Cat Care – Basic Grooming

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,674
    Dr. Candy Olson, owner of Greenbriar Animal Hospital demonstrates basic grooming for your cat.

    Candy Olson

    Dr. Candy Olson graduated from veterinary school in 1978, and has been working as a small animal veterinarian ever since. She started her own practice, Greenbriar Animal Hospital, in Fairfax, Virginia in 1993 with a goal to providing a very personal level of service, like an old fashioned family doctor’s office. The hospital has grown into a busy 2 doctor practice with a full time dog and cat groomer. The practice and Dr. Olson have received several awards for top quality service to her patients and their owners, but what she enjoys the most is fine tuning the day to day care of her patients, and helping their owners cope with medical and behavioral issues that pop up in today’s lifestyles. Dr. Olson is particularly interested in the care of geriatric pets and in pets with multiple medical and/or behavioral problems. She keeps her veterinary knowledge current by reading more than 8 veterinary journals every month, and by attending more than 80 hours of continuing education meetings each year (Virginia requires 15 hours per year). She also serves as a mentor for student veterinary technicians and high school students interested in veterinary medicine. Her hobbies include gardening, travel, and photography (photography is an extended family hobby). Some of her photos and some of her family’s photos are framed and on display at the animal hospital.

    Hi, I am Dr. Candy Olson from Greenbriar Animal Hospital. Were shooting a series of videos on how to take care of your cat at home. This particular one is how to groom your cat using a couple of special tools. This is Tashie, shes going to be helping us out with this. Shes not real thrilled with the idea of getting combed with this stuff, but shes a pretty patient cat. There are a couple of things that are important to know. They make a lot of brushes for cats, and brushes are good for finishing, they go over the top, but even if youve got a short haired cat, its important to get down to the skin when youre grooming. So, you really need something like this with rigid teeth, or this is whats called the mat splitter, this particular comb is not sharp here on these points, but on those little curves there is actually a little blade, so that it will go through, and it helps if theyre starting to get some little knots. Tashie tends to have a very thick coat. So, you can see when you just gently go with this that -- she says, we have all kinds of coat coming out, and it doesnt pull, so she doesnt mind it, but you can get a lot of this undercoat out, and it wont cause problems with leaving bare spots or anything like that. Now, if she had a knot forming there, you wouldnt want to use this on the knot, because you will have to really pull and tug, and she wont like that. But say she had a little knot here, what you would want to do is pick at it a little bit from the side, just little bits at a time until you can get through it. Its really important not to cut a mat out on a cat, because its so easy to cut their skin. So, if they have a mat that you cant comb out, the best thing to do is to contact your vet, or to find somebody who grooms cats, because they can get it out. Sometimes cats need to have their coat shaved. So, thats not an uncommon thing too. If there are no knots, and you dont have to get through this thick undercoat, this kind of comb also works really well, because it does get right down to the skin, and so youre not just going over to the top. What you want to do is do little bits at a time, so that youre not concentrating on one area, and watch for those things like the ears back, and that kind of thing. Now Tashi, we do this to her all the time, she comes in on a regular basis for this, and so we know in her case that shes okay with this, even though shes doing a little bit of grumbling, but this is really typical for her, and she likes this part right here. Every cat has areas of the body that they like to have combed, and areas that they dont, so this is her thing, she is kind of leaning into the comb a little bit, and relaxing a little bit. So, you want to work on them little bits at a time. If youre working back here and you notice that she is starting to fidget a little bit, then you want to stop and go work on a different area of body. It also helps with cats to do this in short sessions, so that its not a little big long thing. If you do find that the coat is getting away from you, whether the knots are just getting too thick or your cats not cooperative with letting you comb them, contact your veterinarian, and find out if they can help you out with some grooming.

    So, thats the big information for grooming, and these special tools for cats. Tashie, thank you for your cooperation. Next, were going to show you how to trim your cats toenails.