Should I Get My Cat Groomed?

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You may have heard about cat grooming and may have wondered, “Why would any cat need grooming when they can groom themselves?”

There are many reasons why grooming can be beneficial to your cat. The type of breed will determine not only if grooming is beneficial but also what kind of grooming may be needed.

Types of Grooming for Cats

There are three main types of grooming. self-grooming, at-home grooming, and professional grooming.


All cats groom themselves with their tongues. If you have ever been licked by their tongue, you will notice that it is rough like sandpaper. This helps them clean their fur and keep it from getting matted.

The downside to self-grooming is cats often swallow their own fur, which can lead to fur balls.

Cats that are old may struggle to groom due to arthritis or other health problems. Cats that are overweight may also struggle to groom themselves. If you notice your cat has matted fur, dull or dirty fur, or seems to be having trouble reaching spots, it is time to consider grooming options.

At-Home Grooming

At-home grooming is the type of grooming that you can perform to help your cat. This can include bathing and brushing them, and may also include teeth cleaning, ear cleaning and nail clipping.

The same can be said for teeth cleaning. You can do this yourself or ask your vet to do it at your cat’s yearly exam.

For basic grooming you will need:

  • Brush
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo
  • Grooming wipes
  • Toothbrush
  • Pet safe toothpaste
  • Comb
  • Ear cleaner
  • Hair Trimmer

Some cats love the pet grooming glove. This is an easy way to keep your cats’ fur nice and silky smooth. It catches the loose fur so neither you nor your cat have to deal with wads of fur or fur balls. This method, however, is recommended for smooth coat breeds only. The friction of a grooming glove can actually cause more matting to a long-coated breed.

If your cat requires any kind of trimming, it is recommended to see a groomer or a veterinarian, as a cat’s skin is extremely thin and easily can get caught in the blade’s teeth pattern.

Professional Grooming

Professional grooming is when you take your cat to someone to get them groomed. Professional groomers will have a variety of services. They can be anything from a simple bath and brushing to a haircut to cat spa services.

If your cat hates baths, and if you hate having to give them, you might find that you prefer paying a professional to do the job. Prices will range based on area, type of cat, and type of service.

When choosing a professional cat groomer keep these in mind:

Read Reviews

A groomer with lots of positive reviews is a must. Look for reviews that are recent.

Check for a Certificate

Many professional groomers go through a training program and may have a certificate to prove it, but majority of groomers go to a trade school through a company or organization, such as a grooming salon/apprenticeship, which do not issue certificates ( I.E. Petco, PetSmart, etc.)

Schedule a Trial Appointment

Start with a smaller service to see if you and your cat like the groomer. For instance, start with just a bath and brush then move on to adding things, like nail care, teeth care, etc.

Does My Cat Need to Be Groomed?

Now that we have looked at what grooming is, it is time to determine if your cat needs to be groomed. As mentioned above, your cat’s breed will play a part in whether they need help grooming.

Cat Breeds That Do Not Need Grooming

All cats need some form of grooming. However, the cats in this list rarely need specialized grooming. They may need the occasional bath or brushing but not too often.

A quick note about the following breeds: Some are available in more than one fur length. For this section, assume all cats have short fur or no fur (sphynx).

  • Abyssinian
  • American Shorthair
  • Bengal
  • Bombay
  • British Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Devon or Cornish Rex
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Havana Brown
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Korat
  • Manx
  • Ocicat
  • Oriental
  • Pixiebob
  • Russian Blue
  • Savannah
  • Scottish Fold
  • Siamese
  • Singapura
  • Sphynx (requires special care such as follicle flushing shampoos and blackhead removal)
  • Tonkinese
  • Toyger

For the Devon Rex and Sphynx, these two cat breeds may benefit from a bath every week to control the oils on their skins. The other short-haired cats may benefit from brushing once a week but do not need any other grooming.

All cats need teeth cleaning and nail clipping (unless they are declawed). Your vet can take care of yearly sedated dental cleanings, but teeth should be brushed daily at home. Special treats are available to also help your cat with dental hygiene. Nails should be clipped every 2 to 4 weeks depending on activity level to prevent overgrowth into the pads. In addition, make sure to have a good scratching post for your cat to care for their own claws to prevent frequent nail clippings.

It is recommended that you give your cat a good brushing at least every other day. Baths can be relegated to when necessary unless you notice your cat is having trouble keeping their fur clean. During shedding season, it is best to brush and comb your cat daily.

Cat Breeds That Need Grooming

In this section, we are going to look at long hair cat breeds. These cats need help with grooming. You can do the grooming yourself or have a professional do the job.

A note about the following breeds: Assume for this list that all cats have medium to long fur.

  • American Bobtail
  • American Curl
  • Birman
  • Himalayan
  • LaPerm
  • Maine Coon
  • Munchkin
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Persian
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragdoll
  • Scottish Fold (long-haired variety)
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Siberian
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van

These cats will benefit from baths, haircuts, trimming, and brushing. They will also need teeth and nail care.

Does Your Cat Need Grooming? Reach Out to Our Woodbridge, VA, Professional Groomers

The longer and more luxurious your cat’s fur, the more important it will be to get them groomed properly.

To schedule your cat’s next grooming appointment, give our Woodbridge, VA, animal hospital a call at (703) 680-4000.

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