. You or a professional groomer must clean the body areas your senior cat is unable to reach.
- Cats with health issues — Cats who have chronic health issues that cause loose stool or diarrhea need help keeping their hind ends clean. If your cat is unable to adequately clean their hind end, stress, or their itchy, irritated skin may cause them to groom excessively, and ingest an overabundance of fur, which results in hairballs. You or a professional groomer can help prevent your cat from developing these blockages by helping them remove the loose fur around their hind end.
When to call a professional cat groomer
While you can regularly brush your feline friend at home, you may decide to ask a professional groomer to resolve mats or tangles, which can be challenging. However, you may decide to schedule your cat’s grooming appointment for any number of reasons, including:
- Severely matted fur — Cats’ skin is delicate and easily tears. In addition, you must be extremely cautious to avoid cutting their skin if you attempt to clip out your cat’s hair mat using scissors. Professional groomers have the tools and experience to remove your cat’s hair mats that have adhered tightly to their skin.
- Anxiety — Are you anxious about giving your cat a haircut—or a bath?! Does your pet freak out when they hear the clippers’ buzzing sound? Your cat may need a professional groomer, because they are well-versed in handling anxious or nervous cats. Professional groomers’ special handling techniques and experience reading a cats’ body language enables them to groom your cat successfully, keeping their stress at a minimum.
- Nail trimming — Regular nail trimming keeps your cat’s claws healthy and prevents inappropriate scratching. If you feel uncomfortable trimming your cat’s nails, a professional groomer can quickly handle this essential task.
- Medical issues — If your cat has chronic ear or skin infections, incontinence, digestive issues, dry skin, dandruff, or other health issues that affect their fur and skin, a professional groomer is essential to your cat’s health care. A professional groomer uses products and grooming methods appropriate to your cat’s special needs.
- Specialty haircuts — Do you want your cat to look like a fierce lion? Perhaps you would like your cat to have a unique haircut that mimics the spikes along a dinosaur’s back. A professional groomer can cut and style your cat’s fur to your liking. Your cat’s groomer will enjoy being creative while keeping your cat’s skin and hair coat clean and healthy.
No matter the grooming service your cat needs, our Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team is up to keeping your cat’s fur coat clean and healthy. Give us a call to schedule your cat’s grooming appointment.