Feline Hygiene: Things You Need To Know

Cats are pretty self-sufficient in the hygiene department, but sometimes as a cat owner its good practice to jump in and help them out with a few things on occasion. Grown cats may not need much, if any, help with hygiene.

Your younger cat companions will benefit from you helping them with a few things. There are three basic things you need to keep in mind about your cat's hygiene. These three things will help your cat to continue living a long healthy life, while also looking and feeling fabulous while doing it. 

Bathing Your Cat 

You may think it's silly to even consider trying to get your cat anywhere near water, but you might be surprised at their reaction. There are very few breeds of cats who are okay with getting near water, much less being submerged in it. It still is an important part of your cat's hygiene that you should be tending to regularly. 

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should be using shampoo made for cats specifically. Otherwise, you could risk causing them skin irritation or some sort of reaction to bathing products that are made for humans. 

Bathing is especially important when caring for kittens. Starting a bathing routine early may help them to become more comfortable and relaxed with the bathing process for years to come. Bathing your kitten may also help you to bond with them and plant the seeds for a great, long-lasting relationship. 

Claw Maintenance 

Older cats can typically use scratching posts and other toys made to help them keep their claws well-manicured. Kittens, on the other hand, might need a little help with the matter. Otherwise, you may notice that they keep scratching themselves by accident or could potentially hurt your other pets if they happened to swat at them. Not to mention your furniture could take a beating while they learn what they should or shouldn't be scratching.

Before you try to clip your cat or kitten's claws at home, it's a good idea to talk with your vet first so they can show you the proper clipping and paw handling technique. If done incorrectly you can cause your cat pain and some bleeding. 

The key is to use the right equipment and to hold your cat in a comfortable and soothing position. You may feel as though you need to move quickly through this process to keep them from squirming free, but its best to take your time to avoid any injury to yourself or the cat. 

Keeping Your Cats Face Clean 

Caring for your cat includes cleaning their face and tending to their oral hygiene. This may sound just as risky as trying to clip their claws or bathe them, but cleaning their face is also another necessary evil of being a pet owner. 

Cats who have naturally flat faces such as the Persian and the Scottish Fold cat deal with problems similar to that of dogs with flat faces. Their tears can build up and leave marks in the fur under their eyes. You can easily clean that up using a damp face cloth or a compress with a bit of eye solution that's made for cats, on it. 

As for oral hygiene, this is also more important when your cat is a kitten. You can purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste that are both made for cats to use. After positioning them in a way that is comfortable for you both you can brush their teeth like you might brush your own. Again, starting this young may help them to get used to it and become more comfortable with you doing it for some time to come. 


Your cats may appear to have it all handled when it comes to their hygiene, but sometimes they will need a little help from you and not even know they need it. Hygiene is especially important in young cats and newborn kittens.

They're born instinctively knowing how to care for their own hygiene needs, but as a cat owner, there are some important things you can do to help them maintain a healthy hygiene status for years and years to come. Not to mention helping them to stay clean is a great opportunity for you to bond with your cat.

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Written by Leo Roux

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