Grooming tips, a kitty makeover
Cats normally take care of their own grooming needs but there are many reasons why you might want to groom your cat. Holiday vistors, photography, or even just because. For me, Thursday night before a show is grooming night. First I trim toenails. This is not usually a very popular task. Cats work very hard keeping long sharp toenails and this undoes all their hard work. To insure I don't arrive at the show with scratched up hands and arms I use a technique my Bengal mentor taught me called "Kitty Burrito". You take a large bath towel and wrap it around the cat’s neck snuggly but not too tight, tucking it in like you would when wrapping a towel around your waist. This makes a nice little kitty straight jacket that will insure that no one is injured. This also works well for when you are administering medicine. Hold the cat securely in your lap and talk gently to them to reassure him or her, you don’t want to be struggling with a fight or flight response while trimming nails. Reassurance from you will make this less traumatic on the cat and easier on you. Carefully remove one foot from the open end of the "Kitty Burrito" and trim just the sharp tips off of each toe being SURE to miss the live quick of the toenail. If you hit even a little bit of the quick it will hurt the cat, like a bad toothache, and it can even bleed. You might want to have a styptic pencil or swab available just in case. I use a small pair of cat toenail clippers that also insure I don't accidentally get paw pad skin while trimming a wiggler cat’s nails. Repeat the process until all four feet are done, pausing to reassure the cat between feet. Don't forget the dewclaws on the “thumbs” of the front feet.
releasing the cat, you may want to clean his or her ears while you have
them restrained. A small bottle of glycerin and some cotton swabs work
well. Get a small amount of glycerin on the swab, don’t soak it,
soaking will make the glycerin run in drops down the cats ear, this will
tickle and they will struggle. Gently swab the inside of the ear starting
from the outside edges and slowly working your way into the center of
the ear. Change cotton swabs regularly as they become dirty. Talk gently
to the cat during the process to reassure him or her.
a wet bath is too traumatic for you and the cat you may try using a kitty
wipe or baby wipe. This is quick and painless, though not as thorough
as a wet bath. Using a scented wipe can also lightly perfume the cat for
a polished presentation.
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