Grooming Your Kitty

Cats are, by nature, clean animals and don't like being dirty. This is also true about kittens. Even the youngest kitty can be seen trying to wash itself. There are instances during your cat life however when it will be unable to groom itself, or it could be that the kind of cat you choose has high maintenance fur (such as a long hair Persian) and needs a little extra help to keep its fur in good condition.

Despite not wanting to be dirty, and despite the constant self-grooming, this does not automatically mean that your kitten is going to enjoy your interference in its personal grooming routine. The best way to avoid this is to introduce your kitten to being groomed by you from the very start. If you get into an immediate habit of combing and brushing kitty once or twice a week, then if the day comes when he's just in too much mess, or too sick to manage himself, then he won't mind your intervention.

Although you won't be able to introduce him to a bath, you can introduce him to the idea of a bath using a dish (without water) and a damp face cloth, but this should be done every few weeks. Grooming in the form of brushing however should be done more frequently. One perfect time for this is at night when you're watching TV and kitty crawls up onto your lap. Have a brush to hand (a baby brush is fine for a short-haired kitten) and gently brush the kitten in the direction his fur grows. He'll get used to how this feels and often will start to purr his approval. If you have a longer-furred kitten, set aside half an hour at least twice a week to thoroughly comb through his coat. This will ensure that tangles don't build up and his coat will remain healthy looking.

As he gets older and is allowed outdoors, make sure that you spend 5-10 minutes with him every week to gently put the flea comb through his fur. This means that you are sure that he remains flea-free, and at the very least, can initiate a flea-removal treatment should your comb find something.

The time you invest grooming your kitten will pay dividends when he becomes a cat that needs help with cleaning his fur. A cat that is used to being groomed is far easier to maintain than one who turns every grooming session into a battle of wills!

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