7 Tips On Grooming Your Cat Without Being Attacked

7 Tips On Grooming Your Cat Without Being Attacked

Does your cat turn hostile while you try to groom them? Does their calm demeanor turn to a chaotic, manic fit of hissing whenever a brush gets too close? And lastly, will your cat run and hide for days on end if you try to trim their nails? If so, here are a few tips to turn your cat’s regular and unwanted grooming into a treat for the both of you.

1. Select Your Tools

Generally, it is best to groom a short haired cat once a week, but if your cat has long hair, daily grooming may be necessary to keep knots and tangles from forming. If your cat does have short hair, a simple bristled brush will do the trick. However, longer haired cats may require a metal, wide spaced comb at first, followed by a regular brush.

2. Know the Routine

Brushing a cat is similar to brushing your own hair; you want to be gentle. I mean, you can be rough while brushing your own hair, but a cat might make a scratching post out of you if you go too fast or hard. For short haired cats, brushing the back, sides, and tummy is all that is really necessary. Start from the back of their neck, and with medium length strokes, work your way down to their tail. Do the same for their sides, but for their stomach, make sure to be extra gentle. Though, getting to the belly may be an issue unless your cat likes to lay on their back. For cats with long hair, brushing the tail, legs, and neck may be necessary. Continue brushing until they get bored and walk away, or if they become agitated.

3. Acclimate Them

If your cat is not fond of brushes or grooming in general, then getting them used to it will be the hardest step. One way to do this is petting your cat with your hand, and once they settle down, alternate brush strokes down their back. They might be confused at first, but if they are calm and purring to begin with, they’ll probably let you keep going. If this isn’t working, proceed to step four.

4. A Snack and a Brush

When are cats most distracted? That’s right, when they’re eating! Trying to groom your cat while they eat could be a great way to untangle and feed them at the same time. To do this, simply attract your cat to their food bowl, and when they start eating, try to brush them down their back. Chances are your cat will be so distracted by the food, they won’t pay any attention to you. If your cat isn’t interested in the dry food, and you already tried giving it a little stir (so they think you put more food in it), pop open a can of wet food and watch them completely ignore the fact that they’re being brushed.

5. Scratchy Claws

Chances are that you won’t have to even go near your cat’s claws until much later in their life when they can’t keep up with them themselves, but if you have to, it takes a lot of patience. To start, almost all cats will file their own nails down on objects such as scratching posts, furniture, walls, wooden desks, or other expensive items in your home. If your cat is fond of scratching up your heirloom sofa, but ignores scratching posts and the like, rubbing some catnip into the latter may entice them a bit. If this doesn’t work, try a different type of scratching post; some cats like vertical ones, some horizontal, while some prefer the tubular variety. There are also different materials that scratching posts are made out of, such as cardboard, carpet, rope, and more.

It’s important that any cat nail clippers that you use are up to the task so that you don’t risk injury to your cat’s foot or take their claw off completely.

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6. Dulling the Blades

If you have to cut or file your cat’s nails, for any reason, you have two main options; nail scissors, and a rotary file. The former is less expensive, but can be difficult to use, and the latter is easier to handle, gives smoother results, but is significantly louder. Most cats will get scared simply by the sound of an electric rotary file, but both options will require the cat to adjust to it first. The first step is to get your cat used to having their paws touched. If you never really touch your cat’s paws, and especially if you try to cut their nails on the first go, your cat will be pretty surprised. Once this is accomplished and your cat is fine with it, gently apply pressure to the pad under their paw and the furry spot above it, and their claws will pop out. Observe their nails and look for a pink section with a small vein. You will want to avoid this at all costs, because it will cause your cat pain and bleeding should you cut it

7. Snip Snip and Buzz Buzz

If using scissors, it is best to cut off as little as possible, and make sure that the scissors are as sharp as they can be. If the blades are dull, then they will create clamping pressure while your squeeze, which could damage the pink part we went over a moment ago. Next, use even pressure on the clippers to trim the claws. Until your cat adjusts to it, you may only be able to do one nail at time before they resist and run off. If using a rotary file, and once your cat is used to the buzzing sound of it, use one hand to extend your cat’s claws, and the other to carefully file the tips away. No matter which method you choose, you will most likely need plenty of cat cookies to keep your furry friend from becoming too anxious or scared. If you do manage to nip at their pink bits, and it doesn’t look too bad, using a styptic powder will help stop the bleeding. Also note that it is never a good idea to declaw a cat, because not only is this process extremely painful for them, even under anesthesia, the negative impact it has on their lives – possible paralysis, difficulty walking, pain for the rest of their natural lifespan, and more – are not worth it.


Hopefully with these tips and guides, grooming and keeping up with your cat’s hygienic needs results in less scratching and blood loss. Be sure to pamper and spoil your cat afterwards with some treats and pets, because chances are, they’re more scared at first than you are. However, once your cat adjusts to a cleaning routine, it will go smoother for the both of you.

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