Cats are very independent animals, and they're known for doing a pretty good job of keeping themselves clean. However, cat owners also have a responsibility to ensure that their cats remain well groomed for their own health and well-being. Unfortunately, there are a lot of common mistakes that cat owners make when it comes to their felines' grooming needs.
Assuming Cats Can Handle Their Own Grooming
Because cats are so independent and are often seen grooming themselves in their free time, a lot of cat owners assume that they don't need to bother with their own cats' grooming. However, this simply isn't the case. There are many situations where a cat may need help with grooming, such as when it has fleas (and thus needs a series of flea baths) or when it's sick and unable to groom itself. Cats that spend time outdoors can also benefit from a bath every now and then.
Ignoring Mats in a Long-Haired Cat's Fur
Owners of cats with long hair need to be especially diligent about their cats' grooming needs. Specifically, they should be taking the time to groom long-haired cats' fur at least a few times per week. Otherwise, it can quickly become matted or clumped, which can be extremely painful for the cat. If a clump is discovered, it's important to have it professionally cut or shaven away by a groomer as soon as possible, as these don't go away on their own and only tend to worsen over time.
Attempting to Trim Claws Without Visible Quick
Cats that haven't been declawed, especially indoor cats, should also have their claws trimmed from time to time. Doing so can help keep owners from being scratched and can also save furniture. However, trimming a cat's claws can be dangerous and injury to the cat can result if the claws are trimmed too short. Therefore, it's generally recommended that cats that get squeamish when having their nails handled or cats whose quicks (the pink part inside the nail that contains blood vessels and nerve endings) aren't visible be taken to a groomer like Rush Animal Care Clinic PC for nail trims.
Ignoring "Hot Spots" or Excessive Grooming
Finally, cat owners should be on the lookout for cats that seem to be over-grooming themselves, as this can be a sign of stress or illness. Specifically, "hot spots" (or spots where the fur has essentially been groomed away) should be treated with ointment and these cats should be taken to the vet for evaluation.