The cat is an animal that spends several hours a day cleaning itself, removing any dirt held in its fur by licking itself. Even so, it still requires certain essential hygiene to ensure it remains in good health.
Basic careThe cat is a clean animal in itself and does not need significant daily care to ensure its hygiene. In general, however, many cat lovers are unaware of certain essential hygiene that is very important to avoid long-term health problems.
Correct hygiene will avoid health problemsThis “basic care” can be summarised by good brushing, occasional baths, care for its teeth and gums and cleaning of eyes and ears, as well as suitable nail clipping. Each of these hygiene processes is explained below.
BrushingA good brush is the best way of keeping your cat in perfect condition, as any dead hair loosened when it grooms itself will not form as many hairballs in its stomach.If you get them used to being brushed from an early age, they will consider it another habit and, in general, they like it because it is like being stroked.Short-haired cats should be brushed once a week, whereas long-haired cats must be brushed every day, particularly during moulting because this is when they lose the most amount of hair.Brush first against the direction of the hair growth before completing the process in the direction of the hair growth. This untangles the cat’s hair, cutting out any hairballs or knots that are found.
BathingWe all know how little they like water. In fact, most cats do not need to be bathed and an adequate brushing routine will suffice.However, white cats and those that are often outdoors need a bath every two or three months but no more, so as not to eliminate the animal’s protective oil from its fur.It is best to get them used to it from an early age and introduce them to it progressively. A good way of doing this is by using a bath filled with warm water and a shampoo for cats, making sure the room temperature is not very low so that they do not catch a cold and drying them afterwards because, unlike dogs, they do not shake themselves to get rid of the water.
Be careful with any noise, especially from the shower or hair dryer, because they do not like them and they could put up a fight and become traumatised if they are not used to them.
Cleaning eyes and earsEyes and ears are frequent sources of infection in cats. Any sleep and dirt around the eyes should be removed by soaking a cloth or cotton disk with a few drops of eye cleaner, one for each eye to make sure any infection is not transferred from one to the other. Cleansing wipes, which contain an anti-inflammatory compound, can also be used.
Ears and eyes are frequent sources of infectionTo keep ears clean, you can use the ear cleaner that dissolves any dirt and wax to alleviate any irritation. Wipes specifically for the ears can also be used.
Malt and cat grassOne of the most common problems in cats is the accumulation of hairballs in their intestine, which could lead to discomfort and serious blockages. To prevent this, as well as frequent brushing, we can give them malt and cat grass, which helps with purging to expel any hairballs.Cat malt is a brown paste that adheres to any fur accumulated in the intestine, encouraging it to pass and stopping it from accumulating.Some cats like malt, but others do not. In this case, a small amount of malt can be placed on the cat’s front paw and it will lick it off when grooming.Short-haired cats should be given malt at least twice a week, increasing the dose for long-haired cats. Cat grass has a similar effect to malt, and cat grass spray is useful for attracting the cat to a toy or scratcher by spraying it on the item in question.
Nail clippingClipping nails will depend on each individual cat. If it is very jumpy and you cannot gain its trust, it’s best to see your vet.If it is receptive, place the cat somewhere with good lighting and hold onto the cat’s paw firmly. It is important never to cut right back, as this would cause great pain and significant bleeding because the root runs inside the nails.
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