Cat grooming and hairstyles
Lush coat is a real pride of whiskered kings and queens. Flowing, soft and shiny coat of a Persian cat caresses your skin when you play with this cat. Touching a warm plush coat of a Briton can be compared to touching the clouds! But sometimes this splendor may cause certain inconvenience both to the cat and its owner. In such cases some grooming and getting a new hairstyle is an easy way to get rid of a coat for some time.
Grooming can be hygienic or exhibition. Exhibition grooming is better to entrust professionals who are aware of all the nuances of this breed. Hygienic cat grooming has a variety of goals:
- Facilitate the care of a cat;
- Remove mats;
- Prevent negative consequences during pet’s molting;
- Accelerate the treatment of skin diseases or major trauma;
- Some cats get a haircut before labor or just for improving its esthetic qualities.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t choose a short hairstyle for your pet in the hot season, in case you cat walks outside. Contrary to popular belief, thick coat it necessary for cats in the summer, because it protects them from sultriness like Bedouin robes.
Siberian, Burmese, Norwegian Forest cats and other semi long-coated cats restore the length of their coats for about five months. A coat of a Persian cat grows even longer. Mind that after a haircut the color and the coat texture may change, which is an important factor in case your pet participates in exhibitions.
Methods of cat haircuts
Cats are freedom-loving and independent animals. That’s why the vast majority of cats won’t stand such kind of manipulations like haircuts. Trimming the claws is not that bad, but cat hair trimmers, buzzing and vibrating in the vicinity of the skin, turns a gentle cat into a desperate warrior. Cat meanders all over, hisses and tries to bite and scratch the abuser. It is almost impossible to persuade the pet – only the most unflappable cat agrees to lie while such a procedure. So you have to immobilize the cat using one of the following methods:
- Sedatives will calm down a cat reducing its muscle activity. This method is convenient but insecure, because you can never be sure that the selected tool won’t affect the health of the animal;
- General anesthesia is used only for the immobilization of healthy young cats. It’s rather dangerous, as even a pet that has undergone anesthesia several times without side effects, may suffer exactly this time;
- Hand fixing is the safest method for cat immobilization, but it requires some skill from the owner and their assistant. Nervous cats may have a deep stress.
What is the best place for cat grooming?
Show cats are used to appear in different places and quietly stand a trip to the salon. But a cat never leaving the apartment may experience a real horror when appearing in an unfamiliar place. For such cats the best option is a haircut at home. Invite a groomer at any convenient day. The process takes about two hours, all the necessary tools the specialist will bring themselves. No need to prepare the cat for the procedure. The only necessary thing is to find a suitable work surface, such as a stable ironing board or a narrow table.
Grooming a cat on your own
You can perform it on your own as well. If the pet is aggressive you might need a muzzle or an Elizabethan collar. You should find an assistant, who would act gently, but confidently. Grooming a cat at home without a specialist you should immobilize the cat only manually, without using any drugs.
The owner will need hydrogen peroxide, scissors with rounded tips, a large wet towel and a cat hair trimmer. You may use a usual hair trimmer for humans, but such a device is more likely to get blunt faster and perform worse with thick fur. If this is the first experience for the owner, it is better to work with a 5 mm (0.04 inch) nozzle. Making the coat very short not injuring the cat is quite a difficult task. First you need to get used to the trimmer and gain experience having studied all the anatomical curves of the cat's body.
So you need to put your cat on a flat surface. An assistant puts the cat on the side, holding its legs: with forelegs in one hand and hind legs in the other hand. It is advisable that cat trusted a person who is holding its legs. It would be much more convenient if the pet would turn its muzzle to the assistant, and the person with the trimmer would stand behind. Removing the hair you need to slightly pull the skin – because if you don’t, the blades can catch a fold of skin that will cause pain to the cat. Wounds (if any) are treated with hydrogen peroxide.
The most popular cat hairstyle is lion cut: lush mane on the head, socks on the paws, and a switch on the tail. Cat’s coat can be cut as in the direction of hair growth, and against the hair growth. In the latter case the haircut will be shorter. Usually the grooming is started from the sides, layer by layer, moving to the ridge. Then you should switch to the belly, paws and tail. Hair on the head is better not to touch with the trimmer, removing the excess length with scissors. Whiskers shouldn’t be cut off. You should be especially delicate and attentive trimming the coat in armpits and inner thighs – in these places the skin is very thin and sensitive.
Mats that are close to the skin shouldn’t be removed with a trimmer. You need to untangle them in advance or to cut them carefully with scissors or to use a special mat trimmer.
When grooming is finished, you should remove the hairs from the ears and muzzle with a gauze pad soaked in water. Then wipe the cat with a damp towel the remove the cut hairs. That's it! Now you to soothe your darling giving it a treat.
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