What are the advantages of home grooming?

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Decisions about grooming a cat are always dependent on the individual animal’s disposition. Most cats are very good at self-maintenance, but there are some regular “chores” to ensure the animal’s health and well being, like clipping his claws or examining the ears for signs of mite infestations or infections.

Timing is a major advantage of home grooming. Cats do not like to be restrained, and do best when grooming chores are dispersed over several days. Going in for a full day at the spa may be restful for you and a total nightmare for a cat who is already anxious and unhappy about being taken out of his home territory. Grooming the animal at home allows the owner to pick a time when the cat is calm and receptive.

Expense is also a consideration. Regular trips to the groomer can add up, so training a cat early on to submit to your ministrations will be helpful in defraying costs. You must, however, commit to being vigilant. Long-haired cats, for instance, should be brushed weekly to avoid matting.

If severe grooming issues are allowed to get out of hand, resolving the problem may actually involve a visit to the veterinarian for light anesthesia in conjunction with the grooming. Rarely will a cat sit still to have his coat shaved, and certainly cleaning out infected ears involves such anxiety that kitty will need to be asleep for the procedure.

Perhaps the most important aspect of home grooming, however, is that it allows the owner to examine the cat on a regular basis and to spot potential health problems, like growths or lesions, early on. Any decision about grooming, however, is actually in the cat’s paws. Cats who need regular grooming for whatever reason, and who resist it emphatically, can hurt themselves and you. All concerned will be much happier with a professional groomer in the picture.

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