Easy methods to Groom Your Cat, Trim Their Nails, and Give Them Treatment (PPiC Ep12)

Zazie and Kristi chat about methods to groom cats, what to do with matted fur, trimming cats’ nails, and methods to give meds to cats.

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Watch episode 12 of The Pawsitive Submit in Dialog on Youtube or under, hear through your favorite podcast app or under, or scroll right down to learn a few of the highlights.

Husbandry for cats

On this episode we chat about methods to groom your cat and methods to cope with mats, in addition to methods to trim your cat’s nails. We talk about the numerous the reason why it’s essential to not “declaw” your cat and the way it’s actually like an amputation. Scratching is a pure conduct for cats and we discuss concerning the form of submit to offer to maintain your cat comfortable.

We additionally talk about the difficult matter of methods to give meds to your cats, together with pilling, towel-wrapping, and tips to make meds simpler. Alongside the way in which we share tales about our personal cats and naturally a couple of ideas for canines as nicely.

On the finish we chat concerning the books we’re studying. 

Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Joyful by Zazie Todd is accessible from all good bookstores.

The entire books talked about within the episode can be found from my Amazon retailer.  

The Paw Venture: Cats’ paws want their claws https://pawproject.org/ 

BC’s 2018 ban on declawing cats was excellent news for cats, examine exhibits  

What sort of scratching submit do cats want?  

Caring for a diabetic cat will get simpler with time, examine exhibits  

Easy methods to give your cat an insulin injection (iCatCare)  

Easy methods to prepare your cat to make use of an bronchial asthma inhaler  

Educate any cat AeroKat (iCatCare)  

Easy methods to clip your cat’s claws (iCatCare) 

Two folks giving a cat a capsule (iCatCare) 

Medicating ideas and tips (Essentially Feline)  

Consolation cats in a towel wrap (Dr. Sophia Yin)  

Contemporary and Fearless: Primary Grooming Made Straightforward (Kristi Benson)

The Books

Kristi’s advice is Pink, White and Royal Blue: A Novel by Casey McQuiston. 

Zazie recommends Unbroken: My Struggle for Survival, Hope, and Justice for Indigenous Girls and Ladies by Angela Sterritt.

The books can be found from all good bookstores and the Companion Animal Psychology Amazon retailer

Highlights of the dialog on cat husbandry

Z: Let’s begin with speaking about how typically we brush our cats and the way we try this, as a result of one among my cats Harley completely likes to be brushed. And it took me a couple of years to find this about him as a result of he is a brief haired cat and he did not actually need brushing. My different cat Melina is just not very comfortable [about it], she’s going to settle for it but it surely’s not one thing that she notably loves. Harley simply naturally loves it, Melina would not find it irresistible. 

However Harley likes to be brushed on daily basis it seems. And he has a great inner clock so he is aware of what time it’s when it is time for him to be groomed, which was truly simply now, and he’ll come and meow at me and say it is time for me to be groomed. And that meow is a barely completely different meow from when he is meowing as a result of it is time for his time for dinner. So he needs to be brushed out at this set time within the morning, that is when he expects to be brushed, and he additionally does form of want it as a result of he sheds quite a bit. Although he is short-haired he does shed quite a bit. Even when he is simply been brushed he nonetheless sheds quite a bit, and he is getting on a bit as a result of he is 14. Older cats typically want a little bit of grooming even when they did not earlier than. So for him it is on daily basis. 

For Melina, she comes and appears after I’m doing Harley and typically she’s like okay you possibly can brush me a little bit bit and I’ve to do actually actually brief strokes with the comb, form of like you realize if a cat was licking one other cat there’d be actually brief licks. In order that they must be actually brief whereas with Harley I can truly do fairly an extended brush and he likes it, however for Melina it needs to be brief after which she’s okay. One other day she’s like no I am going away right now, she would not need it. So how about Apricat? As a result of Apricat is short-haired is not he? 

Okay: Sure short-haired and we do brush him however kind of when he wants it, and so I would say a couple of instances a yr virtually. And possibly I am taking a look at it with like a canine particular person’s lens however I see his coat seems to be a little bit completely different and I am like oh it is time to brush him now and I brush him. However you realize whenever you’re saying older cats should be brushed extra, that’s fascinating and I am questioning if that is what they’re saying he seems to be like. 

You already know whenever you requested me to speak about this I checked out him and I believed, oh you realize what it is truly it is in all probability time to groom him proper now, I believe his coat is trying a little bit bit like he must be brushed. However usually I believe he takes care of himself in that means fairly you realize, his coat tends to be fairly good so when his coat begins to look not like his lovely Apricat self then I give him a brush and he is okay with it. 

However he solely likes it for a brief period of time, identical as kind of most kinds of petting he’ll solely put up with it for a little bit bit after which he is similar to “and now I am executed.” However I believe he likes it in that point he would not depart you realize till he is like okay now.

Z: And I believe most cats want issues to be brief. It is like most cats want solely to be petted for a short while after which they’ve had sufficient after which they’d prefer it in all probability to occur once more fairly quickly with the patting. Whereas that is the weird factor about Harley, he fairly likes it to go on for a very long time. Once we hadn’t had him for very lengthy, if we have been petting him and we stopped, from his perspective it was too quickly, he would chew us after which he would comply with us meowing like “I need extra!”. So he is a really cuddly affectionate form of cat in that means despite the fact that he is not a lap cat. However I believe short-haired cats do not want it fairly often. 

I stated older cats as a result of I believe typically older cats if they’ve a little bit of arthritis or one thing it may be a bit harder for them to achieve sure areas so possibly their pants may want grooming a bit extra, like their trousers, the again of their legs for instance. And with Harley I even brush him on the stomach however I’ve to do it when he is standing up and I form of attain spherical below his stomach and brush his stomach and he’ll settle for it if he is standing up. He truly likes to rub his head on one thing so we have now a set spot and he has someplace he can rub his head whereas I am brushing him and it is simply ecstasy for him. 

I believe longer haired cats, and I’ve had longer haired cats earlier than, they want much more brushing. And I believe a Persian cat would undoubtedly want much more brushing probably on daily basis, and that form of cat, as a result of they’ve a extra squashed face and a few folds of their faces they in all probability would want wiping round their eyes similar to some canines want wiping round their eyes as nicely. 

Okay: Yeah after which you should by no means get mats in. Apricat as a result of he is a brief haired okay I do not assume so, I am making an attempt to assume, I do not assume he is ever had something like mats wherever. Yeah no, his hair is fairly constantly brief you realize and he does, he’s fairly simple to handle and he is on us quite a bit. It is not like you realize in case you have a canine or a cat or one thing that does not wish to be touched typically I believe mats can creep up you realize after which unexpectedly you are like whoa I suppose I have not patted your you realize stomach or no matter for a very long time,  or behind your ears or wherever canines normally get mats. However as a result of Apricat sits on my lap for like hours a day, he would not need to essentially be patted that complete time however he likes to kind of sit on my lap, I believe as a result of I am kind of touching him on a regular basis I’d really feel it.

Z: Yeah I believe you’ll. And I suppose the trousers and possibly the armpits and there are specific areas possibly behind the ears maybe as nicely the place mats are extra doubtless. Perhaps they’re widespread throughout cats and canines I do not know. 

Okay: Yeah I do not know. When you have an extended haired cat it you possibly can miss mats if you happen to’re not cautious as a result of they will really feel high quality whenever you stroke them on the floor however the mat will be beneath. 

Z: Yeah yeah, they are often fairly deep after which that may be actually uncomfortable for the cats. So one factor you are able to do about that’s truly simply to form of tease the hairs aside. It takes some time and also you want a affected person cat however you possibly can simply form of tease the mat aside. And that is typically higher than making an attempt to chop it, as a result of if you happen to lower it you are risking reducing the cat by chance and that is not good. And naturally if it is unhealthy then that you must ask your vet to assist out. And yeah you possibly can take them to the vet and have them shaved if needed on the vet and then you definitely get a clear slate to start out once more. However actually it is one thing it is best to do and to start out doing whenever you’ve obtained them once they’re younger, it is a lot a lot simpler. However like canines you possibly can educate them at any age. Sorry go on.

Okay: I used to be gonna say if you happen to take them, identical because the canine you realize, typically folks will come as much as me and say oh I noticed that you’ve got like Jane’s grooming course, I’ve a canine that hates to be touched and has matting. And I typically advocate you discuss to your vet and let’s examine if we will do a groom the place the canine is receiving kind of medical help, get all of it groomed and that provides you such as you stated a clean slate to start out practising so as to begin with out having to be like that stress of being like Oh my God my pet has a mat and it is uncomfortable for them and I want to love work on it. You may simply be like here is a contemporary begin for me and my cat or my canine. I can begin working. I can begin doing counter conditioning and get the animal actually snug being groomed which I believe is a pleasant it is a good present for you and your animal. 

Z: Yeah and also you’re proper concerning the particular person’s stress as nicely as a result of if you happen to’re considering oh there is a mat I’ve obtained to cope with, you are going to need to get on and cope with that, and on the identical time in case your purpose is actually to show the cat or canine to get pleasure from being groomed truly you need to go at their tempo, which is form of contradictory to checking out the mat. So it is a good suggestion such as you say, if you happen to get that executed on the vet then you possibly can think about doing the coaching correctly and get that executed. Yeah it makes it a lot a lot simpler. And it is so good that you’ve got these this course accessible to assist folks with that I believe it is sensible. 

Okay: Yeah yeah completely.

Z: Yeah. So many individuals so many individuals need assistance with that. After which nails as nicely. So your course seems to be at canines’ nails, the one that you’ve got accessible, however cats typically want their nails trimmed too particularly in the event that they’re indoors solely. It is a bit completely different in the event that they’re outside cats as a result of they use their nails for lots of issues they in all probability climb bushes with them and so forth they usually in all probability put on them down a bit extra however how typically do you do Apricat’s nails? 

Okay: I do his nails once they begin to hurt me when he sits on my lap. So he takes care of them himself typically a bit he does have a scratching submit that he likes to make use of and typically I believe that the nails get kind of worn down or they shed there, however I do hold cat nail clippers proper at my desk after which when he is sitting on my lap, it provides me a possibility to trim his nails. So not as a lot as I’ve to do the canine’s nails for positive, as a result of the canines’ nails, I try to do them each week, but it surely finally ends up in all probability being as soon as a month simply because it is exhausting to try this form of stuff however possibly as soon as each couple months I would say I’ve to do it so typically. He is excellent right here that is why my arm is doing just like the tram kind of factor. 

If he is right here and he is snug I can kind of gently seize one foot, do one nail after which pat him and he is high quality with it. In order that’s one of many ways in which I love to do it. 

The opposite means is I hold Churu within the closet there and and I will put a plate down if he wants all of his nails executed and and I want I need to do them shortly, I will simply put a little bit little bit of Churu on the plate and he’ll lick it after which I will lower a nail after which I will give him a little bit bit extra. So it is kind of prefer it’s each a distraction and a counter conditioning I believe kind of protocol. It is a little bit sloppy, do not inform Jean {Donaldson]! But it surely works and he goes bananas for the style of that stuff and it takes a complete tube primarily, or you realize two-thirds of the tube after which I get via all of his nails and his complete physique and he is snug and comfortable after which it is executed. 

In order that’s how I do it once more. I put a little bit bit on the plate to get him oriented to the plate after which I decide up his foot and I clip a nail after which I give him a little bit bit extra so I make it possible for after each nail clip he will get some treats in order that he is making that affiliation. 

Z: Yeah and I believe it is one thing folks do not typically understand they will do with cats, and even so far as canines and husbandry behaviors go we’d like extra consciousness that you should use meals to assist your canine get pleasure from this stuff. However for cats we’d like much more folks to know that utilizing meals is an efficient strategy to prepare your cat or to make use of this as distraction for one thing. And yeah these these tubes are Churu. I believe each cat appears to like them. 

Okay: Yeah they’re very helpful, very helpful. They usually’re good as a result of they’re shelf secure so I can simply have them in my workplace you realize and pull them out when it is time, they usually’re not terribly costly so throughout good things. 

And I believe I have been fortunate as a result of Apricat could be very handleable, so it is all the time been simple for me to choose up his foot. He would not like his foot being held you realize however he would not, you realize it hasn’t taken quite a lot of work like a few of my canines have taken quite a lot of work. Sitka has taken quite a lot of work to get snug having her nails trimmed. However I suppose it is you realize kind of for cat house owners to comprehend if their cats are actually uncomfortable having their toes held you possibly can discuss to a behaviorist you realize or discover a good coaching plan. Is there one in Purr? I am unable to bear in mind. 

Z: Not for nails. The 2 coaching plans in Purr are one for a trick known as sit fairly and the opposite one is instructing your cat to go within the service. And I solely had house for 2 coaching plans. But it surely tells you numerous about methods to prepare your cat so it provides you all the normal ideas that folks can use.  

Okay: Yeah so I imply you can you can give you a coaching plan or work with a cat behaviorist on a coaching plan the place you realize so as an alternative of going proper to grabbing and holding their foot and form of like wrestling them to carry their foot after which lower their nail. You begin with one thing actually easy and that the cat’s already snug with, possibly like a agency contact to their shoulder or one thing and then you definitely give them a few of the deal with and over time when your cat is demonstrating that they are  snug in anticipating the treats you progress into this like larger and larger kind of nearer and nearer to the precise nail clip. However in the long run then you find yourself clipping their nails and it is all lovely and angels sing! 

Z: And yeah so that you begin with the shoulder and transfer right down to the paws as a result of they in all probability do not prefer it if you happen to simply seize them by the paw. They don’t seem to be used to that so you need to begin with one thing they’re extra used to. After which there’s the implement as nicely. So I am positive that is what you probably did with Apricat of displaying the implements individually and getting them used to the implement. Or possibly you did not have to as a result of it did not predict something did it? 

Okay: I’d, I had to try this with Sitka, construct a separate plan. However with Apricat no, he’s simply that simple that he is like oh meals positive I will allow you to try this. You already know even when he is kind of like within the I do not love this however I will tolerate it, he would not have an issue. I do not assume he is ever had an precise painful expertise having his nails executed as a result of it is fairly simple. As a result of nails are white you realize so it is easy sufficient. And Sitka would not match on my lap so it is form of a distinct state of affairs. 

Z: Yeah that’s extra of a problem but when somebody’s canine or cat have beforehand had unhealthy experiences then you definitely would separate out the implement and you’ll counter-condition them to seeing the Implement as nicely. 

Okay: Yeah and typically canines do not even want a nasty expertise to simply discover issues scary. So you realize your canine greatest or your cat greatest. In the event that they discover one thing scary then you definitely’re gonna must do the coaching for it. If you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to have an Apricat you possibly can transfer a bit extra shortly.

Kristi Benson is an honours graduate of the distinguished
Academy for Canine Trainers, the place she earned her Certificates in Coaching
and Counseling (CTC). She additionally has gained her PCBC-A credential from the
Pet Skilled Accreditation Board. She has just lately moved to
lovely northern British Columbia, the place she’s going to proceed to assist canine
guardians via on-line instructing and consultations. Kristi is on workers
on the Academy for Canine Trainers, serving to to form the subsequent technology
of canine professionals. Kristi’s canines are rescue sled canines, principally
retired and totally having fun with a great snooze in entrance of the

Web site: http://www.kristibenson.com/  Fb   Twitter 

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning creator of  Wag: The Science of Making Your Canine Joyful and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Joyful. She is the creator of the favored weblog, Companion Animal Psychology, and likewise has a column at Psychology At present. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, along with her husband, one canine, and two cats. 

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