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Cat Grooming: Bathing, Hair Cutting & Nail Clipping

Cat Grooming: Bathing, Hair Cutting & Nail Clipping

Keeping your cat groomed is one of the most essential elements of their care. Today, our Johns Creek vets share grooming tips to keep cats looking and feeling their best. 

Grooming For Cats

While your specific cat's grooming routine will vary based on their needs, the basics usually include bathing, paw care, ear care, dental care, eye care and (depending on the breed) haircuts. Trimming your cat's claws is also a necessity. We'll review each element more in detail below. 


While cats are normally fastidious groomers and won't need to be bathed too often, your kitty will need a bath if they've ingested a toxic substance such as motor oil, paint, antifreeze, gasoline or anything that can get on her fur and become harmful. 

Bathing a cat with medicated shampoo can also soothe itchy, red or flaky skin, and senior cats who aren't able to groom themselves effectively may benefit from regularly scheduled baths.

Long-haired breeds should be bathed every couple of months to reduce the risk of their fur becoming matted, and hairless breeds will likely need weekly baths to avoid their oily residue being left behind on fabrics in your home. 

Use warm, not hot water to bathe your cat. Get them completely wet (but avoiding the eyes, ears, face or nose) using a jug, hose or pitcher to direct the water. Gently apply a special shampoo made specifically for cats, then rinse and dry with a warm towel. 


To remove dirt, skin flakes, dead har and grease from your cat's coat, you'll need to brush it. This also helps to improve overall skin condition and stimulate blood circulation. 

Use a metal comb to brush your cat once or twice a week (thick or thin teeth are both fine and this will be a matter of what works best for you and your kitty). You'll notice these regular brushing sessions are particularly beneficial as your cat ages and won't be able to groom as meticulously as they once did. 

Claw & Nail Trimming

Regularly examining, cleaning and trimming your cat's claws is another essential element of grooming. You'll also want to check that their paws of free of debris and wounds. 

Keeping your cat's nails trimmed can keep your feline friend from destroying your soft furnishings and leaving painful scratches. For cats that are not willing to tolerate nail trimming, spending some time getting used to their paws being touched (minus the trimming) may help. 

It's recommended to cut cats' nails every 10 to 14 days. If your cat refuses to allow her claws to be clipped, bring her to see our groomer in Johns Creek.

Dental Care 

Keeping a cat's teeth clean can be a battle between pet owners and their feline companions if kitties aren't used to having their chompers brushed. However, cats need clean, sharp teeth and healthy gums to eat, vocalize and live a quality life. 

Regular dental care at home using a toothbrush designed especially for cats and teeth cleaning at your vet's can prevent periodontal disease and damage to the teeth, tongue, palate and gums.

Ear Care

Keeping an eye out for infection, debris and wax is a must when it comes to keeping your cat's ears healthy. Once a week, check their outer ears for discharge, swelling or redness. To examine the inner ear, gently fold back each ear and look down into the canal. If you notice a buildup of wax, sensitivity to touch, head tilting, persistent scratching or an odor, it's time for a veterinary exam. 


Haircuts are typically unnecessary unless your cat has a matted coat, skin conditions, hairballs, or they are shedding fur. A flea infestation may also warrant a cut, as can sanitary reasons related to self-care becoming an issue as they age. 

If you do decide to have your cat's hair cut, we recommend bringing them in for a grooming session.

Professional Cat Groomers at Johns Creek Veterinary Clinic

While you will always need to brush, bathe and perform some basic at-home grooming tasks for your cat, professional grooming is also a vital element of your kitty's healthcare routine. 

Our groomers have all the tools and training they need to bathe and groom even the most anxious cat safely, including scissors, combs, special cat tubs, and specially formulated shampoos. They are also fully trained to identify any skin conditions on your pet and treat fleas or ticks. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time for your cat's grooming session, or do you have questions about grooming? Contact our Johns Creek vets today. 

Caring for Pets in Johns Creek

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