Keeping Your Kitty Well Groomed

By Troy Jones

Cats are, by nature, clean animals and don't like being dirty. This is also true about kittens.

If the kittens cleanse themselves this early, it must be ingrained in their nature. Much as it wants to, a cat may not be able or may be incapable of cleaning itself, which can happen if the cat is sick or have abundant hair that will require long grooming hours.

Cats are used to grooming themselves and they will not immediately understand and may not welcome your efforts to help and will play hard to get. The best way to avoid this is to introduce your kitten to being groomed by you from the very start. Groom your kitten a few times a week and in no time he will have no objection each time you comb and brush his hair, and this will make it easier on occasions when your cat is unable to clean himself. Because cats hate water, you can use an empty dish and a damp cloth to lessen his resistance and in any case once every few weeks should be enough. Cats however need regular grooming so brush your cat more frequently. One perfect time for this is at night when you're watching TV and kitty crawls up onto your lap. Have a brush to hand (a baby brush is fine for a short haired kitten) and gently brush the kitten in the direction his fur grows. You will notice that he will soon be familiar with the routine and will even welcome it. If you have a longer-furred kitten, set aside half an hour at least twice a week to thoroughly comb through his coat. The reason is to prevent the hair of your cat from knotting up and at the same time giving him that well groomed look.

As your cat grows up, he will be susceptible to flea infection and you can avoid that by brushing his hair with a flea comb about 5 to 10 minutes every week. This means that you are sure that he remains flea-free, and at the very least, can initiate a flea-removal treatment should your comb find something.

Regular combing and brushing will not only keep your cat neat and well-groomed but also make it easy for you when your cat requires assistance. Grooming should be a pleasant bonding moment between you and your cat, instead of being a struggle every time your cat needs your help.

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