Tag Archives: cat grooming

Understanding Your Feline Friend’s Hairball Production

Do you own a cat? If so, hairballs are a part of life for you and your feline friend. They’re certainly not pleasant to look at, and it doesn’t seem very pleasant for Fluffy when she coughs one up, but are they dangerous? Learn more here from a Roanoke, VA vet.

Why Do Hairballs Occur?

Your cat grooms herself often, as you know. When she does, tiny barbs lining the tongue pick up much of the loose hair from your cat’s coat. She swallows that hair, and most of it gets moved through the digestive tract normally and is ultimately expelled in the feces. Some of the swallowed hair, however, remains in the gut, clumping together over time to form a hairball. That gets regurgitated eventually, likely accompanied by a small bit of stomach fluid.

Do Hairballs Hurt My Cat in Any Way?

No, the occasional hairball doesn’t hurt your cat. It’s a natural part of life! There’s absolutely nothing to worry about if you see your cat cough up a hairball every now and then.

If your cat coughs up hairballs frequently, something could be causing her to shed more than normal. You’ll want to have your pet checked out at the vet’s office to be safe. Additionally, if your cat is gagging and retching but not producing anything, rush her to the vet’s office—your pet could be choking, or the hairball itself could be lodged in the esophageal tract.

Last but not least: vomiting and coughing up hairballs is not the same thing. If your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s time to see the vet.

How Can I Help My Cat Experience Fewer Hairballs?

You’ll be happy to learn that there are a few simple steps you can take to have your cat cough up fewer hairballs. That’s more pleasant for her, and it leaves less of a mess for you! First, brush your cat regularly; this removes a lot of the loose hair from Fluffy’s coat, preventing her from swallowing it in the first place. Secondly, make sure that your cat is receiving a high quality diet that contains all of the proper nutrients. When your cat’s nutrition is in tip-top shape, her coat of fur stays healthy with minimal shedding.

Does your cat need a veterinary exam? Schedule your four-legged friend’s next appointment right here at your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here for you!

Tips For Bathing Your Cat

One of the best things about our feline friends is the fact that they are so clean. Your furball will groom herself every day. Although you don’t have to bathe Fluffy, you can if you want to. However, there are some things to keep in mind if you do decide to bathe your kitty. A Roanoke, VA vet outlines some of them in this article.

Consult Your Vet

Before you decide to bathe your cat, check with your vet. In most cases, it should be fine. However, it’s always best to be sure.

Prep Work

Give your feline pal a good brushing before you bathe her. This will remove dead fur and dander from her coat. If you can, clip her claws as well.

Prepare The Bathroom

We recommend putting a rubber mat down in your tub or sink to protect it from scratches. You’ll also want to have some soft towels ready. It’s not a bad idea to have a pitcher on hand for rinsing, either.

Armor Up

Even if Fluffy doesn’t mean to scratch you, she may dig in at some point. Those little claws are sharp! Full-body armor is optional, but if you do decide to go that route, this is the time to don it. Otherwise, you’ll want to put on thick jeans and a long sleeved shirt.

Bath Time

You’re ready to go! Fill the tub or sink with a few inches of warm—not hot—water. The water shouldn’t be any deeper than your kitty’s chest. Gently put Fluffy into the tub, and then lather her up. Only use shampoos made specifically for cats. Rinse with a pitcher or a sprayer on low. Don’t get suds in your cat’s eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. In fact, you may want to just use a facecloth to clean your pet’s head.

Drying

When Fluffy is clean, gently pat her dry with a towel. If she doesn’t mind being blow-dried, you can use a blow dryer on a low setting. Don’t force her to submit to this if she doesn’t like it, though. When your cat has had enough, just let her go. She’ll immediately start grooming herself to fix her coat. A special toy or treat will get that motor going again.

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Grooming a Longhaired Cat

Do you have a super fluffy feline? Kitties are all cute, but longhaired ones can be extra adorable. They also require a bit of extra work. That’s a lot of fur for a kitty to care for! Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet discusses grooming longhaired cats.

Supplies

You may need a few different supplies for your pet. Wire slicker brushes remove dead fur and prevent tangles, while undercoat rakes are good for kitties with double coats. You may also want a de-shedding tool, as well as a softer brush for Fluffy’s head and paws. Mat combs, as the name suggests, are helpful for removing tangles. Flea combs can also come in handy.

Bathing

You don’t necessarily have to bathe Fluffy. However, you can if you want to. It also isn’t a bad idea to get your feline friend used to the idea of being bathed. This will make your life much easier if she ever gets something spilled on her fur. Use warm-not hot water, and an unscented shampoo made specifically for cats. To avoid getting suds in your kitty’s eyes, ears, or mouth, use a pitcher or teapot for rinsing.

Brushing

Most longhaired kitties need to be brushed regularly. This serves several purposes. For one thing, they often get knots and tangles, particularly under their arms and legs, which need to be removed. This will also help prevent hairballs. Hairballs happen when cats ingest fur while grooming themselves. If you grab that dead hair before Fluffy swallows it, you’ll be doing both yourself and your pet a favor. This is also a good way to monitor your feline pal’s health, as you may notice bumps, cuts, or other issues earlier than you would otherwise. Last but not least, your furball will feel loved and safe and, hopefully, a bit pampered.

Trims

Kitties sometimes get dirt, litter, or fecal matter stuck to their bottoms. You may want to trim some of the fur around your furry pal’s behind. Just be sure to only use blunt-end scissors.

Face

Certain longhaired breeds, such as Persians, are brachycephalic. These kitties have adorable pushed-in faces. However, they are also prone to tear stains. Clean Fluffy’s face gently, using a damp clean cloth or cotton ball.

Do you have questions about grooming your pet? Please feel free to contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic! We’re here to help!

7 Reasons to Brush Your Cat

Cats have many wonderful qualities, but one of the best things about them is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will carefully groom herself every day. However, your furry little diva will still benefit from being brushed. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet lists some great reasons to brush your feline pal regularly in this article.

Hairball Prevention

One benefit of brushing Fluffy regularly is that you’ll be capturing that fur with a brush before she can swallow it. (We all know what happens when cats swallow too much fur. Suffice it to say, this is not the best part of having a kitty.)

Circulation

Grooming is also good for your feline pal’s circulation. While it isn’t absolutely necessary to brush Fluffy for this reason, it certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Kitty Comfort

Some of our feline friends—such as senior cats, obese kitties, and pets with chronic pain—have a hard time reaching their whole bodies to groom themselves, and may need a helping hand. Brushing Fluffy will help her stay more comfortable, since, as one can imagine, dirty hair feels matted and itchy.

Insulation

Did you know that your four-legged pal’s fur has insulating qualities that not only help her stay warm in winter, but keep her cool in summer? Dead fur and dander interfere with the insulating abilities of your cat’s fur coat. Therefore, brushing Fluffy will help keep her comfortable temperature-wise.

Health Checks

While brushing should never replace veterinary appointments, it does give you a good chance to check your kitty for signs of injury or illness, such as lumps, bumps, cuts, or lesions. Call your vet right away if you notice anything unusual.

Less Fur Everywhere

This one’s a definite bonus! The more of Fluffy’s fur you can capture with a brush, the less you’ll find stuck to your sofas, chairs, carpets, and clothing. (Tip: use a squeegee, rubber dish glove, or a damp sponge to remove dead fur from upholstered surfaces.)

Purr Activation

Last but not least, brushing your cat is a great way for you to spend some quality time with her and keep that little motor going. Kitties are always happiest when they feel loved and safe and purrhaps just a little bit pampered.

Please reach out to us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!