While cats are somewhat renowned for their immaculate personal hygiene, helping them with their grooming can sometimes be necessary.  This is particularly essential for longhaired cats to prevent fur becoming tangled and matted, but grooming also has important health benefits for all cats.

Grooming stimulates circulation, improves muscle tone and minimises fur balls, as well as giving you an opportunity to check your cat’s coat, skin and general health.  It also helps to reinforce the bond between you and your cat.

The key to stress-free grooming is to start at an early age.  As with any new experience, it should first be done slowly and gently, rewarding your kitten for relaxed behaviour with a praising and soothing voice.

o   Use a suitable brush or comb – ask your vet or groomer if you’re not sure what to use

o   Allow your kitten to sniff and play with the brush first, rubbing their face on it to mark their scent

o   Once they are comfortable with the brush or comb you can gently brush them, starting with their back and sides

o   If your kitten remains calm then praise them, but if they become aggressive towards the brush just stop and turn away, ignoring your kitten for a short time

o   Keep sessions short to start with – just a couple of minutes

o   End each session on a positive note.  You could even offer a healthy treat initially at this stage

o   As your kitten becomes more familiar with the grooming sessions, you can start to move to other areas, such as their tummy and head, keeping sessions short initially

o   Gradually increase the length of the sessions until you can fully groom your kitten.

Your kitten should grow to enjoy their regular pampering sessions with you.  Plus, it’s a great opportunity to check your kitten over for any signs of ill health or skin problems.

For further information about caring for your kitten, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/kitten



A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras