Although cats may seem to constantly groom themselves, they sometimes need our assistance. It's a good idea to get kittens used to basic grooming and handling so they can go through the process of it with ease. Once it is obvious that your cat’s coat is matted, it is often too late to comb or brush it, without causing your kitty a lot of pain and discomfort. If your cat is matted, it is best to take them to a professional who has experience handling and grooming cats. Feline body language is quite different than dogs, and there is a high risk of injury for both the cat and the groomer if the kitty is scared.
Safety is the first consideration, because a scared kitty can cause considerable injury, as I have recently experienced. My thumb was bit by a cat during grooming and I spent almost a month in the hospital, had three surgeries and three months of rehab, and finally my thumb has about 60% movement back. It is always dangerous working with cats, even with years of experience, which is why groomers usually charge more for cat grooming, and most won’t even do them at all.
Ideally, a cat would never have to go to a groomer and could be taken care of at home. Cats with a lot of hair, or who are overweight, old or ill, have trouble getting themselves clean. If you are thinking of getting a cat, I would suggest that you do some research so you know what cat would be best for you and educate yourself about them. Adopt from the shelter and ask the volunteers about the cat’s temperament. Know that you will have hair in your house and you will have to vacuum more often, because both short hair and long hair cats shed.
Ears are sometimes the home of mites that can thrive in a cat’s ear. Clean the ear with a cotton ball and little bit of oil. Petroleum Jelly can be used to smother them, as well as small ticks and other bugs. If you smell a foul odor, or you pet it scratching at their ears or shaking their head, they should go to the veterinarian.
Bathing a cat may be necessary especially as they get older. Greasy or oily fur can cause mats and make your kitty uncomfortable. Kitties usually don’t like water, so bathing them can be a challenge, and even keeping them in the tub is a challenge because if you hold them, they may scratch or bite. Scruffing a cat by the neck, like their mamas do, helps kitties to calm down by releasing natural chemicals to relax them. Scruffing too much, however, can make their skin sore.
Grooming your cat also helps to build a trusting relationship. If you need to use a groomer, find one you trust and stick with them for kitties sake.