Q: How do we groom cats? Are there any cat grooming parlours in our country?
– Adil B Khan, New Delhi
A: Dr K G Umesh: A clean shiny coat is a sign of good health and nutrition. By grooming your cat, you can, however, help to encourage growth and shine of the hair. Cats are naturally clean animals, so your cat may need little grooming, particularly if she has short hair. Longhaired cats need to be groomed more regularly, possibly as much as once a day, and it is best to get your cat used to this when she is a young kitten. Grooming can be something both you and your cat will enjoy. If your cat (or kitten) is initially nervous, it is advisable to spend some time playing with her, until she is comfortable being touched and handled. Let her play with the comb or brush, so she gets used to them and loses her anxiety. Groom all the dead hair out of the coat using a comb or soft bristle brush. Be particularly gentle when combing the head, then groom down the body, the tail, and the legs. Once groomed thoroughly, go over the coat with the brush to remove all loose hairs. The hair of longhaired cats and kittens can easily become matted. Once hair is matted, it will have to be removed before the cat can be groomed; this may involve sedating the cat and clipping the hair by a professional cat groomer or your veterinarian. If your cat is dirty, you may use a clean, damp cloth to wipe her down. Wet the cloth with warm water only, don’t use any soaps. Grooming your cat offers you an excellent opportunity to check her skin for lumps, rashes, discharges or any other signs that your cat is not well. Your vet can able to advise good grooming parlours available in your city.