Teach Your Kitten to Enjoy Being Groomed

Nail Trimming

Kittenhood is also a good time to get your pet accustomed to having his nails trimmed. Start by applying gentle pressure to the top and paw pad areas simultaneously to help extend the claws. Clip the sharp tip of the nail off, avoiding the blood vessel or "quick" that runs through the center of the nail. If you accidentally hit the quick, you can apply styptic powder to help stop the bleeding.

You may want to start by trimming a single nail each day and gradually work your way up to more nails as your cat grows more comfortable with the process.

More Than Just a Clean Cat

Grooming isn't just about making your cat look his best; it's important, because it gives you an opportunity to detect the presence of skin problems or parasites, such as ticks and fleas. "Flea dirt" refers to black grains of flea feces. If you place some of these grains on a white surface and add a little water, they will turn red, because they are actually digested blood. Look especially carefully around the tail base, head and neck for flea dirt.

During each grooming session, look for any areas of hair loss or reddened skin. Ringworm, which is not a worm but a fungal infection, can be fairly common in kittens. Your veterinarian can diagnose and treat the condition.

Grooming is good for your feline's health, but it also allows you to spend some relaxing time with your cat, engaging in a bonding activity that you both should enjoy. Of course, that time will be much more relaxing if your cat's coat is in good condition and if you've taken the time to accustom him to being groomed while he was still a kitten.

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