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Grooming A Senior Cat
November 14, 2022

One of the many things we love about our feline friends is the fact that they’re so clean. Fluffy will take time to groom her pretty coat every day. However, as your furry pal ages, she’ll get stiff and sore, and may have trouble bending and stretching enough to properly groom herself. This is why older cats sometimes look somewhat disheveled. You’ll need to give your pet a helping hand with her beauty routine. Here, a Potomac, MD veterinarian offers some tips on grooming senior kitties.

Time It Right

Wait until Fluffy is feeling relaxed. (Given that senior cats spend roughly 99.9 percent of their time sleeping, you probably won’t have to wait long.) Start by gently petting her. Then slowly incorporate the brush. Move in the direction of your feline buddy’s fur. It’s important for kitties to feel pampered, not punished. Include lots of petting, ear scritches, and praise.

Bathe Carefully

While you don’t have to bathe Fluffy, you can if you want to. However, there are a few caveats here. Check with your vet, to find out if there are any medical concerns. Use only a few inches of warm water, and a shampoo made for cats. Don’t overbathe Fluffy: that could dry her fur out, and leave her looking frizzy. Finally, make sure your furball has a warm spot to relax in as she’s drying off, so she doesn’t get chilly.

Be Gentle

Older kitties often get quite stiff and sore. Simply being held can be uncomfortable for some of them. Fluffy’s skin will also become very delicate. Be extremely careful, both with handling your cat and removing knots and tangles.

Trim Carefully

Is your cat super fluffy? Longhaired kitties sometimes get dirty bottoms. Trimming the hair around your feline pal’s rear may help with this. Be sure to only use round-end scissors.

Keep It Positive

Some furballs will only tolerate being brushed for a few minutes. That’s fine! Don’t force Fluffy to submit if she isn’t feeling it. Just let her go, and try again another day.

Paws For Thought

When you’re brushing Fluffy, take the opportunity to inspect her. Check for things like swelling, lesions, sore spots, or irritated skin. If you notice anything off, contact your vet immediately.

Our Advice on Grooming A Senior Cat

How should you time grooming sessions for senior cats?

Time grooming sessions for senior cats when relaxed, typically during their long rest periods. Start gently and incorporate brushing with praise and petting to ensure a positive experience.

Should you bathe a senior cat, and if so, what precautions should you take?

You can bathe a senior cat if necessary but consult your vet first. Use a few inches of warm water and cat-specific shampoo. Avoid overbathing, and provide a warm spot for drying.

Is it necessary to trim the fur around the rear of a longhaired senior cat?

Trimming the fur around a longhaired senior cat’s rear may help with cleanliness, but it’s not always necessary. Be cautious and use round-end scissors if you do.

What should you do if your senior cat only tolerates grooming for a short time?

If your senior cat only tolerates grooming for a short time, respect their limits. Let them go and try again another day, ensuring a positive experience.

What should you check for when inspecting your senior cat during grooming?

When inspecting your senior cat during grooming, check for swelling, lesions, sore spots, or irritated skin. If you observe any abnormalities, reach out to your veterinarian.

Do you have questions or concerns about your furry friend’s health or care? Contact us, your Gaithersburg, MD animal clinic, today!