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A Guide to Cat Grooming: Spa Day at Home

Updated: Apr 23

There are few cat-specific groomers in Yorktown and its environs. The same is true for most areas. It's not surprising that few cat lovers are brave enough to bathe a cat, knowing that most felines have no interest in being bathed, especially by a stranger. But, grooming is a lot more than bath time. Today, we're going to put the ownness on you, the cat parent, to keep up with grooming at home. That is, until your kitty's next spa day. Here's a Guide to Cat Grooming: Spa Day at Home!

Stay tuned for next week's blog when we discuss dog grooming tips for at-home maintenance.

A Guide to Cat Grooming: Brushing or Combing Hair

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Does your cat have hair or fur? Who knows, right? The terms are used interchangeably because felines have lots of hair, often referred to as fur.

The more important question to ask yourself before brushing or combing your cat's hair is, how long is his hair? Determining your cat's hair length will help you determine which brushing tool will best work for him. Some groomers recommend a fine-toothed comb to detangle long fur and a slicker brush for short-haired cats. We find that simple steel combs that feature wider and narrower sides are great for all kitties, no matter their hair length.

No matter what tool you use, introduce your cat to the brush or comb gently, making it a positive experience with treats and praise. Keep sessions on the shorter side and aim for a weekly brushing or combing to prevent mats and excess shedding.

A Guide to Cat Grooming: Claw Care

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Regular nail trimming is essential for preventing snags on furniture and painful ingrown claws. Invest in a pair of cat nail clippers and familiarize yourself with the proper trimming technique. Ask your veterinarian or groomer for guidance if you're unsure. They are usually happy to give you tips and may even have some tricks for you to try.

When it's time for a nail trim, take your time. Aim for a stress-free experience by taking a few deep breaths. Then, entice your cat to come to you using yummy treats and be patient. It's not uncommon for cats to feel threatened by the idea of a human - even their favorite human - touching their paws. Take it easy to ensure your cat doesn't bolt under the bed every time he sees the clippers. Even if you have to clip one nail at a time and take a long break, you're succeeding.

Finally, ensure you have proper light when cutting your cat's nails. Some fancy clippers are sold with built-in lights but you can also use a headlamp, which might seem crazy, but is extremely practical. And, if you're too scared to use clippers, consider a nail grinder like this one that comes with built-in LED lights.

A Guide to Cat Grooming: Dental Care

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Yes, cats need at-home dental care. We shared some great tips in our recent blog about National Pet Dental Health Month and Cats. We highly recommend you check out that blog for excellent tips on maintaining your cat's oral health to prevent tooth decay and tooth-related health issues. In the blog, we share some practical tools that will surely make the experience easier on everyone.

A Guide to Cat Grooming: Bath Time

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There may come a day when you may have to bathe your cat at home. While we always prefer a professional groomer to do the heavy lifting in this department - they have the tools to make it less difficult - you should be prepared for the day when you have to bathe your cat in an emergency like the one Jennifer Garner shows in this hilarious video where she does, well, a few things we wouldn't do.

When bathing your cat, first make sure your cat's nails are trimmed. And, opt for your kitchen sink instead of a bathtub or shower. Being in an upright position will help you better manage your cat.

Having a cat harness and leash on hand is helpful to keep your cat from running away. A Happy Hoodie is also a big head; it goes over your cat's head and ears like an extended turtleneck and is meant to cacoon them during loud noises and stressful events like a bath.

Keep the shampoo handy and opt out of conditioner. Ideally, find an all-in-one product that conditions as it shampoos to reduce your cat's torture... I mean, spa treatment. And, keep towels nearby because you're going to need them for your counter, your floors and, of course, your cat. You can brave a hair dryer if you must but keep the heat at a minimum and speed low to keep from burning and/or further startling your kitty.

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With a little practice and patience, at-home cat grooming can be a rewarding experience for both you and your feline companion.

At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we are happy to help your cat look his best during visits. When providing cat sitting, we can brush or comb your kitty and may even be able to continue additional grooming tasks for longer appointments. Combing and brushing is a great way to bond with cats while also keeping them comfortable.

Our in-home cat sitting services are available in Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. If you are interested in registering your cat(s) with us, please complete a new client questionnaire here. Existing clients may request services here.

Please visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868 to learn more. There's nothing better than a happy, healthy cat!

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