Training your Cat for Grooming

Training your Cat for Grooming

Grooming should be a well established part of your cat's routine at home. Brushing, combing, nail trimmings, and ear cleanings are all essential parts of grooming that should be done on a regular basis, and will help with hairball management and in the prevention of detrimental behavior, such as scratching furniture.


However, it must be noted that although there are plenty of products that can help with hairball management at home, it is important not to use this as a complete substitute for grooming.  Our Wellnergy Pets Hairball Control is the perfect all-natural formula specifically created to help prevent and eliminate stubborn hairballs for cats! A truly powerful, delectable daily multivitamin for hairball treatment and prevention for your feline friend.



Brushing. The first step in training your cat for grooming is providing a relaxing environment and desensitizing him on crucial parts of his body. This can be done by letting him sit on your lap while you gently pet him in the areas that you will be grooming, such as down the back and around the ears. Gently apply pressure on the paw pads to reveal the nails. Repeat this process several times to familiarize your cat with the physical contact associated with grooming.


Once your cat feels calm on your lap and is comfortable with being touched as described above, slowly introduce him to the brush. Allow him to observe, sniff and feel the brush before carefully starting to use it. Remember, a cat’s skin is sensitive, so be gentle; cat hair can become easily matted, and rough brushing can cause pain. It is important, then, to preemptively brush your cat's fur to avoid mats from forming. Long haired cats will likely require additional combing to help get rid of the loose hair, and to smoothen the appearance of his top coat.


Nail trimming. Start off by repeating the steps discussed above: place your cat on your lap and desensitize him to any touch to his paws, and offer treats and soft praise to establish a positive association. Gently apply pressure to reveal his claws and take note of its anatomy. If you look closely, you will see an area at the base of the nail that appears pink; this is the cat's quick, which is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels.

Clipping the quick would be painful for your cat, and can potentially cause bleeding, so it is important to proceed slowly. Trim the nails a little bit at a time until the tip of the nail is close to the quick. If you do accidentally cut his quick, simply apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Applying syptic powder at the end of the nail can also help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding does not stop, consult a veterinarian right away. If your cat begins to show signs of discomfort, it is okay to pause and try again later. If this doesn't work, bring your cat to a professional groomer. 


If you feel uncomfortable or have never clipped your cat’s nails, please consult a veterinarian or local groomers. There are also plenty of resources, such as articles and books, that can be very careful in providing additional guidance


Ear cleaning. This part of grooming is typically warranted after exposure to water, or if moisture builds up inside the ears. Leaving the ears moist can lead to yeast or bacterial infections. This can be easily prevented with proper ear cleaning techniques.


Just like for brushing and nail trimming, help your cat feel comfortable with being touched around his ears. Place him on your lap and gently pet him on the head while slowly approaching the ears and offering him more treats and continued praise. Once he is comfortable with his ears being touched, introduce him to small q-tips and cotton balls. DO NOT INSERT Q-TIPS DIRECTLY INTO THE EAR CANAL. Doing so may cause severe damage to crucial parts of the ear, including the tympanic membrane, more commonly known as the ear drum. Only use q-tips for the pinnae, or external flap of the ear. Gently use cotton balls to wipe the inner part of the ear. Again, do not go too deep into the ear canal.



Never use water to clean your cat's ear; instead, use products that are meant for ear cleanings. These products can be found at your local pet store or through your veterinarian. Simply administer approximately 10 drops of ear cleaning solution directly into the ears, and follow with wiping externally with q-tips and cotton balls. Alternatively, if your cat does not tolerate the direct administration of the ear cleaning solution, dampen a cotton ball with the product and squeeze it into the ear. This is a typically less invasive technique that pets are able to tolerate better. Remember to offer treats throughout this process. If your cat begins to show signs of discomfort, pause and try again later, or consult your veterinarian or local groomer.


Grooming is a great and effective way to bond with your cat. Not only is it great for his health, but it also helps strengthen his trust towards you. If you struggle with any of the grooming techniques discussed above, there are plenty of readily available tools and resources that can help guide you. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or professional groomers for advice. 


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