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How to Groom Your Kitten

Grooming your kitten can be an ideal way to create a bond between the two of you. Both you and your pet should enjoy the process of grooming, and can especially help with stress if it has been introduced at an early age.  With some long haired breeds, grooming is also essential to keep their fur free from tangles. We’ve got all you need to know on how to groom your kitten, from bathing to health checks.

Why do I need to groom my kitten?

Grooming removes any loose hairs, which, if ingested, can cause fur balls to build up in your kitten’s stomach. Simply brushing and combing your kitten helps to remove these hairs helping to prevent the issue.

Grooming your kitten can really help with your cats well being. Thoroughly brushing them can help you to spot any skin issues, lumps or any other potential health problems and allows you to deal with them quickly.

Touch therapy is known to have a positive effect on animals and grooming is the ideal way for your kitten to benefit from this. Always be gentle and reward your kitten with a treat or a toy to play with, so they associate grooming with positivity.

How often should I groom my kitten?

How often you need to groom your kitten will depend on their breed. A short haired kitten will usually only need a quick brush or comb once per week, whereas a long haired kitten is likely to need grooming daily.

How should I groom my kitten?

Grooming your kitten should be enjoyable for you both. Our handy tips should help you get to grips with grooming:

  1. Hold your kitten on your lap and allow them to sniff the brush or com you intend to groom them with

  2. Starting with their back, brush them gently, moving to the sides of their body

  3. As you brush, praise your kitten in a soft voice

  4. Alternate brushing with stroking (and a treat if your kitten is especially nervous)

  5. Repeat this process several times per day, gradually building on the length of brushing time

  6. When your kitten is comfortable with the sensation of being brushed, you can begin to include their ears, tail and stomach

  7. If you notice your kitten showing any signs of agitation or distress, stop grooming them. Make sure you keep grooming sessions short.

A mid-grooming health check

While your kitten is relaxed mid-grooming, use the time to give them a quick health check. Try to:

  1. Gently examine their paws, claws and toes

  2. If they are happy and showing no signs of agitation or distress, gently open their mouth and examine their teeth and gums

  3. Check inside their ears to ensure there is no matted fur or they are red or itchy, as this could signify they have ear mites

  4. Check their eyes and nose for any signs of redness or discharge

  5. Feel for any lumps, bumps or tender areas on their body

  6. Run your hand against the direction of their coat to check for any signs of fleas or skin irritation

  7. Look under their tail for any signs or redness or soreness, as this could indicate they have worms

If you do notice anything that concerns you, contact your vet or pet insurance company for advice.

Should I bathe my kitten?

While it’s commonly believed that cats detest water, some do in fact love a bath. This will depend entirely on your pet, however sometimes a bath is unavoidable, particularly if they have had an upset stomach, or need to be treated for a skin condition with a special shampoo.

It’s advised that you introduce your kitten to the bath from an early age to ensure they get used to it. Our handy tips should make the process stress-free for both you and your kitten:

  1. Ensure the water is not too hot or too cold. Water that is too hot can scald them, whereas water that is too cold can make them uncomfortable or, at worst, ill

  2. Give your kitten plenty of praise – any maybe a treat or two – as you place them in the bath

  3. Check your chosen shampoo is formulated for cats. Avoid getting shampoo in their eyes

  4. Give your kitten plenty of praise – any maybe a treat or two – as you place them in the bath

  5. Be aware of any signs of discomfort or distress

  6. Rinse your kitten thoroughly to remove all shampoo residue

  7. Wrap them in a warm towel and ensure they are kept warm until they are full dry. Avid using a hairdryer as the noise may scare them

  8. Only bathe one kitten at a time as, if they are stressed by the bath, they may fight

Do I need to clip my kitten’s claws?

As your kitten grows and starts to climb trees or uses a scratching post, they may lose the outer layer of their claws. This is perfectly normal.

Providing they are active and frequently head outside, you shouldn’t need to trim their claws, however if they are an indoor cat, or as they age, you may need to trim their claws occasionally.