Cat Grooming: The Ultimate Stress-Free Guide

Besides the fuzzy and warm companionship, one of the more significant perks of owning a cat is that they are pretty independent. They don’t need nearly as much attention as dogs do, both in terms of play and in terms of grooming.

Cats like having plenty of “me time,” and a big part of it consists of simply cleaning themselves. However, there are times when cat grooming is your responsibility, not your cat’s.

Cats spend a fifth of their day grooming themselves. However, they can’t always reach everything, especially when they lose flexibility due to health, weight, or age issues.

Furthermore, just because they can handle everything by themselves doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from a bit of assistance.

In this article, we will get into the ins and outs of grooming your furry friend, as well as some info on the supplies, materials, and methods that can help you take care of your furry baby.

Why Grooming Your Cat Is Important

Grooming is essential for your kitty’s health, hygiene, and mood. When a cat licks itself, it keeps itself clean while also regulating its body temperature. However, sometimes your cat can’t manage to clean itself properly, or it could use some extra help.

Sometimes, it’s up to you to clip its nails, brush its coat, bathe it, clean out its ears, and take care of its eyes.

In short, there are a couple of reasons why cat grooming is essential:

  • Your cat can’t groom itself as thoroughly as it used to be able to.
  • It helps you bond.
  • It allows you to keep an eye on ticks and fleas.
  • It helps you take better care of your cat’s health.

These are just some common reasons, and you can learn more about them below.

Your Cat Has Trouble Grooming Itself

Cats are famous for their nimbleness, agility, and their flexibility. Besides allowing them to hunt more efficiently, the mentioned traits also help them with their grooming activities.

Sadly, sometimes our kitties simply can’t take care of themselves as efficiently anymore, and that’s when we have to step in.

When it comes to grooming cats, you have to assist felines that are old, ill, or have weight issues. These health issues may prevent them from taking care of themselves properly since, as mentioned, they lack the mobility necessary for thorough self-grooming.

It’s Fun for the Cat, and it Helps You Bond

Cats love brushing (well, most of them do). A good brushing session makes your cat feel like it’s getting a nice, soothing massage.

It will help your cat relax while removing excess hair, all the while preventing matting. In fact, long hair cat grooming is mandatory for older cats (see above) whose coats mat easily. 

Furthermore, brushing your cat’s fur and keeping it clean can serve as an excellent bonding experience. You are basically giving your cat more attention, making it like you more. 

It’s Easier to Keep Fleas and Ticks in Check

When talking about grooming for cats, you really should keep an eye out for fleas and ticks. This is especially important if you have a cat that spends a lot of time outdoors. 

When you are grooming a cat, washing, cleaning, and brushing it, you get a better look at what’s happening with its coat and whether your cat has been having trouble with fleas and ticks. 

Keep in mind that ticks are no joke, and if you do see more ticks than you can handle on your own, you should get professional cat grooming experts on board, or you can even take your pet to a vet. 

You Can Keep a Closer Eye on Your Kitty’s Health

Grooming also includes cleaning out your cat’s ears and trimming its nails. Cleaning out your cat’s ears is essential since it helps with wax build-up, removes excess dirt, fluid, and debris, and it helps you keep an eye on possible ear infections and the accrual of ear mites. 

Pet grooming for cats means you should also keep an eye on its paws, not because of some aesthetic reason, but because of its health.

Indoor domestic cats don’t wear down their claws as quickly as outdoor cats do, so that they might need some extra help. Overgrown nails can be very painful for any cat. 

You also get to check if your cat has any abnormalities. Grooming allows you to feel any underlying bumps and lumps that might cause problems in the near future. Moreover, you can inspect it for skin issues too.

Cat Grooming at Home

Some aspects of grooming are easier than others. Brushing your cat’s coat is a lot simpler (and safer) than trimming your cat’s nails. So, if there is anything that you can’t handle, a professional groomer is the way to go.

However, if you are genuinely interested in taking care of your cat by yourself as much as you can, check out our little guide below.

Brushing Your Cat

Brushing your cat improves blood circulation, removes skin flakes, and improves mood. It is a big part of the job of both the dog and cat groomer. Brushing can be done once or twice a week for shorthairs or every few days if your cat belongs to a long-haired breed.

Now, before you start brushing, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Do a quick check of its coat

It should have a natural gloss and a nice spring to your hands. This is also an excellent opportunity to check for ticks, health warning signs, bald patches, and bumps. Run your hand along its body while you’re brushing it to see if it has any lumps, wounds, or tangles. 

Pay close attention to long-haired cats

These cats most often shed all year long, and their coat gets matted more quickly and easily. One of the great cat grooming tips is to start with the abdomen and legs and then comb upwards.

Comb the cat’s neck and chin gently. You can also get some talcum powder and pour it over any problematic knots. Also, when grooming a cat’s tail, it’s easier to part it right down the middle and then brush it side to side.

Short-haired cats are simpler

Use a metal comb and cat grooming brush from head to tail in the direction of the fur growth. Concentrate on one section, like its chest or abdomen, finish one area, and move on. Needless to say, being gentle while grooming is vital.

Most of the time, cats can handle themselves and take care of their coats without the help of their owner or a cat groomer. However, if your cat often has trouble with hairballs or hair in its feces, it might have extra hair that should be untangled with regular brushing.

Bathing Your Cat

As mentioned, when it comes to cleaning, your cat can handle itself most of the time. However, at some point, you will probably have to take the wheel on this one, or at least get your cat to a groomer.

Your cat might have grown old and is no longer that good at cleaning itself, or maybe it ran into something that is a bit too smelly, dirty, or sticky. In those situations, we advise you to give it a nice bath. 

  • Be smart about your timing – A big part of kitty grooming is choosing the right time to bathe your cat. It’s best to catch the moment when it is relaxed and mellow. Go by its routine, or try to tire it out with playtime. 
  • Protect its ears – Put some cotton in there to keep the water out.
  • Prepare – You should trim its nails, just in case it doesn’t take well to being bathed. Being a kitten groomer means taking chances and being ready for the worst. We also suggest you brush your cat to remove matted and loose hair.
  • Be gentle – Wet your cat thoroughly using a spray hose or a plastic pitcher. Don’t spray water into its ears, eyes, and up its nose (unless you like getting scratched). Also, be gentle with the cat shampoo – avoid the face, ears, and eyes. 
  • Be thorough – Rinse off the shampoo thoroughly, and use lukewarm water. Wipe off your pet with a washcloth, wrap it up in a towel, and keep it away from drafts.
  • Reward your pet – The final part of this kitten grooming session is giving your cat a treat and lots of love. It would help if you always encouraged positive behavior, as this helps your cat associate bathing with positive traits.

Take a Look at Their Teeth

A healthy cat has healthy teeth and gums. Any damage here can cause serious health risks. These risks can be prevented with regular checkups and brushings. You can find some warning signs below, as well as a few tips on how to clean your cat’s teeth.

  • Pay attention to strong odors – This can be a sign of gingivitis, gum conditions, or digestive problems.
  • Take a look at its gums – One of the better cat grooming tips is to push back your cat’s lips gently and look for some common warning signs. Its gums should be pink, not white or red. There also shouldn’t be any swelling, ulcers, or dark red lines.
  • General warning signs – Ulcers on your cat’s tongue, pus, loose teeth, excessive drooling, and trouble with chewing food are all warning signs and issues that need to be handled.

You can influence and improve your cat’s dental health with some of the following activities that are a part of the cat grooming service, whether done by you or a professional, such as:

  • Begin gently – Massage your cat’s gums with your finger, or use a cotton swab. You want to get your cat accustomed to getting its teeth brushed. Put some toothpaste on its mouth too to get used to the taste.
  • Use specialized tools – Get a toothbrush that is designed especially for cats. Get some chew toys and maybe some special treats recommended by your vet, which can help you clean your cat’s teeth.

If you see any bleeding or some more serious issue, like cysts or ulcers, we suggest you take your pet to a professional groomer or a vet.


An eye exam is critical because it can help you prevent a more serious visit to the cat groomers or vet. In fact, it should be part of every grooming session. Here are some things you should pay attention to.

  • Inspect your cat’s eyesSee if they are clear and bright. Its pupils should be of equal size, and the area around the eyeball should be white as well.
  • Take a look at its eyelids – Roll down its eyelids gently, and take a look at the lining. The lining should be pink, not white or red and puffy. 
  • Clean your kitty’s eyes – Use a damp cotton ball and wipe away the gunk from your cat’s eyes. Don’t use any chemicals without a doctor’s prescription or recommendation.

A big part of kitty grooming is catching potential health problems before they become serious. Look out for regular watering, discharge, or inflamed, red eyelids. Any cloudiness or change in eye color should also be paid attention to.

Nail Care

It’s pretty unpleasant, but sometimes you just have to clip your cat’s nails if they seem to be causing some trouble. Giving it a manicure from time to time is an essential part of grooming. The most painless way to clip your cat’s nails is:


You want your cat to be comfortable, sleepy, and in the best mood possible. It’s best if you can get it right after a meal, when it’s all cozy and lazy. Soothe your cat, bring it to its favorite room or spot.

The secret behind dog and cat grooming is all in soothing the animal and keeping things chill. So, do your best to keep the atmosphere relaxed – you don’t want your cat jumping at any wild animals, birds, or any other kind of action that it could see outside your window.

Massage the paws

Take your cat’s paws between your fingers, and massage them for about three seconds. Don’t squeeze or force it, but at the same time, don’t let go.

Instead, follow your cat’s movements with your hand, and maintain contact. Get your kitty used to you pressing its paws and extending the nails.

Be mindful of the quick

The quick is the pink part of your cat’s nails. When grooming your cat, you should never cut or in any way damage this area since it contains all the nerves and blood vessels. 

Go slow

Have your cat in your lap, and keep it facing away from you. Massage the pads gently and have the nails extend. Trim the sharp tip of the nails. Don’t forget to give your cat a treat as a reward.

Trimming your cat’s nails every ten days to two weeks is more than enough. In fact, sometimes you can do it even less often if you have an outdoor cat or one that regularly fixes up its nails.

However, some felines have cat grooming behavior that can best be described as aggressive. Some kitties, no matter how well behaved or well treated, will lash out when you try to trim their claws, even if you’re doing everything correctly. It will be much easier to take your kitty to a professional groomer or a vet in those cases. 

Cat Grooming Supplies Needed

There are a couple of things that can make your grooming work much easier. We suggest you check out some of the following.

Nice, high-quality brushes

Metal wire slicker brushes are great for matted fur and for removing any excess fur. Thanks to their gentle and softer bristles, these types of brushes are perfect for skittish cats. Also, a good flea comb can be a godsend for, you guessed it, flea issues.

A toothbrush

Getting a good toothbrush can really help you take care of your cat’s dental hygiene. Just remember to get a specialized one, just for cats.

A cat grooming bag

A grooming bag for your cat can make it much easier for you to take care of your little kitty. It keeps your cat in place, and it protects you from scratches. 

Bathing products

Don’t use human or dog products on your cat. You don’t know what kind of reaction they could cause or how well they can do the job. Instead, try to get products recommended by your vet.

Special tools

You’d be surprised what sorts of tools and supplies you can find in a pet store. For example, a cat grooming glove allows you to pet your kitty while brushing it with the bristles found on the said glove.

A Quick Guide on Professional Groomers

Sometimes, we have neither the time nor the energy to groom our cats. For that reason, maybe the best option available is simply taking your little furball to a professional groomer. However, finding a good one can often be a challenge.

Just like you want to take your cat to a good vet, you also want to take it to a good groomer. Good cat groomers aren’t just trained to make your cat look pretty.

Rather, they are trained to know exactly how to handle your little kitty, all the while providing it with the best care possible. Proper soothing techniques and understanding cat anatomy are skills vital for most groomers.

A good groomer knows how to calm down a cat that really doesn’t want to be groomed. In short, a groomer will do a much better job of trimming your cat’s nails, bathing a grumpy kitty, cleaning out its ears, and doing everything else that you might struggle with. 

The Responsibilities of a Cat Groomer 

Most of the activities related to grooming your kitty are covered by your groomer. Your groomer offers nail care, helping your kitty keep its nails trimmed. They also provide your cat with a nice bath, which is especially useful if your cat has some skin issues or fleas.

Since groomers have lots of cat grooming tools, they can handle things like dental care and better brushing and trimming. Groomers are also better at noticing lumps, lesions, and other skin issues. 

Of course, the actual services they provide will depend on the grooming salon. Some groomers might be trained to recognize dental issues, but some might not. 

How to Find a Good Cat Groomer 

Finding a good groomer is not that easy. You are, after all, letting them handle your pet. You are entrusting them with the health and safety of your kitty.

So, as always, trust your vet. Get a recommendation from your veterinarian, be candid, talk about costs and expenses, and you should have no trouble finding the right groomer.

Word of mouth also matters a lot. So, if you have friends or family members that have healthy, happy pets, maybe you could seek their advice as well. 

Look for testimonials, recommendations, and connections to professional associations

Now, as far as costs are concerned, cat grooming prices vary. And the more services you ask for, the more it will cost. The national average price is around $50.

Some grooming facilities might charge you for an entire package, while others might require paying for additional services tacked onto a bath.

Another factor influencing pricing is whether you are going to an actual salon or employing mobile cat grooming services. 


Do cats need grooming?

Cats do, in fact, need to be groomed. They can take care of themselves most of the time, but they might need extra help due to health issues. Also, grooming them by yourself can help prevent matting, and it allows you to keep an eye on their health.

How much does it cost to groom a cat?

Prices of professional grooming vary. Usually, the average cost ranges between $30 and $70, depending on the services and location. Cities with higher standards and living costs will probably have more expensive grooming services than small rural areas.

What does a cat groomer do?

A professional groomer can take almost complete care of your cat when it comes to grooming. Bathing, trimming its nails, cleaning its teeth, etc. It all depends on the company, the licenses the place has, and the training of the salon’s staff. 

Do groomers bathe cats?

 Among their many other services, yes, groomers indeed bathe cats.  

How often should a cat be groomed?

It really depends on the cat. Long-haired cats should have their coats brushed and combed every few days, while short-haired cats need this once or twice per week. It would be best if you had your cat’s nails trimmed every ten to fourteen days.

However, perhaps your cat spends a lot of time outdoors? Then it’s going to need a lot more grooming and maybe even a bath from time to time. Then again, an outdoor cat won’t have to get its nails trimmed as often.

Can you sedate a cat for grooming?

You can. Now, it’s best if you can simply soothe your pet by cuddling it. Of course, you can use meds to sedate your cat, but you should use them only when instructed by your veterinarian and nobody else.

How to stop your cat from over-grooming?

Overgrooming is no joke. It may seem innocuous, but it can actually lead to skin sores and hair loss. Figuring out why your cat is doing this might help you stop it from overgrooming.

Quite often, it’s a sign of stress. When a cat licks itself, its brain releases endorphins. These endorphins are feel-good chemicals that comfort your cat once it’s overstressed.

Play therapy, giving it some extra attention, or perhaps giving it some old article of a loved one’s clothing might help lower the cat’s stress levels.

Getting pheromone products can also calm it down. Owning a cat can rack up expenses on an annual level, but sometimes, asking a professional cat groomer for tips might be necessary.

Certain skin issues can also cause this problem. Food allergies, fleas, or skin diseases can, in fact, trigger these problems. If you think this is the case with your cat, visit a vet and see what they have to say. 


People often choose cats because of their independence, and they forget that cats need grooming too. It’s all a part of taking better care of our furry friends. After all, pets are or at least should be seen as, part of the family.

Therefore, this cat grooming guide will hopefully get you on the right track and help you understand exactly what your cat needs to stay happy and healthy.

  1. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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