All Feline Hospital

2300 S. 48th St. Ste. 3
Lincoln, NE 68506

(402)467-2711

www.allfelinehospital.com

Kitten Grooming

 

There are several things that you can do to get your kitten more agreeable to be groomed as an adult.  Even though your kitten may not need to have some of these things done now, if you start them early, it will be much easier to do them once they are adults.

 

Even though your kitten still has their baby teeth, this is the best time to get them used to having their teeth brushed if this is something you can do consistently when they are an adult.   Cats in the wild will chew through skin and bone, which helps immensely to keep their teeth clean.  Domestic cats do not have this benefit, and dry food actually does very little to clean along the gum line which is where dental disease starts.    If you can brush your kitten?s teeth on a daily basis, and continue this on through adulthood, you will go a LONG ways towards keeping your cat?s teeth healthy and minimizing dental disease.  It doesn?t mean your cat will never need a cleaning, after all, your brush your own teeth and you still need to go to the dentist, but it will drastically minimize what does need to be done.  

To start brushing your kitten?s teeth, get a very soft bristled brush, either one designed for kittens or an infant tooth brush.  Use cat or dog tooth paste, NOT human toothpaste, and if you can find a flavor your kitten likes, so much better.   Brush their teeth gently just like you might brush an infant?s teeth.  There is no need to rinse, cat and dog toothpaste is designed to be swallowed.   Praise your kitten afterwards, and give them a treat.  This will help to make it a positive experience.  For your kitten to get used to this, you really have to do it on a daily basis.  Plus, as an adult since plaque starts to build up within 12 hours of eating, it should be done daily anyway.

 

If you do not plan to declaw your kitten, but you want to keep their nails short, now is the time to get your kitten used to having their nails trimmed.  Now, you do not need to trim your kitten?s nails ? they will wear them down by scratching with their front nails, and they will chew on their back nails to keep them from getting too long.  But, if you want them as short and blunt as possible, then if you start doing this while they are a kitten, they will tolerate it much better as an adult.  

The primary thing is to play with your kitten?s paws on a daily basis.  Practice extending their nails on each foot and praise them and reward them for letting you do so.   When you do start trimming their nails, be very careful not to cut the quick, which is the blood vessel in each nail that looks like a little pink triangle.  If you do this, it will hurt, and your kitten may not be so cooperative next time.  Reward your kitten after each foot.   Have some styptic powder on hand before you start trimming to stop the bleeding if you do accidentally trim the nail too short and cut into the quick.

 

If your kitten is a longer haired kitten, or if you just want to be able to comb them regularly to minimize loose fur in the home, now is the time to start.   Using a brush or flexible comb, brush or comb your kitten on a regular basis.  Praise them or reward them every time you do this to make it a positive experience.  You should not need to bathe your kitten or clean their ears, they will do this very effectively on their own.